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Part 15: PR (PyCon 2008 Chairman's Report)

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

Summary

  • 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.

Media Coverage

—Daniel Schneider, Page One PR

Comments

Craig Oda said…
Daniel posted more information on the

Page One PR corporate blog
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