Danielle Strong 2017 Q&A: Communication and Outreach

[Note: Candidates were limited to 300 words for each answer.]

How would you approach improving org-related literacy of non-staff volunteers, staff, and members for all committees?

Org-related literacy is definitely an area where I think a lot of people – including myself – could use some guidance. Although we have our internal wiki for current volunteers & staff, finding the time to sit down and read through the information contained there can be a chore, and without any way to ask questions of relevant committees it can be less useful than you might think. I feel that the chat platform we are now using has helped greatly in this respect already, by giving committee members an opportunity to communicate outside of their own spaces more easily. There is definitely a more unified feel among committee members and with that a greater understanding of what other committees do.

Potentially we could improve this in two ways:

Firstly, we could have cross-committee meetings where committees get together to discuss their work (in a general, non-specific sense for committees that have confidentiality issues), and offer other members a chance to ask questions of them in an environment specifically for that, so no other conversations are being derailed.
Alternatively, we could ‘loan out’ volunteers to other committees (subject to that committee’s usual recruitment procedures) so they can get a hands-on sense of the work other committees do and meet/bond with members of other committees.
Naturally these may not be viable suggestions that could be implemented easily, or at all, so I would seek guidance from volunteers/staff/members on what they feel would be most useful to them to improve their org-related literacy, and work with them and other committees to ensure we can provide this assistance.

What is one way that you think the OTW can improve with regards to how information about its work reaches fans?

We already have numerous social media platforms and our regular newsletter, which is posted on the AO3 front page for Archive users, so improving this may be difficult from a Communications perspective as we are already doing a lot. Perhaps an opt-in copy of the Newsletter/News posts could be emailed to interested members, which would allow people who are interested to ensure they don’t miss news. If this were implemented I would probably suggest a one-time-only email go out to paid members informing them of the option, but advising them that if they don’t choose to opt-in they won’t receive any more communications about it, and add the information to the donation receipt email for future members to see. I would definitely work with the Communications committee to see what help Board can provide them in this area, as it falls more under their purview than Board’s.

What do you see as priorities for improving communication – both between the Board and individual committees, and between the OTW as a whole and fandom communities?

Communication between Board and committees has already improved immensely in the last couple of years, and the current Board are extremely approachable, which is something I would like to continue if I am elected. For improvement priorities I would like to ask for committee feedback directly to see what areas they feel Board could improve on in terms of communication and work with them to meet their needs.

As for communication between the OTW and fandom communities, again I would start by asking for feedback from those communities regarding how they see our current communication methods and what areas they feel we need to work on. It’s all well and good us trying to find ways to meet the needs of our members and users, but if we do so without any input from them it will be difficult if not impossible to determine if those changes are going to have any impact at all.

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