Dealing with the press

The GNOME Foundation Board wondered recently whether we are dealing with
the press quite as well as we should. Here are my thoughts. Your
thoughts are welcome. Obviously we think that marketing-list are the
experts who would be best to deal with this.

Journalists like to interview somebody in the know, generally by
telephone. So we need:

A simple list of talking points, so people know how best to say
- What is GNOME.
- What's new in GNOME.

This can be based on our release notes, either the old ones or the new
ones, depending on the timing. If we have a particular marketing
drive/theme at that time then they should help to push that.

A list of people (ideally 2 or 3 in major markets, in case someone is
not available) that they can contact. There are lists here:
and here if they go deeper:
But I suspect that those lists are outdated.
These people should know about the talking points, they should be
involved with the marketing-list, and they should know where to direct
people for further information, logos, etc. They should be upbeat and
articulate. They absolutely should not express fringe views or strong
criticisms of the project.

I guess that journalists would like these people to know what titles to
use for these people, such as "Developer", "Release team manager",
"Foundation chairman", "Spokesman". 

I know that Luis Villa, Jeff Waugh, and Miguel de Icaza have done this
well in the past, though I don't know how easy it has been for
journalists to know that they should/can talk to them. I believe that
Leslie Proctor has helped journalists to find people too.

We already have gnome-press-contact gnome org [1] but maybe it is a
mistake to put a barrier in the way of journalists. They generally write
for very quick deadlines, so it wouldn't be acceptable to wait for a day
for someone's contact details, and then spend another day trying to
contact them.

[1] Though it was not working until recently, and it replies with a
waiting-for-moderation email that probably just looks like an error to
most people.
Murray Cumming
murrayc murrayc com

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