[OSGeo-Board] Press Release Process

Dave McIlhagga dmcilhagga at dmsolutions.ca
Wed May 3 09:57:34 EDT 2006


Thanks for all the comments - a couple of notes below:

Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> Peter Moran wrote:
>> Nice job running meeting Mike.
>> One of my tasks was to define press release process.  Draft wiki is at
>> http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Press_Release_Process.  Please add your
>> thoughts and experience.
>> I am looking into cost and logistics of using Autodesk's Newswire
>> account to distribute releases (no promises).  I'm also looking into
>> getting a list of around 100 journalist contacts that we've gathered to
>> seed the osgeo-news-publisher list (or invite them to join the list)
>> that Daniel or someone proposed.
> Peter,
> For steps (3) and (4) (review and approval) I would suggest they be
> done at the same time to avoid too much lag waiting at each step.
> It is hard for the board to take a formal action by email since we
> need to have every board members agree in writing.  So my suggestion
> would be that the release be distributed to the board at board.osgeo.org
> and dev at visibilitycommittee.osgeo.org mailing lists, (at the same time
> it is sent to legal counsel) and that they be given two business days
> to comment.  Any objection to the release from anyone on viscom or
> the board would result in it being held for formal approval by the
> board.

I agree -- this puts the onus on VisCom and Board members to act in 
order for the process to be delayed which in the open source universe is 
a good thing. It can be difficult getting everyone to formally approve 

> Are you considering designating a press release czar?  I think it would
> be helpful to ensure the process is followed through properly and that
> some reasonable degree of consistency is maintained.  So while the
> original proposer would write the initial text, the czar would possibly
> do some editing (with the agreement of the proposer) and would ensure
> the process is followed.  Hopefully with a good written process in the
> wiki there would be a few folks on viscom who could act as czar as needed.

As part of various roles at VisCom, I believe Peter will handle this 
role -- I will be also filling in as required given both of us have a 
fair bit of press release experience behind us.

> I presume VisCom will be developing a standard "about OSGeo" chunk?

Yes - additionally, I hope this would be part of a standard OSGeo Press 
Release template maintained by VisCom. Any OSGeo press release would 
then start from this template. This helps projects and newsworthy 
initiatives by giving them something to work with to start the process, 
and ensures message consistency for any OSGeo sanctioned press release.

> BTW, are press releases normally issues in ASCII text?  HTML?

Dare I say it .. but Word has been the distribution format of choice for 
press organizations in my experience, however I think being the 
organization we are, we should make a point of distributing in multiple 

> Also, should the process discuss PR translations?  I believe it was
> suggested earlier that we *not* necessarily wait for translations before
> issuing a PR and I would agree with this.  Translations can add quite a bit
> of lag.  They also are hard to vette.  But if we can identify some 
> interested
> news agencies (perhaps in Germany, or Brazil?) and some volunteers it would
> be desirable to offer translated press releases.  If not that, then at 
> least
> to offer translations on the web site.

I'd suggest we make this at the discretion of the project, but perhaps 
OSGeo could act in a coordinating role to enable volunteers to translate 
press releases.


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