Multimedia/PR Notes

Taken by User:Tdfischer from the Akademy/2012/PRWorkshop.

  • Why is it important? What does it do?
    • More people
    • Better retention of users and contributors
    • More diverse community
    • Faster integration of PR volunteers
    • Positioning, project perception, branding
    • Recognition
    • Funding
    • Press
    • Cross polination

News release requirements:

  • A brief description of what the project does
  • Link to the website
  • Announcements get forwarded, lots of journalists are signed up on announce lists and often forget they're on such lists.

Elevator pitch

  • 30 seconds
  • Does the project solve a problem?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • "<ABC> is the <special or best> <thing> for <certain kinds of people> who want <something awesome>, <in the way they want to do it>."
    • Example: "Moodle is the free web application that educators can use to create online learning sites, that are effective."
    • Example: "<Drupal> is the <easy> <web development platform> that allows <anyone> <to organize, manage and publish their content>, <with an endless variety of customization>
    • Phonon is the Qt library for developers who want to play multimedia effortlessly.
    • <KDE Multimedia> is the <amazing> <collection of applications> that lets <anyone> <organize, manage, and enjoy multimedia> <exactly how they want to>.
  • No need to mention the license. If they want to know that, they'll ask. It isn't a selling point.
  • Boast! Brag! You're working for the project because you think it is the best one out there. Since its the best, tell them that it is!
  • "In FOSS, everyone says their project is 80% done, because it isn't perfect." - We provide 100% of what we provide. If there are bugs or missing features, they'll pay you to finish it. Sell the improvement, not the problem. They are talking to you because you have a solution, not something that needs "finishing".


  • General information, written for a newbie
  • News, permalinks
  • A press page
  • A single person responsible for press contacts
  • A press team is even better, 24/7 access
    • Number one address for journalists contacting the project
    • Identifies important edia, constantly blogging, plussing, liking, sharing, and preparing press content.
    • Press kit is up to date

Press Kit

  • A very simple and basic explanation. What is it about?
  • Guided tour through the best, newest, sexiest features. Be positive! There are no problems, right? Right?!
  • Screenshots - Make sure it is CC licensed, but cannot be NC (non-commercial).
  • All images in 300dpi
  • Press contact: phone, mail, IM, facebook, g+
  • A large variety of screenshots in different sizes.
  • "Don't tell us if you can't show us."

Other website bits:

  • News archive
  • Project history
  • List of distros packaging the software or where to get it - it explains who cares about your project. If noone packages it, it must not be that important.
  • Major dependencies
  • Events you plan to attend. How and where can the journalists meet you?
  • Documentation
  • Information about what help we need
  • Don't be an asshole

Expose yourself

  • Who is running the project?
  • Show major contributors, leaders, evangelists and advocates that drive the project
    • Biographies! Photos! Blogs! Media links!
    • Let them talk about why and how they started the project, or how they started contributing

Press room

  • A special sub-website
  • No registration
  • Easily searchable
  • Occasionally reach out to journalists and make sure their press room is relevant
  • Press embargoes hidden behind a registration system.
  • Link to FAQs and docs

Think of journalists as someone completely new to your software. They want the most dense information in the shortest time, a chance to contact you, and material for their article.

Also make it easy for your users! An easy way to get involved, make it clear what license you have, where and how decisions are made.


Sex, humor -- make it viral (refer to slides)

Direct Outreach

* Conferences, schools, meetups, nerd talks -- add occasions together when you are gonna be somewhere
* How? Mostly it is a matter of asking


* find a good match for your project - Linuxfest for vol stuff, edu for edu, internships, etc. What is your goal?
* Name Of Your Project banner -- professional is good, but there must be something
* Aim generously - have resources available such as business cards,  stickers, flyers, etc.
* Three isn't a crowd -- single, lonely people aren't doing the job -- two or three are necessary
* How to smile all day (no shit talk) - focus on your goal [Trolls: You have given this a lot of thought. Obviously I'm not going to change your mind. Thanks for coming by; goodbye. and walk away]
* What do you say? (Standing, not sitting, and NOT on your laptop)
 ** Greeting with eye contact
 ** Question?
 ** Respond
 ** If appropriate, bring up your goal (elevator pitch)
 ** Always close positively
 ** New people: role-play stuff first (FAQ)


* Press releases: trigger your audience and alert journalists to something NEW (only when interesting changes happen) - send to your your press ML
* Venn diagram - where your readers' interests intersect with YOUR interests
* The Ws - Who, What, When, Where, Why (does your recipient care)
* The inverted pyramid - Most Newsworthy in first sentence - important details - other general info/background
* The lede/lead - the opening sentence gets the most attention, gets the readers to keep reading

This page was last edited on 2 July 2012, at 12:54. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.