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[edit] DebConf Publicity

The DebConf Publicity is usually handled as part of the Debian general Publicity, with one or more Publicity delegate or team members coordinating the tasks, and one or more local team members as liaison with local publicity channels and journalists, as translators, or just wanting to help in this part of the DebConf organization.

Topics may be discussed in the (public) debconf-team mailing list ( and/or in the (public) Debian Publicity Team mailing list (

If you need a private mail contact to provide for journalists and media, e.g. to prepare announcements that need to be kept in private until released, can be used for that purpose.

[edit] 1.- Communication channels

The Debian Publicity team handles a set of media to spread the word about the project and the community:

  • Debian Project News (3-4 issues per year) - translated to several languages
  • Announcements (by mail to debian-news, debian-announce, and in - translated to several languages
  • (The Debian blog) - translated to several languages (starting in late 2015) - It's also shown in
  • - English only, feeds the profile ( social network) and the @debian profile in other social networks as @debian at Twitter.

In addition to that, we have some DebConf specific resources (not handled by the Debian Publicity team):

  • @debconf at twitter (unused?)
  • which is shown also in DebConf website (until DC15) and - this is unused, superseded by the /news section in debconfXX websites.
  • DebConf related mailing lists (usually the local team member is the one posting the announcements there)

All these are in English, maybe translated to the local language.

[edit] 2.- Human resources

  • Laura Arjona Reina, from the Debian Publicity team (since DC15)
  • Ideally, somebody else from DebConf team or local volunteers.
  • If we want to publish in a local language different than English and Spanish, it's mandatory that somebody else gets involved.

[edit] 3.- Messages to publish and other tasks

Initial list (we could have a look at former DebConf publications to add some more and set a orientative calendar)

  • DebConf organization starting
  • Do you want to sponsor DebConf?
  • Volunteers recruitment (locals or not)
  • We have logo!
  • Sponsors brochure
  • First set of sponsors
  • Call for talks
  • First set of talks approved
  • More sponsors
  • Debconf is starting
  • Debian birthday
  • Debconf live coverage (if possible)
  • Debconf Closing announcement
  • Wraping up - thanks (if needed)
  • DebConf report published (if available)

Other tasks:

  • For each important news item that we have about DebConf (for example, a "thank you sponsors" blog post), we can contribute paragraphs to DPN and micronews.

Coverage during DebConf:

  • Depending on the availability of the persons doing the coverage, the daily schedule is publicized once a day (micronews with link to the website schedule) or several times a day (announcing the first events, the following in the morning, the events in the afternoon, etc).
  • Some years the DCSChedule IRC Bot has been programmed to post directly in Twitter. We didn't figure out how to do it for DCSchedule to publish to micronews, but we don't need it either (if we have a human summarizing blocks of the schedule, it's better).
  • Blogposts or news about the conference (published in Debian contributors personal blogs etc) can also be shown using micronews
  • This basic coverage can be made by anybody even in remote (just keep an eye on the schedule and the IRC channels and mailing lists), and from there, any other contribution (on-site interviews, blogposts etc) are also welcome.
  • The last day of DebConf a "traditional" announcement is published. A blogpost can be published too, including the group photo, once it's confirmed that is official.

[edit] 4.- Local media coverage

Coordinate, if needed, the media coverage about DebConf in local media (press contacts, help sponsors if the journalist needs/asks for sponsorship...)

Things done in the past about this topic:

  • When we publish announcements (CfP, for example), blog posts, news in the website, we send the URLs to the media so they mirror or write about them (for example, if DebConf happens in Spain, we should contact and send the URLs/news to Meneame, the Spanish reddit, and Barrapunto, the Spanish slashdot).
  • We can prepare specific material to be published in their sites (a "Press release"), in coordination with some journalist (for example, for DebConf15 there was coordination with FSFE).
  • We can offer/negotiate some kind of sponsorship for them to attend DebConf so they make a coverage themselves, first hand (for DebConf15 it was made with Linux Weekly News, with 8 articles published: ). This is up to the general DebConf team (and maybe budget team), not related to the Debian Publicity team.

[edit] 5.- Issues and ideas

  • Decide date of publication for each message item, so people in charge of writing it, or actually publishing it, can organize themselves or ask for help.
  • Which messages to publish in which media: We have very different target audiences (sponsors, people thinking bout going to debconf, people near Debian that will follow the conference by streaming, local people/organizations interested in knowing what is going to happen in their city, future Debian users/contributors). Debian publicity handled media is more known maybe to the Debian community. Usually news are published in and copied in the DebConfXX website (in the news section). This may be automated but currently it's done by hand (sending a MR against the DebConfXX website with the news already published in bits). When we have local Press Releases, the message needs to be reworded depending on the media and on the target audience. Usually each article published gets a micronews too (done by hand, too).
  • Proper English, review, or certain translations can be very needed. It's common that we need to act in a short margin of time (we don't have all the details until last moment, and when we have them, we need to be quick publishing, or it will not be news, because a mail to a public mailing list is already sent...). Relaying in only one person to publish everything is stressing and some things will not be published (life happens). Asking for review/proofread and/or translations (l10n-english and l10n-*) needs minimum 2 days margin.
  • Contacts with local media (or global tech media) so they amplify our voice is recommended, but difficult to achieve (currently, no list of press contacts...). Somebody is required to answer to journalists offering media coverage, and if possible, coordinate their coverage (see 4. above)
  • Live coverage of DebConf itself, or some kind of reports, interviews, photos... would be VERY NICE, but it's unlikely to happen if no dedicated person does it (debconf team is busy during DebConf, larjona not attending). A person at least caring about the microblogging is very desirable.
  • DebConf Publicity as entry point for Debian Publicity: If there are local volunteers (maybe not very involved in Debian) that help in DebConf publicity, they can jump to Debian Publicity team VERY EASILY (and vice-versa).
  • Usually we use the content created for the last DebConf as "initial drafts" for the next one, but we don't have set of templates etc. We just grep for the hashtags in micronews, and look to the former year in the bits or webwml repos.
  • In 2017 a DPN issue was made during DebConf, in collaborative edition with people there. If there are more contributors around, we may publish a "special" DPN issue only about DebConf, or prepare it for publishing the week after the conference finishes.
  • In 2018 we tried to add photos to some (few) micronews and it went well. We could prepare a set of photographs that we would like to publish, and try to talk with Aigars or other photographers so they make the photos for us.

[edit] 5.- Related pages

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