Session 3 — Marketing and Communications

Hello @feb20-cohort! Our third session is taking place tomorrow, at 9am ET on Zoom (at our standard meeting link). We’ll be discussion marketing and communications. I’ll share why we think about marketing and communications so early on in the process, share some principles to keep in mind, and tactics and examples that you could refer to and apply to your projects.

Here are the resources for this topic:

  1. Handout: Marketing and Communications
  2. Slides: Marketing and Communications

I’ve seen a lot of activity on your projects, and look forward to hearing whether progress has been made on the project scoping template or any other updates you have to share. See you tomorrow! :smiley:

Please record and share out todays meeting. I have a mandatory campus meeting that is conflicting with this time. If it wraps up, I will log on, but there is a secondary meeting that I need to log onto then at 10 am as well. I look forward to reviewing todays meeting information.

Hi Julie, I’m sorry that you won’t be able to make today’s meeting. Thanks for letting us know! Unfortunately, we don’t record our sessions, especially given how discussion based they are. I’ll encourage the others on the PSU team to help you catch up on the topic, and I am also happy to answer any questions you might have about the session today here in the discussion space or at our next session.

I hope your other meetings go well!

I’m glad so many of you could make it to our session this morning (@jmm49 included!). :smiley: It was great to hear all of your updates — many of you seem to be getting closer to a clearer project definition/direction, which is fantastic. And for those that are speeding on ahead, way to go!

As usual, take a look at the session’s chat transcript to see what questions and discussion took place. I’ve compiled a list of links shared:

I also wanted to include a list of the tactics that I had mentioned at the end of our lesson today, in very brief point form:

  • Public listing: the project homepage is going to be the space that you’re likely to share with people, so they can see the progress being made, any content, Calls For Participation (CFPs), and the team.
  • Project contact/mailing list: beginning with the team block on the project homepage (this can help capture interest in a concrete way, so you can share updates and more. Of course, give people an option to opt-in)
  • Blog posts: with links to other content like homepage, call for participation, etc. You can post on your personal blog, your institution’s marketing site, or on the project homepage.
  • Milestone announcement (with next steps)
  • Social media (via dedicated account or team members’ personal accounts): post on Twitter or Facebook, or wherever you know your discipline’s network is the most active. Tap into these communities
  • Email signatures (keeps the project front of mind with all email interactions)
  • Community calls (practical and builds bonds)
  • Conferences (present and be challenged about things on the project)
  • Around the release stage:
    • Repositories, updated project metadata - all about discoverability, so people can easily find the content on your project
    • Physical or electronic promo items, sometimes called swag: slide decks, blurbs, pamphlets (quick, easy to share)
    • Print copies of the book: nice to have, magic of print, bunch of different uses especially for those readers who require a physical copy

Feel free to add to this list as you think about marketing and communications work on your projects!

All the examples I screen-shared during the session are included in the handout linked earlier in this thread.

@feb20-cohort I’ve written up a short recap of our session for those who are interested. Hope this helps you all keep some our marketing and communications principles in mind!

Lesson Recap

Marketing and open communications are all about developing a community around your book, and ultimately gathering a group of adopters that will help maintain your book in the long-term. Rebus’ own marketing philosophy is built on the principles of openness, collaboration, and inclusion. The way we see it, marketing is really a series of connections: more often between people & projects, and in our case, between collaborators and communities. Marketing is about creating and telling a story that will resonate with others and inspire them to join you. The story of a book starts from day zero, right from the moment you thought about creating the resource. So get the word out early and announce your project’s existence, and don’t forget to highlight why you decided to start the project or what makes it unique. And keep this up! Frequent communications will mean that the project stays on the radar for those outside the team, and helps build the momentum leading up to the official release (take a look at our list of tactics). Being public about your project work also ensures that it isn’t being replicated elsewhere – others may just decide to join forces with you instead. Instead of thinking of marketing as a single phase in the publishing process, try to look at each stage through this lens (look at our slides for some hints on how to weave marketing in every phase). Make sure that your communication is providing value to others: whether by surfacing the advantages that a particular task will bring to the project or by sharing success stories when milestones are hit. Don’t forget about your biggest marketing asset: the people around your project. Since the project is made up of you and others, we don’t want you to hide behind the scenes! It’s important to recognize you and the work you do — so showcase the team, solicit quotes to share, and get them involved. This also makes your project more compelling to others, as this taps into the general audience’s interests in the personal aspects of publishing. Finally, remember that a big portion of marketing and communications is listening: validating and recognizing external comments is important to build the connection and trust with those new to the project or simply following it. Respond to comments in a timely manner, and you’ll be surprised at how this small human touch can set your project apart from others. The support of those around your project can have a bigger impact than any other tactics you may employ.