This year as in years past (especially, I think, last year), the grass-roots blogging and word of mouth served to get the PyCon word out. This year we also tried something different: professional PR.
Last August Van Lindberg got in touch with Page One Public Relations, a PR firm specializing in open source companies. Page One offered their services to PyCon at a discount, and we took them up on the offer as an experiment, to promote PyCon and Python. Catherine Devlin and Van coordinated efforts with Daniel Schneider of Page One PR.
Daniel wrote and distributed four press releases, but much more importantly he arranged for multiple telephone, email, and in-person interviews with reporters, resulting in at least 25 articles, podcasts, professional blog posts, and event listings (listed below). I personally took part in several telephone interviews (5 or 6), some for podcasts, others for press. We don't know how many articles may have originated with the press releases.
When I asked Daniel about measuring the results, he told me that "You can measure the tangible results of PR by comparing the number of press clippings from last year vs. this year." I don't think we kept track of this last year (if it was even possible!), but I'm sure that we had a lot more coverage in the professional press this year than ever before.
Here's Daniel's report:
PyCon 2008: PR Report
October 2007 - March 2008
- PyCon 2008 received great coverage, both in terms of quantity and quality, for a small project. As a programming language, Python appealed to developer publications, such as Dr. Dobb’s Journal, as well as mainstream IT outlets like InfoWorld and eWeek.
- Most of the media opportunities occurred due to opportunistic pitching around PyCon itself, but also other cases arose to insert PyCon.
- PyCon 2008 chair David Goodger served as the primary spokesperson but select others, depending on topic, contributed as well.
- On top of written articles, PR for PyCon utilized audio components too, as there were [at least] four podcasts recorded and posted.
- InfoWorld, Paul Krill (11/21): “Python upgrades readied for 2008”
- .NET Developer’s Journal (a Sys-Con publication), Maureen O’Gara (11/29): “Python Creator Guido van Rossum to Present the Next-Generation Python 3000”
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal podcast, Mike Riley (1/28): “PyCon 2008 Conference”
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal, Jon Erickson (2/4): “Python in the News” in the Editor’s Eye piece
- Developer.com, Chris McAvoy (2/14): “Creating Excel Files with Python and Django” (contributed article)
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal (homepage—2/28): Podcast posted with picture of PyCon 2008 chair David Goodger and couple notes about the conference, with dates
- eWeek, Darryl Taft (3/3): “Sun Hires Python Experts”
- BZ Media Event Calendar (3/3): PyCon listed as upcoming event on upcoming conference schedule.
- LinuxOnline event listing (3/3): PyCon listed as upcoming event on upcoming conference schedule.
- Internetnews.com blog, Andy Patrizio (3/6): “Sun hires two more open source gurus.”
- E-Commerce Times/LinuxInsider, Erika Morphy (3/7): “Negroponte Goes Fishing for an OLPC Chief”
- O’Reilly FYI blog, Kathryn Barrett (3/12): PyCon Keynoter Van Lindberg shares insights on Intellectual Property
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal, Jon Erickson (3/13): “Does Geography Really Matter Anymore?” in the Editor’s Eye piece
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal blog, Mike Riley (3/15): “PyCon 2008: Day 1, Part 1”
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal blog, Mike Riley (3/15): “PyCon 2008: Day 1, Part 2: Guido van Rossum's Py3 Keynote”
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal blog, Mike Riley (3/15): “PyCon 2008: Day 1, Part 3”
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal blog, Mike Riley (3/15): “PyCon 2008: Day 2 Summary”
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal podcast, Mike Riley (3/16): “Silverlight and IronPython”
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal podcast, Jon Erickson/Mike Riley (3/16): “Johannes Woolard On Crunchy”
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal podcast, Jon Erickson/Mike Riley (3/16): “Guido van Rossum On Python 3 -- and More”
- Dr. Dobb’s Journal blog, Mike Riley (3/16): “PyCon 2008: Day 3 Summary”
- Developer.com, Chris McAvoy (3/17): “Building a Photo Gallery with Python and WSGI” (contributed article)
- Chicago Public Radio (Vocalo.org), Steve Walsh (3/18): Interview with PyCon 2008 chair David Goodger for general interest radio show [the interview starts at 1:31:30, or 1:30:25 on the on-line widget]
- InfoQ, Robert Bazinet (3/28): “Microsoft shows Django running on IronPython”
- InternetNews.com, Sean Michael Kerner (4/4): “Python Fans Take Aim at the Enterprise”
—Daniel Schneider, Page One PR