The new year at The Document Foundation starts with FOSDEM, where many LibreOffice contributors gather for the largest Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) meeting in Europe. In 2018 we had a booth in the main hall of building K, where most of the largest projects are based, and a devroom focused on OpenDocument Format (ODF) editing software.
The marketing team at TDF was in charge of the booth and the devroom, and also of logistics for the internal meetings and the hackfest organized at ICAB just after FOSDEM. I also helped to cook some real Italian pasta for the social dinner on Saturday, where the community gathered together with some friends.
Just before FOSDEM, we announced LibreOffice 6.0. We coordinated the announcement, drafting the documents for the press kit and organizing several pre briefings with journalists. As usual, thanks to the efforts of localization volunteers we were able to distribute the press release in some local languages.
We then followed up with announcements of minor releases, with a reduced emphasis in comparison with the major announcement.
After FOSDEM, we started working on TDF’s Annual Report, drafting most of the content and illustrations, and collecting images from community events for the final version. We have managed the final layout, using only free software (LibreOffice for drafting text and drawings, GIMP for tweaking images, and Scribus for creating the final layout, using the free fonts Carlito and Caladea).
After releasing the Annual Report, we started to concentrate on the next major announcement, preparing journalist mailing lists. We have a large number of contacts in media outlets around the world, which we have to update regularly.
Mailing lists are key to maintaining regular contacts with journalists. Of course, relationships must be nurtured over time, and the fact that we have always been proactive and responsive has increased our reputation. We have always replied to requests in due time, and pitched new article ideas as often as possible.
We also increased TDF and LibreOffice presence on social media, by increasing the number of tweets and posts. This will further grow in the next few months, as an increasing number of journalists are shifting to social media as the main source of information for news stories.
In early August we announced LibreOffice 6.1, with a test of the increased Twitter activity, based on a policy document that we drafted and shared with community members. We duplicated step-by-step most of the activities from the previous announcement, but we managed to organize a smaller number of pre-briefings.
In addition to these “major” marketing activities, we also managed several background tasks which are useful to keep TDF engine in good shape. The first is keeping track of donations, which provide the economic resources for the project. We are closely following donation trends, and have been implementing A/B testing for the donation page.
Starting from the month of November, this will include fundraising. If we want to bring the project to the next level, we need to raise money to increase the level of support for local communities, and for marketing and education activities behind the OpenDocument Format.
Last, but not least, we warmly invite community members to attend marketing calls. If the schedule is not the right one please let us know, and we will change it to suit your needs. If necessary, we can schedule two different calls to talk with people in different time zones (Asia and the Americas are hard to fit into the same time slot, but we have active community members in both continents).