[Marketing] Status of the Marketing Committee

Tyler Mitchell tmitchell at osgeo.org
Thu Nov 10 16:37:10 EST 2011

Cameron summarised things nicely, so I'll just comment on a few of the
particular items I was closest to.

> Please keep in
> mind that all the points listed here were so far managed by a fraction
> of a full time job, Tyler had lots of other things on his plate too.

It's not only a time effort issue, but also an administrative overhead one.
For example, since I was already using my personal credit cards for
all sorts of OSGeo business, it was easy for me to order more
material, or reimburse someone's shipping costs.  So even if you have
enough people to help run things, keep this part in mind too.  Previously
it hasn't had to involve the treasurer but will certainly have to from here
on out.

> Marketing also has a budget for
> travel which can be spent by Marketing. The next OSGeo budget is
> developing now, so this is the right time to request for money.

I know things can change, but we haven't funded travel 
subsidies through the marketing committee.  We have tried, similar to
Michael's comments, to focus on supporting local chapters in their
outreach efforts, rather than moving people around.

>    Coordinate printing, shipment, payment of material for events

I used hubcast.com to do local printing whenever possible, it worked
well.  You just need someone with a credit card to get it moving. I 
can copy my content over to someone else's account if ever needed.

>    Speak as the OSGeo rep/contact
> - -> At a recent Board Meeting we decided to create a new role called
> "OSGeo Ambassador". It is yet to be more clearly defined ....

> ...manage spending of travel money

My tip: only volunteer to run an ambassador program if you
want to also be hated by everyone who doesn't get funding from you or
be looked at suspiciously as giving money to your friends.
A committee that reviews and scores ambassador proposals might 
work but the scope of the program will need to be pretty clear and
decisions made as objectively as possible.

>    Plan OSGeo booth – material, manpower

I don't think most people know that without the marketing committee
members (and a few others) planning for OSGeo booths there may
not have been an OSGeo booth at our own FOSS4G events.  Please don't
forget about it :)

>    Plan special meetings with stakeholders
> - -> I am not sure what this exactly is. Tyler, could you expand on this
> giving examples?

Arnulf, you'll remember the OSGIS Nottingham event, this is similar.
Whenever we get a foot in the door to speak, or have a booth, we 
also try to get meeting rooms for local groups to meet each other or 
to have meetings with sponsors and other influencers to get their
input and help them get connected.  Give us an inch... :)

Back to the OSGIS Nottingham event as an example,
(and GITA Dallas event in a way too) Suchith and I coordinated hands-on 
workshops, lined up a set of talks, had marketing material available, was
able to give an OSGeo keynote and also had a couple follow up meetings
with stakeholders and also with an academic breakout group.  It worked
out really well and brought together people who just needed an excuse
to talk to each other.

>    Help FOSS4G chair
>    Serve on FOSS4G LOC
>    Drive sponsors to FOSS4G
> - -> these three tasks mainly relate to the global FOSS4G conference and
> belong to the conference committee.

The conference committee definitely needs a rep on the
local committee, but they would not be expected to be focused on the 
marketing aspect of FOSS4G for OSGeo generally.  You wouldn't expect
the conf committee chair to be the liaison to the LOC for all marketing 
material and planning for marketing related initiatives :)

I also think there isn't clear enough connection between marketing and
the conference committee.  FOSS4G is our biggest marketing and 
outreach event every year, yet the connection is really loose.  Is it the
conference committee's responsibility to do effective outreach in the
same way that the marketing committee is responsible for it?  It's a bit
of a hole in my opinion.

>    Get OSGeo sponsorship needs in front of many eyes
> - -> Well, yes - the need is clearly seen but that did not really get us
> very far. And again - I do not believe that this is a primary task for
> the Marketing committee.

It was on my list.. hoping it will be on someone else's too.  Inserting
sponsorship requests/needs and thanks to existing ones is easy
to do as part of marketing initiatives - e.g. having sponsorship info
available for handout makes a lot of sense to me, as we have done.
Volunteers helping at booths and with talks often wonder what sponsor
opportunities there are too - so they can share the info correctly.

Anyway, some of that is personal opinion, others simply observations.
Hope it helps.

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