WordPress Media Corps Next Steps

At @ninianepress‘s DM request, I’ve added “temporarily” to step two about archival plans for current marketing assets. It was a poor assumption on my part that we were all reading this in the context of “for the duration of our experiment”.

Last month, I introduced the idea of a WordPress Media Corps. I’d like us to take some next steps with this experiment, with full and hopeful conviction about what this might enable us to do in the future if we can pave this foundation today. 

This change is intended to tackle the big obstacles for the year as shared in the 2024 goals post. Because the changes rely on important parts of the WordPress project and ecosystem, we need the change to be big enough to see quick impact, but small enough to manage with the time we have available. Therefore, and by design, the MVPMinimum Viable Product "A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development." - WikiPedia scope for the WP Media Corps is limited but allows for future growth and experimentation. 

In this post, I’ll share some next steps for the WP Media Corps and a recap of important context so that we all have the same starting point.

The background

In order to simultaneously tackle both obstacles in our 2024 goals post and alleviate a long-standing struggle in getting reliable WordPress project information to end-users, I would like to create a Media Corps that will enable independent WordPress marketers and media members to produce excellent quality content with less time and effort.

The hypothesis

If we get accurate information more quickly and effortlessly to WordPress advocates, then the audiences that rely on them for the latest news will end up with more awareness (of features, programs, and the community at large) and contribute to additional growth in the project.

The risks

The current plans for this experiment have a lot of Automattic involvement, which is not desirable long term. For now, it will help limit variables while we quickly test the hypothesis, and will avoid calling in another round of contributors without a clear concept of what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we think we get there together.

Next Steps

As noted earlier, a change like this needs to be big enough to see impact but small enough to manage with the time we have. To that end, here are some next steps that will direct full efforts towards this initiative.

  1. A new Make Media Corps team, blog, and SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel will be created in the next few days. Any handbook materials and documentation that still make sense for this new team will be migrated to the new team blog. 
  2. The existing Make Marketing Team and Slack channel will be temporarily archived once the new team is created so that people interested in WordPress marketing initiatives will be directed towards the WP Media Corps. The Marketing Team GitHub Repo will remain open for continued work on the WordPress Showcase and amplification requests.
  3. Plans for the MVP version of the WP Media Corps will be published on the new Make team site so that future media partners and community members can stay up to date on how this project will progress and have ample opportunity to provide feedback. I have asked @rmartinezduque to lead this initiative. 
  4. All contributors who want to give a whole-hearted go to this experiment, can join the new site and Slack channel.

Thank you

Marketing an open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. project is a difficult and unique challenge. It’s especially difficult for a project like WordPress with software that supports myriad use cases, and a community that tends to a sprawling, multifaceted ecosystem that supports current and future WordPressers at many points in their journey. I’m grateful to the folks who have chosen to tackle this since 2015 and I’m appreciative of everyone who showed up to do the important work of figuring out next steps together. 

Thank you to our past Marketing team reps (see the list below) who have documented this team’s history and welcomed numerous new contributors over the years, and thank you especially to @bernard0omnisend @ngreennc and @ninianepress who served as the most recent group of team reps.

@rosso99 @bridgetwillard @mcdwayne @skarjune @joostdevalk @jenblogs4u @siobhanseija @mikerbg @harryjackson1221 @maedahbatool @yvettesonneveld @webcommsat @meherbala @oglekler @nalininonstopnewsuk @lmurillom @eidolonnight @santanainniss @nhrrob @sereedmedia 

And thank you to everyone who has contributed to the various efforts this team has made to market WordPress. While the Media Corps may not solve all of the problems that we face in marketing WordPress, I truly believe it gives us the opportunity to tackle some of our most immediate problems and hopefully open new paths to contribution. As with any new project, we won’t know until we try; and as with any experiment, we won’t know until we try hard.

X-post: Training Team Update – June 2024

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X-post: WordPress Media Corps Initial Roadmap

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X-post: The Plugin Directory gets a refresh

X-post from +make.wordpress.org/meta: The Plugin Directory gets a refresh

X-post: The Pattern Directory gets a refresh and is now powered by blocks

X-post from +make.wordpress.org/meta: The Pattern Directory gets a refresh and is now powered by blocks

X-post: The Forums get a refresh

X-post from +make.wordpress.org/meta: The Forums get a refresh

Making a WordPress Media Corps

In my Big Picture post from January, one of the major obstacles I mentioned was our stagnating growth. To me, our first order of business to tackle this problem is to get a coordinated marketing push underway and despite significant effort we have not been able to do that. I acknowledge that there is blame to share, and I’m sure no one wants to argue process nonstop. The requests made by the Make Marketing team over the years are clear:

  • Influence over the product roadmap
  • Influence over brand standards
  • Influence over marketing strategy
  • Marketing budgets
  • Direct access to or more influence over official WordPress properties

With the exception of the possibility to influence marketing strategy through normal feedback/proposal review processes, these are not requests that I am able to fulfill for a variety of reasons from logistical to philosophical. However, I do want to find a way for this team to feel that their contributions are more impactful and, by extension, have a more meaningful contributor experience here.

Given that I cannot offer you the type of access and resourcing that a dedicated marketing team needs, I believe it is time to change the scope of the work. Since it’s become clear that we (sponsored and volunteer contributors alike) cannot collaborate effectively to market on our client’s (WordPress’) behalf, I would like to enable folks who are marketing independent of us to be able to do so with more confidence and less effort.

A WP Media Corps

It has long been the case that WordPress’ most successful marketing has been chalked up to word of mouth, but our substantial network of WP media partners has never been included in any definition of that. I know that we rely on outlets like WP Tavern Jukebox, Underrepresented in Tech, Do the Woo, Gutenberg Times, and countless others to get our information out to users of every variety. And for all these years, they’ve had to know the right people and read the right stuff to get accurate and up-to-date information into their content for their audiences.

I would like to enable their independent marketing to be of excellent quality with less chasing of people by creating a Media Corps which can be managed through this team.

What does that look like?

From a high level, this would mean weekly or bi-weekly media corps meetings where qualified media partners would receive highlights on progress toward project goals, a list of upcoming dates to know, and any future items on the horizon that they should keep an eye out for.
A qualified media partner would:

  • have 80% WP content
  • have high quality journalism/writing
  • follow WordPress community guidelines
  • honor embargoes
  • etc.

The work of Make Marketing would encompass:

  • For anyone wanting to participate in this new concept, the contributions are around managing the media room (recruiting, vetting, and coordinating media folks, etc).
  • For anyone still wanting to provide written content, the contributions are around our current growth area: enterprise clients and deciders. So, content on /showcase and /enterprise.
  • Sponsored contributors will host the media corps meetings until we sort out cadence and process.
  • Stretch: help us monitor trends and/or identify which features need a stronger marketing push.
  • Stretch: spin up a companion property to https://developer.wordpress.org/news/ that focuses on users.

What about the current tasks and projects we’ve got?

It’s been my experience in WordPress that when we close things as wont-fix it is heartbreaking. Even when we understand that we can’t fix it because of intractable problems, closing something without movement registers in the “loss” column of our mental tracking.

  • For those tickets that can’t move forward because of access or control that I cannot provide, it makes sense to put them in the ice box at least and come back to them when the situation seems more flexible.
  • For those tickets that can move forward based on what is currently available, let’s triage down to the most impactful few and close those out while we’re getting the media corps ramped up.
  • For tactical execution of existing campaigns, the sponsored contributors will continue that work.

What if I don’t like this plan?

This solution doesn’t offer any of the direct access our current team wants, but it does give a considerable amount of power to groups who already have curated audiences and have much more autonomy (and budget) to market on WordPress’ behalf. It also gives us a better chance of having clear and consistent information being communicated on behalf of the project. And finally, it gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the years of work that the WP media folks have already put in to our collective success.

It’s not a full set of wins, but I think the wins balance the losses if we keep an eye on the stated goals and obstacles I outlined in January. And if this is not what you were signing up to contribute to, if you can find a way to see that this has the potential to solve some problems that WordPress has, even though it doesn’t solve all the problems Make Marketing has, I encourage you to whole heartedly join this experiment. If you can’t, fortunately there are many other teams where you might find your niche!

Let’s Talk

This is a dramatic shift. I want you all to be able to ask any questions you have to see if this is an experiment you can participate in. You can ask them asynchronously in the comments, or I will be answering questions synchronously today in #marketing at 9am CDT and 6pm CDT (1400 UTC and 2300 UTC).

X-post: Training Team Update – February 2024

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Notes: Marketing Team meeting, 20 February, 2024

Please add any comments on the related Marketing Tasks GitHub issue or in the #marketing channel on the Make WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/..

  • This meeting was organized on GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ card #380
  • Attendance:

Team news

WordPress publications

WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ social media updates

Here is a look at the numbers for the last two weeks:

  • With the launch of WordPress 6.5 BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. 1, the community showed a lot of excitement
    • High engagement rate of 2.5% (goal was 2.0%)
  • Impressions: 197,036
  • Engagements: 5,545
  • Link clicks: 1,906
  • Engagement Rate: 2.5%

New issues

  • 2024/02/20 Marketing Team meeting and weekly planning Meeting prep #380
  • People of WordPress: Rachel W #378
  • People of WordPress translation listing for contributor days and polyglots #377
  • Update Roadmap page with 2024 goals #373

Recently updated issues

This is not a list of all issues from the Marketing Team GitHub in Slack. This is a compilation of items that had discussion in Slack during the week.

  • Marketing Team management
    • Update Marketing Team guidelines to create exceptions for Project Leadership #347
      • Needs review
  • Cross-team collaboration
    • [AMPLIFY]: Power in the Details CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Editor Improvement Post #369
      • Closed at time of publication
    • [AMPLIFY]: Online monthly Docs Team Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/. February 27, 2024 #363
      • Closed at time of publication due to time running out
    • WordPress 6.5 Release Marketing & Communications Plan Overview #356
      • Final draft ready for review
    • Modify the text on #5ftF as an individual contributor’s role has changed. #317
      • Ready for review
  • Project marketing
    • People of WordPress: Rachel W #378
      • Final review before the issue is closed
    • People of WordPress: Estela R #368
      • In progress
    • People of WordPress: Laurence B #367
      • In the beginning stages
    • The Month in WordPress: February 2024 Edition #364
      • Published and ready to close
    • People of WordPress: Rita R-L #326
      • In the beginning stages
    • People of WordPress: Sunita R #261
      • Published with the translation in progress
    • People of WordPress: Anh T #260
      • In progress

Closing soon

  • Help create a plan for short form video on Tik Tok #114  AND Develop shortform video content and related copy with Learn Team #187
  • Add ideas to the WP Campaigns Social Content Brainstorm doc #191
  • #WP20 From Blogs to Blocks campaign #220
  • Share and help collect #WPPhotos stories #238
  • Familiarize yourself with the WordPress Brand Writing Style Guide #241

Recently closed

  • [Merged] Remove repo specific code of conduct. #376
  • 2024/02/13 Marketing Team meeting and weekly planning Meeting prep #371
  • [AMPLIFY]: The WordPress Foundation 2023 Annual Report is Now Available #370
  • 2024/02/06 Marketing Team meeting and weekly planning Meeting prep #362
  • WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Asia 2024: Marketing Table Lead Nomination – Contributor Day #348
  • Create issue template to Amplify a minor releaseMinor Release A set of releases or versions having the same minor version number may be collectively referred to as .x , for example version 5.2.x to refer to versions 5.2, 5.2.1, 5.2.3, and all other versions in the 5.2 (five dot two) branch of that software. Minor Releases often make improvements to existing features and functionality. #333
  • People of WordPress – Daniel K #156
  • [Moved to Discussion] Create plan for short-form video content on Tiktok #114

Open floor

  • No discussion this week

Next steps

  • Our next meeting is 5 March, 2024 at 15:00 UTC.
  • GitHub card for the next meeting: #383

#marketing-team, #meeting-notes

Notes: Marketing Team meeting, 13 February, 2024

Please add any comments on the related Marketing Tasks GitHub issue or in the #marketing channel on the Make WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/..

  • This meeting was organized on GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ card #371
  • Attendance:

Team news

WordPress publications

WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ social media updates

Here is a look at the numbers for the last two weeks:

  • Other than in impressions, all other metrics saw growth
    • High engagement rate of 2.5%
    • People of WordPress campaign saw the most success
  • Impressions: 163,980
  • Engagements: 4,601
  • Link clicks: 1,036
  • Engagement Rate: 2.5%

New issues

  • Update Roadmap page with 2024 goals #373
  • [AMPLIFY]: [AMPLIFY]: The WordPress Foundation 2023 Annual Report is Now Available #370
  • [AMPLIFY]: Power in the Details CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Editor Improvement Post #369
  • People of WordPress: Estela R #368
  • People of WordPress: Laurence B #367
  • The Month in WordPress: February 2024 Edition #364

Recently updated issues

This is not a list of all issues from the Marketing Team GitHub in Slack. This is a compilation of items that had discussion in Slack during the week.

  • Marketing Team management
    • People of WordPress: Rita R-L #326
      • In progress.
  • Project marketing
    • Update Marketing Team guidelines to create exceptions for Project Leadership #347
      • Final review before the issue is closed
    • Marketing Team Slack onboarding message when you join the channel #355
      • In progress

Closing soon

  • WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Asia 2024: Marketing Table Lead Nomination – Contributor Day #348
  • Help create a plan for short form video on Tik Tok #114  AND Develop shortform video content and related copy with Learn Team #187
  • Add ideas to the WP Campaigns Social Content Brainstorm doc #191
  • #WP20 From Blogs to Blocks campaign #220
  • Share and help collect #WPPhotos stories #238
  • Familiarize yourself with the WordPress Brand Writing Style Guide #241

Recently closed

  • People of WordPress: Rita R-L #366
  • [AMPLIFY]: WordPress is joining forces with Drupal, Joomla, and TYPO3 in the Open Website Alliance #365
  • 2024/02/06 Marketing Team meeting and weekly planning Meeting prep #362
  • 2024/01/30 Marketing Team meeting and weekly planning Meeting prep #360
  • The Month in WordPress: January 2024 Edition #343

Open floor

Next steps

  • Our next meeting is 20 February, 2024 at 15:00 UTC.
  • GitHub card for the next meeting: #380

#marketing-team, #meeting-notes