[Ambassadors] Policy RFC: Dealing with Media (and no I don't mean CD/DVDs)

David Nalley david at gnsa.us
Wed Aug 27 14:01:24 UTC 2008

2008/8/27 Paul W. Frields <stickster at gmail.com>:
> On Wed, 2008-08-27 at 08:52 -0400, David Nalley wrote:
>> What I fear is that at some point there something will rub someone the
>> wrong way. I'd far rather have the opportunity to define the policy
>> that gets applied to us than live with whatever policy is born out of
>> reaction. That being said if the group consensus is that we remain
>> laissez-faire then that's fine too.
> David,
> There's a good opportunity here for Ambassadors to work with the overall
> Marketing group.  Ambassadors regularly speak to the public, since
> that's part of the natural responsibilities they willingly take on.  In
> dealing with print and broadcast media, of course it's very helpful for
> Ambassadors to be thoroughly familiar with the Fedora marketing plan,
> our overview, and general tips on how to be an effective interview
> subject.
> The idea is not to tie Ambassadors down so that they need approval for
> local media contacts.  Rather, it's to make them confident in answering
> tough questions like "Why should people care?" and "What makes Fedora
> different?" in constructive, positive ways.  I think many Ambassadors do
> this very well already, but like anything else it's a skill one
> develops, and we can help each other develop that skill.
> The Fedora Marketing group is always available to assist.  We should
> encourage collaboration and partnership between Ambassadors and
> Marketing overall to make our public contacts as meaningful, positive,
> and cohesive as possible.
> `


My experience is that most Ambassadors are also members of Marketing.
IIRC many moons ago joining the Marketing project was recommended on
the Ambassadors join page. While I think there is probably more of
disconnect between the two groups than previously existed there are
still many people who are in both groups.
But I should go back and talk about why we decided to plod down this
path - last night after introing Larry's page - (around the 9:15
timestamp) Jack said: "the general stance is we should
get stuff cleared with someone before we do anything with media"

Then we started looking for policy, and it seemed none existed, but
might have been an unwritten rule. Then we didn't know who was
supposed to clear stuff - do we get marketing's blessing, or FAmSCo or
the Board or??

So maybe what we need is more guidance (that after the fact gets
documented) than a policy - so let me pose a couple of use cases:

1. I am holding a Release Party and want to get some local media
attention and desire to send a Press Release to $localmediaoutlet
announcing that there is a Fedora Release Party occurring.
Do I need any special authority or clearance?

2. I am asked to be interviewed about the Fedora Project by
$mediaoutlet - Do I need any special authority or clearance?

3. What if it goes above local - suppose #2 is a
$syndicatedbroadcastmediaoutlet or a $nationaloutlet - does that
change things?, and if it does, at what point does it change?

The pragmatist in me says that the fact that I am a member of the
Fedora Project, have a fp.o email, and can go around talking
about/representing Fedora to LUGs, conferences etc. makes any special
authority or clearance meaningless. That said I could certainly
understand that such actions might generate angst with traditional
marketing types, specifically among RH's marketing group.
Certainly getting to #3 there would almost of a necessity (one would
hope) be some coordination with Marketing and others, but from a
standpoint of getting things done - do we need to have a checklist
that has a line saying "Get permission from $authentity" ?

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