Can we combine communications and marketing?

Considering we don't really have a marketing team and having them separate has felt like a bust, can we officially just combine these teams?

+1 I would like to know why we have 2 different teams for this on the first place: communication is a marketing task.

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Probably the original idea behind having both the marketing and communications groups was to address the external and internal audiences. My understanding is that efforts on both fronts have not lived up to expectations, thus the drive to collapse them into one group.

Read esteele's comment and then come back.

To be clear though, communication with our internal audience is not a marketing task. Marketing is the act of buying and selling goods. In communicating with our developers, integrators, content contributors, designers, and CMS champions, we're not trying to sell them anything, we want to share information. Our goal is to strengthen the community that already exists so its members have the information, connections, resources, and support to continue, or want to start, contributing to Plone.

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well, I think that could be a philosophical discussion but, on my experience working on the private sector, marketing does a lot more than just selling stuff: marketing defines the products and services to be sold based on feedback taken from market needs.

in our case, I think it should be a marketing function to define which features must be available on the next version of our product and to manage a good communication strategy with the possible buyers of our services. I think is a bad idea letting developers do this because developers most of the time are going to take decisions based on technical issues and not on market needs.

that's why I think we need a strong marketing team with people knowing their business; obviously I'm not one of them and this is only my opinion.


I agree with @hvelarde. Plone has no marketing and we've driven away all the people who could have done marketing for Plone over the years.

We are doing something wrong and I suggest we change our attitudes toward it and our ideas on how it should work.


@hvelarde A few hours later I realized I didn't quite finish my thought. I should have ended with, "Without a great product, there's nothing to market." But I see your point and agree that marketing can be a good thing and also a what-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg discussion, to which great arguments can be made all around. Therein lies the magic and curse of self-formed teams! Get the right people together and they can accomplish anything, but if those people don't have synergy, it's gridlock.

@hvelarde IMO, the direction and future of Plone is the Board's responsibility. Based on last year's Plone Symposium Midwest and the conversations I've been a part of, I don't think they are shirking it. I think they're trying to release the gridlock. Thus, by focusing on communicating internally we can help get the right mix of people together—to do what? I think it depends on the alignment of what's needed and the people involved before that can really be answered.

Having said that, there are case studies that need to be written (research & materials have been collected) for the future, which will also be repurposed for plone news, and people are needed to write them. Let me know if you will help and I can get you started.

FWIW, I'm neither interested in nor will engage in blame games or dwelling on the past. I'm interested in today, tomorrow, and the day after; making good things happen; and teaming up with and connecting others who are also willing to make good things happen; hopefully, I'm not one of the few.


An OSS project like Plone needs to give decision makers a reason to want to choose it to solve their problems. It needs to provide a clear reason why developers and integrators should bother to take the time to learn it over it's competition.

Selling Plone isn't about money, obviously. It's about giving the impression of an active, vibrant, commercially viable product that solves a clear set of problems better than anything else. It's also about giving developers and integrators the impression that their problems and needs can be solved quickly and efficiently.

How? Well, I think "how" is a big subject all in it's own, and a lot of smart people have already discussed it. This discussion is kinda even part of "how." The community hasn't really figured it out yet.

That said, it seems to me that a marketing group needs to manage the landing page of Plone, and maybe the overall style of the Plone site. It needs to manage Plone's presence on 3rd party sources like ohloh, cms matrix, wikipedia, etc. It needs to manage Plone's own public interaction -- blog posts, social media, press releases, etc. and It needs to gather feedback from those places, and communicate it to the developers of the community. I think it also needs to help make documentation clean and presentable.

Note: I don't think it should do any of these things in isolation, above all a marketing group needs to be able to work with and facilitate communication between the various other teams.

Plone needs a long term strategic vision, for its product, its market segments or niches, its features driven and refined by the high priority market segments. That was one goal of restarting the strategy discussions at PSM13, and we considered how in the past there had been that kind of exercise. The marketing plan and execution of the marketing plan would be driven by the product vision. That's the theory, in any case.

I too would like to see launch in the short term because it will help focus and clarify our thoughts as a community.

We may not get 100% consensus on what we do over the next few months or years, but we do need to make some decisions and move forward. Staying in place in a disorganized way has hurt us. The only way to reestablish ourselves in the public's eye as a dynamic community with a direction that is clearly articulated is to make some choices now and not remain bogged down in arguments and disagreement.

Anyone disagree? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Honestly, this is great marketing talk :slight_smile: Honestly, what plone needs is people to do less speculating and more writing. I have over 20 pages on that need content that can be done at any moment. Just ask me for a login and you can have it. In the meanwhile, we will finish up the front end and get it pretty.

Thats write. I have images, video, case studies and a website that just needs people to write content. I propose that we switch from thinking about marketing for now to doing marketing and then strategizing once we have a place to start from.

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Hey Liz!

can you share some quick info about where we are at the moment with and its roadmap? any status doc around you can share?
I probably missed some communication.. TIA.

No problem. I was tasked with just getting something up. We never got any of the work that was done before so I tool the design that was up and have been working with steve, trish, and tyler to recreate. There was no content on what I was working with so I made a very simple architecture of placeholder content. Once we finish the design I will roll out with very limited content and all the placeholder architecture in private then whomever cares can add whatever they want :slight_smile: So basically, I'm not doing marketing. I'm making it possible for people to do marketing. Anyone who wants to help I'll happily give them a login to what we have.

I spent time at the last sprint collecting interviews for case studies. They are all recorded and Trish is working on the design for these case studies for The content is there and the design is almost done, so we need people to translate them.

So, looking for people to write several things:

  • content for vertical overviews. Only verticals to start are edu, ngo, gov and a general "other". This is the only content I would like before "go live". Kim is currently in charge of edu text.
  • put case studies up.

In addition I'm working with UWosh to get an intern for 8 hours a week. Once they are on board they will help translate the case studies I have gathered so far to begin.

Just to be extra clear - I am not participating in marketing. I'm getting the infrastructure up with a design that people seemed to like already (the one rebelx did) and fixing the info architecture to something that fits a slow progression of filling out the site. I'll be more of a permissions overlord and delegation helper.

In anyone, anyone wants to help there is a trello at which has all of the info that has been collected and articles that are ready to be written.

Christina is your overlord with respect to all of that and has been cranking out articles like a beast. I'm sure she could use help. She is driving all of our verticals now (pushing to linkedin, twitter, planet plone, etc) and we are working on a mailing list to start more broadcasting and less discussion like verticals.

I think thats the majority of what I know. I'm keeping all of this in public to avoid whatever keeps happening in this venue. If there are ANY questions please pose them here and if you want access to write then by all means let me know and I'll happily give you permissions and things to do!



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Is the design work done so far in Github? I'd hate to lose all the work done again.

I certainly trust you'll finish this, but buses happen...

Thanks Liz!

I'll try to make this status clear for the people at PLOG, hope for more volunteers to come and help, especially for the contents part.

as for the design, is this still the mockup?

as for the trello board, @3dogMcNeill please tell us if writing ideas in the "ideas" column is ok, or if it could be better to use until the idea is refined enough.

may it be the right one! :smiley:


@miziodel Feel free to add idea to the idea column on the Trello board. When there's enough information to go with the idea (contact info, goal/direction to take the idea) then it will be moved to the "Read to Start" column. If you have all that info when you create the card, feel free to go ahead and move it to that column. Thanks for asking!

Also, if anyone has suggestions on how to make the Trello board more useful and/or clear, let me know. I keep editing and adding columns as I get questions or am not sure myself what the status is of ideas in a column. It's a work in a progress and is subject to improvements as needed.

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Hi, can someone please add me to the trello board -> user mail

@acsr : Added.

@esteele : THX

IMO, the future of Plone should be responsibility of the whole Plone Foundation: the marketing team should propose the direction; future board members should speak clearly what do they think about this before they get elected so we can vote for the ones that represent better our interests; the elected board should analyze marketing proposals and prioritize some of them using resources available and they should present a report on the results at the end of their mandate.

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Thats the idea and always has been, its just never actually happened, or at least not in the time frames I'm aware of.

IMO, neither developers and integrators are decision makers: at the end, developers and integrators will develop an implement on top of what they bosses said they have to use; I've been involved on various projects that were decided by developers and/or integrators and most of the time they end badly. marketing is far beyond managing the landing page or style of a site.

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