increasing the reach of fedora-marketing

Lisa Hoover lisahoover at
Mon Oct 29 11:08:28 UTC 2007


This is a really interesting discussion and I see a lot of good ideas
here. I'm a technology journalist so perhaps I can shed some light on
what might work and what may not.

In my opinion, the *number one* thing a group can do to get their
message out is to forge a one-on-one relationship with journalists. If
you see someone reporting on Fedora somewhere, don't hesitate to drop
them an email saying something like, "I saw your review of F8 and
thought you'd like to know we've just put up some new information here
about XYZ." Many journalists have official or unofficial "beats" based
on topics they follow closely, are enthused about, or just happen to
know a lot about and will leap on new information -- if they know
about it.

Two-way communication is, of course, important. Simply throwing a link
at a journalist won't work as well as making sure there's someone
available to answer questions and offer quotes. Red Hat and Fedora are
terrific about this, by the way, and it's fairly easy to connect with
someone to get follow-up information. I only bring it up to suggest
that 20 people randomly emailing journalists may not bring results as
good as a coordinated effort that includes a go-to person for more
info. It looks like you're already working with Leigh on this. Great!

Speaking of quotes: Yes, it's true that some outlets cut and paste
from press releases, however most do not. For some, it's against
editorial policy, for others it's a personal preference. Therefore, I
heartily disagree with the notion that by making it "easier for the
cut'n'paste journalists to publish information on Fedora, we will
greatly increase the amount of publicity Fedora gets." The "easiest"
way to increase publicity is to make the story accessible to the
journalist. We need to know, at a minimum, what's happening, why it's
important, and where to get additional information to put it into
context. Hand that information to a journalist along with contact info
for someone willing to quickly answer a couple of follow-up questions
and your chances of getting publicity skyrocket.

Of *course* I understand that that's a tall order. I know it's not
realistic to expect availability like that from a group of volunteers,
no matter how dedicated they are (and, again, I think Fedora does an
*excellent job already of being available to answer reporters'
questions). My point is that, yes, being first on the Internet with
news is important but many news Web sites nowadays simply aggregate or
compile "breaking news" feeds on a section of their front page so as
not to bother with the whole "cut and paste so we can be among the
first only to find out everyone else has the *exact same story" issue.
The bottom line? Journalists faced with writing a story that F8 has
been released will be asking themselves, "What can I say that hasn't
already been said?" Believe me when I tell you, we are open to ideas.

Nicu's suggestion to contact the media with backstory information like
Iced Tea is a great one. For example, I read (here or on another
Fedora list) recently that some were disappointed that reviewers
didn't talk more about spins and suggested it might be a lack of
training or information. This is exactly the kind of information I'd
like to have as a tech journalist: an under-reported "feature" of F8
that brings something new to the table and that readers need to be
schooled in to know how to use.

Anyway, I never meant for this to be quite so long. I think this team
is doing a great job. You're all very dedicated and I wish  you the
best of luck in getting the word out about Fedora. If you've got any
questions, just give me a shout.

Lisa Hoover

On 10/29/07, Jonathan Roberts < at> wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-10-29 at 02:59 +0100, David Nielsen wrote:
> > søn, 28 10 2007 kl. 21:35 -0400, skrev Rik van Riel:
> > > On Mon, 29 Oct 2007 02:14:54 +0100
> > > David Nielsen <david at> wrote:
> > > > søn, 28 10 2007 kl. 19:31 -0400, skrev Rik van Riel:
> > > >
> > > > For a while now I've been thinking about doing a "looking ahead" page
> > > > to show off the upcoming features in Fedora.
> > >
> > > One question though: who would look at the page?
> > >
> > > If it is just Fedora users looking at the page, the page will
> > > still be interesting for them, but it will not help get wide
> > > publicity for the Fedora project.
> > >
> > > If the goal is to increase Fedora's press exposure, we may be
> > > better off writing (small) articles about technology as things
> > > are implemented and get those distributed as widely as possible.
> > >
> > > What is your goal?
> >
> > I don't see why it wouldn't be as good an option to get a bit of press
> > and stir up some attention by showing off what we are working on as
> > doing articles. I certainly think we should do both, and let's amass a
> > digg army to flood the web with Fedora information. It's one thing to
> > have the information, it's a complete other problem to get the
> > information spread. So far we've seemed to just put in on the wiki and
> > hope people would pick up on it, we need to be more proactive in
> > promoting our coolness.
> >
> > I blogged about the lack of selfworth we seem to have a while back, we
> > don't tell people about all our cool developments, if we aren't proud of
> > and vocal about our work why should the users or the press be?
> If you want to help, one thing you could do is help out with the feature
> preview interviews - it doesn't take a lot to put some questions
> together for the relevant developers, but wikifying them and posting
> around the various news sites can be a bit tedious.
> I'm not sure if you've noticed this or not, but over the last little
> while I've been trying quite hard to get plenty of information out about
> the coolest new features in Fedora 8 and got several articles to the
> digg front page with 100s of votes. Anyway, if you want to help that
> would be awesome, but do keep us informed of other efforts you may want
> to undertake and I'm sure me and everyone on this list will do our best
> to help out!
> Best wishes,
> Jon
> >
> > - David
> > --
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> > Fedora-marketing-list at
> >
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