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Perl Marketing Redux - part three

Going Forward

Fri Jul 10 17:20:01 2020


In part one of this series I spoke a little about the new marketing team and the change of approach for the team. In part two I gave my own personal impressions of the Brand talk from the online Perl and Raku conference (#TPRCiC) held in late June 2020.

In this part I want to give some insight into what we might be doing next. As I write this we are in the process of documenting ideas and preparing for our monthly meeting, the first since the conference. That meeting will help formulate some of our next steps.

What follows is a series of ideas and a potential direction. It has been ‘shaken out’ of the conversations of the marketing influencers and feedback from the community. This is a proposal and is not concrete, we will be discussing and refining this over the next few weeks through meetings and in the online #marketing channel.

A Proposed Plan of Action.

This first thing we must do is have a series of initial goals. These are the ‘easy wins’ that will hopefully push us forward and help build the initial steps towards a cohesive message and destination.

These first steps are:

Define and improve our showcase. The showcase is the existing sites, projects and community initiatives that best display the language(s) at the moment. We need to enhance and highlight them. This is where we will attempt a common identity and show the beginnings of a brand message.

Create a badge, or identifying signature, that identifies a community resource as meeting the criteria for inclusion as a Foundation approved initiative. This allows us to showcase our own message, but not constrain people to it while also recognising what they do. There needs to be a publicly available list of what identifies approval.

There needs to be a page on the Foundation Website that shows: showcase sites and resources; affiliated (with a badge) sites and resources; others. This is not about exclusion. We have to identify sites that the Foundation is actively involved with as a partner; those that we feel share our message but have their own objectives and path; other sites that are part of our community.

There are too many variances in terms of: quality of information; use of identifiable logos; linking to approved resources; respect of trademarks, copyright, personal content; age of material (is it now so dated as to be inaccurate); imagery and perception. We have to offer help to the broader community to improve their sites as we improve our own as this will improve the overall perception of the languages and community.

Work with other TPF groups to ensure we have: a list of approved logos and badges; resources to help improve sites and logos; a series of mini case-studies to be used in promotion.

Decide if we need to brand The Perl Foundation under a different name. It seems unwise to keep it as just Perl when we are now representing a family of languages. So that should enter the broader discussion. TPF was (and still is) an organisation that trades as The Perl Foundation but was registered as Yet Another Society (YAS). A name change to reflect the languages it wishes to represent would be sensible.

The Next Strategic Steps

As a marketing team we have decided to have a regular meeting, this is in addition to online channels of communication such as emails and instant messaging. This meeting will be a monthly face-to-face and will help us sync the activities. We have been given a mandate to report progress to the regular TPF Board meetings that are held monthly.

An initial goal is to have a defined proposal of our first series of challenges, steps to complete them, and a detail of the necessary budget and resources needed by the TPF Board meeting in August.

The Goal and How to Measure It

This is a new direction for the marketing committee. We do not yet know how many people will wish to continue working with us, and how much they can realistically achieve. We also do not have an easy set of tasks to complete and they will need investment from maintainers and the broader community groups.

With that in mind it would be hard to set targets on what should be, or can be, achieved. It would also be pointless to measure what a success or failure looks like until we start to complete the tasks we have identified.

However what we can measure is the amount of the initial things we achieve. What resources have we identified and started to work with to bring the community together. We are not aiming for hegemony but identity, a shared feeling.

We can also judge what strategy we have in development and how much we have achieved of that strategy. We should also be able to see the larger issues and have a notion of the challenge.


I hope from these three posts that you have an insight into the challenges we will face as we attempt to evolve the brand and identity of both the Foundation and the broader Community. Our greatest challenge is that from the outside we look confused, directionless and fragmented.

The Foundation is not the head of a larger body. It is the linking chain between all the various moving parts of that broader Community. Our goal is to join us together and make the whole at least the sum of its parts, if not greater than.

You can join in on this conversation, and in on the broader initiatives. As always we value the feedback from the community. The current goals, plans and ideas are a distillation of our outreach and we do not feel that should stop. Please feel free to drop a comment or a thought to us.

In later posts I will start to discuss what criteria we develop for identifying those showcase and associated sites and I will also hope to share the discussions and outcomes on matters such as style brand and logos.

[Don't forget that you can join in this conversation by tweeting at @shadowcat_mdk].