FOSS4G 2009 Press Release Process

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We divide our press releases into major, and minor. Minor press releases are sent out to a specific interested community, (like the OSGeo discuss list, and our chair's blog.

Major press releases are aimed to go as far as we can possibly get them. We limit the number of major press releases we put out in order to ensure we don't wear out the people involved in sending them, and ensure that the message is fresh and hence read by less interested recipients.

For FOSS4G major press releases, we send emails to community leaders, and ask them to forward onto their respective email lists, along with a personal recommendation from the community leader. Emails received from people you know are much more likely to be read and acted upon.

Two weeks before release date

For non major press releases, this can be completed in the week before the release.

  1. Write a draft press release, following the convensions at: FOSS4G_2009_Press_Releases.
  2. Include the words "___DRAFT___" at the top of the press release.
  3. Ensure you include Media Sponsors, in order to honour our Media Sponsor agreements.
  4. Ensure at least one other Committee Member reviews the press release, preferably more.

One week before release date

For major press releases:

  1. Create a "Translation" wiki page, with English version of the press release. See translation examples linked at: FOSS4G_2009_Press_Releases.
  2. Send an email to translators asking them to translate. See examples link from: FOSS4G_2009_Press_Releases. A list of translators is available in the "Translators" tab of the contact list referenced above.

One working day before the release

  1. If the press release is referencing new web pages, then make sure these pages have been populated.
  2. Send a courtesy email to the press release recipients letting them know that a press release is coming.
  3. Ask Tour Hosts for a list of foss4g registered participants who have ticked "yes" to allowing their email addresses being made available. Add these emails to . (Cameron, Simon, Bruce, Tyler have the list administrator password).

Release date

  1. Send out a cover email, plus the press release to each of the groups of community leaders listed in the Google Docs Contacts sheet mentioned above: Projects, Lists, Media, Regional Lists, Local Chapters. (See FOSS4G_2009_Press_Releases for links to example Cover Email letters from other press releases)
    1. Let each recipient know what list they are responsible for emailing. This can be done by copying a table of who is chasing what.
    2. BCC all recipients
    3. CC the conference organisor (Cameron Shorter)
    4. CC anyone who may be chasing down leaders to forward on press releases
  2. For Web Entry media releases, like SlashGeo, add the press release directly into the web page, as per "Web Submissions" form on the Contacts list.
  3. Send out a Twitter message. . Login: foss4g Password: ask Shoaib, Cameron, Harley or Simon.
  4. Send to foss4g-2009-announce,, Cameron's blog, SlashGeo.

Day or 2 after release

  1. For major press releases: Check each email list to see if the press release was forwarded on by the community leader. Chase the leader if he/she have not sent it with a friendly email. If that doesn't work, in the following day try to find an alternative leader, or send the email yourself. We have a few hundred lists, and one person won't get to check all of them, so focus on the lists with the most number of subscribers first - Media, big osgeo lists (number of subscribers are listed on the OSGeoListNumbers sheet in the Contacts doc), and try to get a number of people to help with this job. Once you confirm someone has forwarded on a press release, add a "Y" in the column next to their name, for the date of the release. If you discover someone hasn't sent a release, and you have prodded them to resend, add a "N" next to their name, so others know that you have already checked on them.