Wikimedia Australia (WMAU) exists to support, advocate and promote the activities and needs of the diverse community engaged in Wikimedia platforms in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
Formed in 2007, WMAU is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, whose primary aim is to promote equality of opportunity to access and participate in the collaborative creation of free and open content in Australia, with a focus on its history, culture, languages, environment and regional context. Increasingly, this work prioritises support for marginalised and regionally disadvantaged communities to remove barriers that prevent people and organisations from accessing and contributing to free knowledge, and supporting the development of solutions to help eradicate inequality and bias on Wikimedia projects.
As an official chapter of the international Wikimedia Foundation, WMAU supports the mission to empower and engage people around the world to collect, develop and share content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. Therefore, this communications strategy is informed by and contributes to the strategic direction of the global Wikimedia movement.
The purpose of this policy is to outline the appropriate and strategic use of communications tools (verbal, printed, and digital) by WMAU and its community while conducting WMAU business and activities. This will help to protect the organisation’s reputation by ensuring reliability, consistency and trust, and support membership growth, engagement and advocacy for the importance of Wikimedia platforms and missions.
This Communications Strategy supports the delivery of the WMAU Strategic Plan 2022-2025, to meet the following five objectives:
- Attract new editors, contributors, members and content to Wikimedia platforms and activities
- Maintain existing editors, contributors, members by inspiring them, supporting their efforts and engaging them in our work
- Expand WMAU’s profile, reputation and influence in Australia and the region
- Increase public awareness, understanding of Wikimedia platforms in Australia and the region
- Contribute to the ongoing development of inclusive, safe, trustworthy and equitable Wikimedia communities
The Wikimedia Australia Brand
Wikimedia Australia’s brand character can be described as:
- inclusive, generous and respectful
- open, approachable and accessible
- honest (acknowledge emerging issues and challenges)
Retaining existing contributors and inspiring new participants across Wikimedia platforms in Australia is a significant challenge. Creating new opportunities, training, pathways partnerships while addressing any barriers to ongoing engagement is at the centre of WMAU’s overall strategic goals. Ensuring that our communications strategies (outlined in this document) are actually reaching new audiences and converting to WMAU’s broader strategic goals in revitalising a new and diverse editing base should inform evaluation of this strategy.
There is broad recognition of the need for greater diversity among the editing community of Wikimedia platforms, in order to reduce bias, be more inclusive of the world’s cultures and languages and to decolonise platforms. The experience of editing Wikimedia platforms is not necessarily safe for everyone so Wikimedia Australia is committed to growing safe, supportive and inclusive spaces (offline and online) and through its communications.
Relevance and accuracy of content
Maintaining 20 years of Wikimedia content with a stagnant editing base offers significant challenges to the efforts of current editors in ensuring that content is accurate, up-to-date and therefore trustworthy and relevant to current and future audiences. WMAU’s communications should also represent these values, contributing to building trust by offering audiences reliable, consistent, accurate information (as outlined in Key Messages and content).
New opportunities for engagement online are constantly emerging. WMAU is committed to evaluation, adaption and experimentation with social platforms to grow its audience, improve brand awareness and energise activity. WMAU is prioritising use of the follow channels for 2021-23:
- Wikimedia platforms:
- Wikimedia Commons
- Wikimedia Australia website
- Event listings
- WMAU Stories/News/Features
- Wikimedia Australia mailing lists
- Members mailman list
- General list (including past members) mailman list wikimediaau-l (or a new one to be created)
- Announce list
- Social media
- Instagram (not currently active)
- Virtual Events and Meetings (via Zoom)
- WMF channels:
- This Month in GLAM newsletter
- Diff blog
WMAU has identified the following priority audience segments:
|Members (annually renewing)||WMAU’s core audience and justifies WMAU’s existence||Offer current information, updates & new initiatives, networking & training opportunities and build a sense of community to ensure a strong, engaged base for governance & leadership||Newsletter, mailing lists (email), community meetings and events, social media, website, collateral||Xero and members mailman list|
|Past or prospective members||Possibility of reconverting to annually renewing members (ensures WMAU existence and growth)||Create a new segmented list, communicate with through a twice per year newsletter to justify value of membership||Newsletter, segmented mailing list, social media, website||Xero (past)|
|Contributors||Current and editors||Increased opportunities, interest in their work, outreach, profiles and stories of current editors, increased awareness of organisational activities and support, conversion to encourage membership, create knowledge equity||Geonotices/ banners, community meetings, events, social media, collateral, event follow up correspondence||Wikipedia (Usernames)|
|Australian Partners (individuals and organisations)||Brand recognition, help build their capacity and grow at scale, provide connection to community, amplify our work, increase impact, access to collections||Better documentation of past and present partnership, offer of funding, more targeted approach||Website (case studies, blogs, guest blogs), conference support, events, tool development||Xero|
|General Public (Australia)||Grow awareness, advocacy for, donations, support of and understanding of Wikimedia platforms, grow trust, dispel myths, convert to editors||Pursue a wider range of media opportunities, improve website appearance, accessibility, SEO and ease of use to ensure they can find us, establish facilitator program to grow broader training opportunities||Media, website (blog), social media||Xero|
|Asia Pacific Regional Community||Regional leadership, mutual knowledge exchange, possibility of regional partnerships, regional knowledge equity||Maintain active and sustained membership of ESEAP, regular intra-community reporting, shared access to regional events, regional campaigns||Meetings, events, conferences, social media||Xero|
|Global Community||Improve funding, currency of information for members, better connection to movement, influence outcomes and raise awareness.||Build capacity, develop relationships, create impact, improve our standing and awareness in the movement, contribute to the strategic direction of the movement||Conferences, social media, meetings, volunteering for global initiatives.||WMF mailing lists, diff blog|
|Funders / Donors||Tend to be Wikimedia platform users (not necessarily editors).||Ensuring our content remains accurate and relevant to them, that our chapter is represented as effective, responsible and responsive, responsible use of resources||Develop a donors ‘thank you’ card to send to donors over $50 with collateral, website, newsletter, social media.||Xero|
In order to achieve these, our communications priorities for 2021-22 are to:
|Action||Description||Target Audience||Objective met|
|Develop basic collateral||Development of a limited suite of marketing materials: general contact card, laptop stickers, donor thank you card||Members, Past/Prospective editors and Contributors, funder/donors||2, 3, 4|
|Contributors survey||Undertake an annual survey to identify trends and emerging needs||Members, Contributors||2|
|Develop WMAU Facilitator program||Scope Wikimedia Australia facilitator program to grow member support and editing base||Members, Contributors, General Public||1, 2, 4|
|New members pack||Send a small merchandise pack to each new WMAU member (contact card and laptop sticker)||Members||2|
|Development of relevant training materials||Development of edit-a-thon training and resources kit||Contributors, Partners, General Public||1|
|Consolidation of contacts||Audit, update and segment contacts in Xero (including past members and Donors list)||All||2|
|Launch Instagram account||Build new social media following to reach new and different demographic audiences||General Public, Partners||1, 2, 3|
|Grow social media content/presence||Grow audiences across our social media channel in line with content strategy (rule of thirds) growing online editing support communities.||All||2|
|Restructure/re-design WMAU website||Relaunch WMAU website to improve supporter and user experience and deliver impact information||Contributors, General Public, Partners||3, 4|
|Write key case studies/stories||Invite guest writers to widen diversity of stories, perspectives and ownership about Wikimedia activities||Contributors, General public, Partners, Donors||3, 5|
|Improve regularity and consistency of newsletter.||Invite guest writers to widen diversity of stories, perspectives and ownership about Wikimedia activities||Contributors, General public, Partners, Donors||2, 3, 4|
|Publish quarterly newsletter||Audit marketing systems to present a more attractive, readable, and accessible newsletter to increase readership. Create general newsletter segment including past members.||Members, Global community, Funders||1, 2, 5|
|Funding and microgrants||Reach new contributors in new ways, support innovation & experimentation and generate new media opportunities on newer Wikimedia platforms||Members, Contributors, General public||3, 4|
|Pursue proactive media opportunities||Explore media opportunities for WMAU, partner and community activities.||General public, Global community||3, 4|
Spokespeople and Processes
Any member of the committee may speak on behalf of WMAU but must provide notice to the WMAU committee.
Staff of WMAU may speak on their behalf upon written prior notice and approval of the WMAU committee.
Any media requests must be forwarded to the committee. It is the responsibility of the Community Support and Outreach Coordinator to ensure that they are responded to in a timely manner and talent is offered where possible as approved by the committee.
Key Messages and Content
We will use the rule of thirds when planning and structuring content for our channels:
|Content that is CREATED: what are we doing that our audience will be interested in?||Content that is CURATED: what are our partners / community / wider environment doing, working on or saying that our audience will be interested in?||CONVERSATIONS: engaging with our audience across the channels|
There are a set of key messages that WMAU should draw on when talking about ourselves and our relationship to the global Wikimedia movement:
- Wikipedia is a not-for-profit website built on the contributions of volunteer editors around the world - anyone can edit Wikipedia and contribute. We need you!
- Wikimedia exists to make knowledge open and freely available. It’s ideal is to contribute to a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.
- There’s lots of different ways to get involved - from writing content, to taking photos or working with data.
- Wikimedia Australia is the Australian chapter of the international Wikimedia Foundation that supports, advocates and promotes the activities and needs of the diverse editing community in Australia. We’re here to help!
- Wikimedia Australia is helping to build an inclusive online community and ensure that Wikimedia projects are free from bias, reflect our diverse society - with a growing focus on underrepresented subjects, languages and content.
- Wikimedia Australia works with a wide range of partners to make knowledge freely accessible online and fill in the gaps. Work with us!
Trust in an organisation is a large factor in why supporters join a cause, donate or lend their support to a cause. Identified activities we can deliver through our communications which drives increased trust are:
- Offering regular performance data - use of metrics to show programme delivery/ engagement with a particular group
- Demonstrate role competence - blogs from partner organisations or lead volunteers
- Demonstrate good judgement and honestly, acknowledging emerging issues
- WMAU believes in being a proactive community member contributing to a broader conversation by engaging with a wide range of local community groups and people
- WMAU is committed to participating beyond its own domains, monitoring and participating in community discussions where appropriate
- Consistency is key: WMAU is a sensible, steady and reliable voice
- Talk like a human being: ensure WMAU communication is accessible through use of simple, short, jargon-free and conversational language, while retaining a commitment to professionalism
- Quality content: Be a resource not a marketer.
- Social media is a sandbox – experimentation is encouraged. Be playful and humorous.
- Be bold – social media is driven by brilliant, vivid content and imagery. WMAU believes that the quality of all communication matters.
- Sharing is caring! WMAU believes in participating by encouraging people to share stories, content and activities and sharing theirs in return
- Social media is a gateway to Wikimedia content
- The WMAU brand is all of ours! Committee members, members and staff are encouraged to contribute to social content as an extension of their work – diversity is a strength.
WMAU makes optimum use of Wikimedia’s own platforms and resources, and preferences open alternatives. WMAU does not pay for boosted content or other advertising on commercial platforms.
Goals and Evaluation
As defined above, social media and media appearances are tools that can be used to meet WMAU’s broader objectives, in particular, to increase the overall number of active engaged editors of Wikimedia platforms across Australia. Therefore, evaluating these overall objectives is more important than driving quantitative growth on social media (the number of likes and follows). WMAU aims to sustain modest growth across its pages by meeting the targets outlined in Appendix 1.
The Executive Officer is required to provide a brief communications report as part of their monthly report to the WMAU committee meetings. This should include:
- Key communications
- Last three months of Twitter data - No. of tweets, profile visits, tweet impressions, mentions, new followers, top tweets (autogenerated on Analytics tab in Twitter)
- Facebook monthly summary - No. of posts, new page likes/followers, page views, post engagement top Facebook post (based on insights tab)
- Monthly Instagram summary - No. of posts, no. of likes
- Any relevant website traffic
- Link to any newsletters/blog posts
- Any media generated
- No. of member/donor packages sent
This data can be used to:
- Link the impact of communications efforts to overall WMAU objectives.
- Measure growth and performance on specific social networks over time.
- Guide the evolution of the WMAU content strategy over time, by understanding what types of content or posts gain traction and what types don’t.
- Demographics – to understand gender, age or location of the people engaged.
- Measure the success of specific programs, campaigns, or other new initiatives and capture feedback to inform future projects.
- Identify influencers or brand advocates and collaborate with them to help gain more exposure for future initiatives.
WMAU supports and encourages the use of social media by its committee members and as part of a broader commitment to their skills development and networking.
Personal use of social media by WMAU staff, committee and contractors must not bring WMAU into disrepute, compromise effectiveness at work, imply WMAU endorsement of personal views or disclose confidential information.
Wikimedia Committee members must use the email signature outlined in Appendix 1. Former committee members and non-committee members that have WMAU email addresses are also to use the email signatures also outlined in Appendix 2.
Code of Conduct
WMAU is dedicated to providing a welcoming experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, appearance, race, religion, or preferred free license (and not limited to those aspects) as outlined in its Safe Spaces Policy. WMAU adheres to the overall Wikimedia Foundation’s Universal Code of Conduct (currently in draft format). This extends to the channels through which it communicates to its audiences.
WMAU reserves the right to ignore, delete, hide comments, mark comments as spam or block individuals for use of vulgar or abusive language, personal or obscene attacks, links to any sites deemed inappropriate, suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity, multiple successive off-topic posts by a single user or repetitive posts copied and pasted by multiple users, or spam, unsolicited proposals or business ideas or inquiries, promotion or endorsement of commercial services, products or entities.
See Crisis Communications Plan.
Strategy Review Schedule
This strategy is to be reviewed annually. A new strategy is scheduled for update and review in April 2023, with a new two-year strategy due for release by July 2023.