Author Topic: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion  (Read 3990 times)

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Offline EcchiSpice

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2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« on: September 11, 2007, 09:16:02 pm »
Formal discussion will be held during elections. However, it is strongly encouraged that all candidates keep up on the forums during this time. This will give you a better idea of what will be expected of you should you win a new position.

PUBLICITY
*This description is based on my personal experience with the directorship. The following description is similar to, but may differ from, a finalized version of this department's official description in the charter.*

Director of Publicity is responsible for the following:

Promotion the convention via media of all relevant types
Coordination of events or booths at events where the typical attendees for the convention are available.
Creation and distribution of all publications related to the convention
Look of the website
Consistant branding of the convention in all media
Merchandise including the official convention tee shirts
Ad purchases in the convention publications

The Publicity Director will work with the Treasurer to ensure that all expenditures are accounted for in the department budget by the date specified by the treasurer and agreed upon by the Director of Publicity.

Failure to actively persue the above responsibilities is legitimate cause for a motion to dismiss by any member of the staff.

Please post your comments and questions for the nominees who have accepted the nomination for Director of Publicity below.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 09:16:06 am by guspasho »
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Offline EcchiSpice

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Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 09:27:17 pm »
Publicity nominees,

  • What new events do you plan on bringing the Kumoricon Street Team to this year?
  • How do you plan on taking advantage of online advertisements?
  • When do you plan on having flyers and/or posters ready for distribution?
  • What will your department do during the convention itself?
  • T-shirts and other merchandise arrived extremely close to the convention last year, and also at significant cost due to rush shipments and expedited production. How will you make sure this does not happen again this year?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 10:33:31 pm by TomtheFanboy »
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Offline Darkerlight

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Re: Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2007, 04:44:37 am »
  • What new events do you plan on bringing the Kumoricon Street Team to this year?


Depends on how many street team members we continue to have. I have best case and worse case schedules, both will be viewable at the meeting. There is simply too much to list for the -best- case since I believe in a strong community grass roots campaign and would be investing the buget accordingly. To be general though, I think it's time we branched out into community event activities such as parades and the yearly pillow fight or as a team in events such as Live Strong (though that particular one will be over before the elections even begin).

  • How do you plan on taking advantage of online advertisements?


As online ads have proved to be pretty ineffective in my experiance I would continue swaps as we have in the past and will post to community and event boards. If there is money left in the budget after street events and local ads, google advertisment would be the next step as they are one of the best in terms of results. If someone can show me a better idea I'm open to it if the click through justifies the cost.

  • When do you plan on having flyers and/or posters ready for distribution?


Two weeks from elections or whenever I can get the treasurer down to write a check to the printer. I have four print ready designs and would allow the newly formed staff to view, make sugestions, choose their favorite or submit a new design and tweak after the election in the meeting and online for seven days. Then it's off to print, I have a tight timeline.

  • What will your department do during the convention itself?


Contacting and following up previously arranged invites to press (T.V., radio, etc), setting escorts for any that show, manning the merch booth, and any left over will be sent to which ever department they gave preferance to be runners with in staff exchange or picture duty to capture and collect cosplay, event and panel shots for 2009 publicity use.

  • T-shirts and other merchandise arrived extremely close to the convention last year, and also at significant cost due to rush shipments and expedited production. How will you make sure this does not happen again this year?


Make arrangments to get the budget as soon as possible, submit tee and sweatshirt orders before the christmas season and all other merch ordered well in advance from the con to allow for production times and shipping delays.[/list]
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 10:46:00 pm by TomtheFanboy »
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Offline JeffT

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007, 03:57:34 am »
Hello. I am Jeff Tyrrill, current Director of Publicity (Kumoricon 2007). I also hold the position of Website Administrator (which is a position under the director in the org chart).

For Kumoricon 2006, I was the Copy Editor in the Publicity department. I wrote several documents, created most of the main con program and pocket guide, managed the online voting for the second of the two mascot contests that year (the one to select the 2007 mascot contest), and created the code for the 2007 web site.

Here is my plan and schedule for the Publicity department for 2008.

Within, are the dates I am targeting for each milestone. These are necessarily subject to change due to changes in work that needs to be done, unexpected difficulties, or other unforeseen factors. However, this basic schedule will be my plan, and if I am elected, the department's progress overall can be judged by how closely it meets this timeline.

A few important dates will be upgraded to "deadlines" once the con year begins, such as dates for finalizing the schedule that goes into the con book, ordering the books, submitting a budget to the board, and others as needed. These will be communicated well in advance to the staff who need to know them, if applicable.

Con books and swag bags
• 2007-10-26—Ad rates posted
• 2007-11-16—Con book ad for Kumoricon 2008 ready for swaps with other cons
• 2008-04-25—Ad solicitations sent and swag requests sent (latter might be done by relations instead)
• 2008-06-13—Final push for book advertising
• 2008-06-13—Mostly complete design, layout, and template for book
    o Hotel map
    o Restaurant map and times
    o Art
    o Photos
    o Clip art
    o Material not dependent on scheduling
• 2008-07-11—Mostly complete schedule, blurbs, data from programming; guests from relations; letter and photo from chair
• 2008-07-21—Drop-dead date for content CHANGES from other departments, ads, staff list
• 2008-07-28—Submit to printer

Mascot and cover contests
• 2008-04-16—Open of contests and entries, rules posted
• 2008-06-18—Close of entries
• 2008-07-02—Open of voting
• 2008-07-09—Close of voting

Web site
• Continuous:
    o Maintain timely news and information on all pages
    o Post relevent information in a timely manner for other departments as needed
    o Maintain event calendar
    o Maintain image galleries
    o Improve at-con event scheduling system
    o Maintain and continually improve technical components of web site and forum systems
• 2008-08-25—Graphic mockup or detailed design plan of 2009 site finished
    o This may be pushed sooner if needed depending on site complexity
• 2008-09-21—(or sooner if ready) 2009 site launches

Kumoricon 2008 graphic design
• Initial version will be incorporated in 2008 web site prior to elections
• 2007-11-06—Posters and flyers with updated version submitted to printer
• 2007-11-16—Posters and flyers ready for pickup
• 2008-02-15—More design elements finished for newsletter, press kit, con book

Street team
• Informally can begin as soon as have posters and flyers
• 2007-11-30—Formal "policy" will be finished and street team "officially launches"
    o Street team distribution letter finished
    o Policy on swag and bag advertising complete (sooner if necessary)
    o Some parts of street team policy may be dependent on con-wide policy concerning volunteers decided by new board

Press
• Newsletter and press kit will be created in tandem and overlap in content
    o Newsletter targeted toward attendees and potential attendees
    o Press kit targeted toward press
• 2007-11-30—Initial press/publicity page on website with instructions for requesting press badge
• 2008-02-15—If possible, received from programming department summary information on major and minor events they'd like to promote
• 2008-03-07—Initial press outreach (any press releases for guests of honor, etc. may be sent prior as needed)
    o First version of press kit and first newsletter finished—ready to give to interested press
    o Expanded press/publicity page on website with links to press coverage and press releases
• 2008-06-20—Review completed of press materials (press kit, outreach emails) to determine that they are "press-friendly" for maximum attention
• 2008-06-27—Press outreach for magazines, weekly newspapers, monthly events/newsletters—second newsletter issue finished
• 2008-08-18—Press outreach for daily newspapers
• 2008-08-25—Press outreach for TV and radio—third newsletter issue finished
• 2008-08-29—Reminder for TV and radio

Information outlay
• 2007-11-30—All general background and historical information on website for five years of Kumoricon history—can be cited in Wikipedia article
    o Venues
    o Counts for attendees, staff, and volunteers
    o If possible:
        ■ Vendors lists
        ■ Charity auction donors
        ■ Sponsors

Merchandise
• Ask for interest in promotional merchandise during pre-reg, or even take orders for items with registration (particularly T-shirts)
• If interest, may create some merch much earlier than below schedule to sell at events—however, would prefer t-shirts at con because that is tradition for cons
• 2007-11-30—Initial outlay and planning complete for budgeting purposes
• 2008-05-30—Design, items, and quantities planned for most items—located vendors for most items
• 2008-06-27—Finalization of all of above, including vendors for all items including unusual ones
• 2008-07-04—Placed orders for and begin creation of most merchandise items (earlier if needed)
• 2008-07-11—Placed orders for all merchandise items unless specific reason for delay on particular item

Promotions
• 2007-10-19—Contact any cons for ad swaps that are coming up soon
• 2007-11-30—Initial report on planned promotions for year—for budgeting and planning purposes
    o Must weigh factors such as interest for potential new attendees, fun for current attendees (which promotes interest ultimately leading to new attendees) vs. cost and staff effort
    o Best source for new attendees remains Portland and Oregon
    o Opportunities
        ■ Tables at local events
        ■ Online advertising and trades
        ■ Con ad swaps
        ■ Con table swaps
        ■ Con flyers swaps
        ■ Clubs
        ■ Event listings and calendars
• Continuous
    o Continue above
    o Seek out press opportunities
    o Contact local anime clubs for promotional trades

Signage
• Will work with staff doing publications to create sign appearance
• 2008-06-13—Mostly complete template for various signs (same date as for con book design)
• 2008-07-25—Mostly complete list of signs around the convention
• 2008-08-01—Most signs designed and ready to print
• 2008-08-08—Final list of any remaining signs, and change requests—signs can be printed and assembled

Organizational
• 2007-11-16—Detailed job postings up on forums for most unfilled positions
    o Job description, tasks, and skills
    o Requirements and responsibilities
    o Evaluation criteria
• Date that board sets (typically January or earlier)—Budget submitted to board

Policies
• Regular reports with managers
    o Spending and budget needs (especially before budgets finalized)
    o Progress reports
    o Needs (staff, assistance, information, meeting, etc.)
    o Processes
    o Staff comments (particularly good contributions by staff, problems with a person on staff, etc.)
• Regular reports to public (general meetings)
    o Progress on issues in publicity plan
    o Staff positions open
    o Volunteer opportunities available
• General staff expectations
    o Follow con-wide staff policies and attendee policies
    o Fulfill responsibilities in specific job description
    o Stay in communication (respond to emails)
    o Meet deadlines when given
    o Stay aware of general Kumoricon news, and attend meetings (general or otherwise) if and when needed
    o Professionally represent Kumoricon, when applicable
The above will be emphasized in postings for open staff positions.

Org chart
• Promotions manager
    o Assistant(s)/staff as needed
    o Photography coordinator
        ■ Actually take photographs and video
        ■ Additional staff as extra photographers and/or editors/producers (as needed based on workload)
        ■ Work both at and after con, and at and after promotional events
    o Event coordinator (as needed based on workload)
        ■ Plans appearances at promotional events
    o Contact coordinator (as needed based on workload)
        ■ Contacts press, organizations we can partner with for promotion, clubs to discuss opportunities
• Publications manager (oversees con book, press kit, newsletter, printed material, graphic design of web site)
    o Design/layout coordinator
    o Content coordinator
    o Writer/copy editor
    o Sign coordinator
• Street team manager
• Merchandise manager
• Web site manager (oversees technical administration and manages software development)
    o Programming/administration staff
    o Forum moderator (under discussion)

Volunteer opportunities (non-exhaustive)
• Street team
• Promotional table manning
• Merchandise staff
• Press accompaniment at con and promotional events
• Photographer (can be done on volunteer basis, or as staff if commit to significant agreed-upon body of work and/or coordinator position)

Answers to questions asked of the nominees:

What do you feel was the worst thing to go wrong this year?
I'll answer this regarding the Publicity department: We did not get enough advertisements in the program book. The potential income from these advertisements is significant and helps fund the con. Due to not having a clear schedule in advance, and me getting behind on things, solicitations for advertisements were sent out much too late, and it was clear that some companies would have advertised if they had had more warning so they could budget for it. A second problem is that the department was understaffed.

What would you do, if elected, to keep that from happening?
The plan you see above is what I am doing to keep that from happening. Having been Director of Publicity for a year, I have a much better idea of the timeline of all the tasks and am now setting appropriate deadlines for each component.

To better manage and attract staff,

(a) I am publishing the organizational chart in advance of elections, and

(b) I will publish in November (see timeline above) detailed job descriptions so people interested in becoming staff and volunteering know what opportunities are available, and what is expected of them in terms of type of work, requirements, skills, responsibilities, and timelines.

What was/is/will be your major in college?
Computer Science. Graduated in 2005 from University of Washington. I currently am working as a software developer.

What managers and ancillary staff do you plan on recruiting for your department?
See the org chart above. I will focus on filling all important positions. Some positions remained unfilled this year.

Where do you stand on the issue of benefits for volunteers? Should volunteers be given the same benefits as staff? Should volunteers be given the same right to a vote that members of Altonimbus (staff) have, without necessarily becoming members?
"Staff" is a special status that needs to have certain benefits reserved for itself, and not given to all volunteers. It is true that all people who put on the con are volunteers, but a member of staff has accepted a certain scope of responsibility and agreed to a set of policies that apply specifically to staff. There are penalties for not meeting these responsibilities including removal from staff, which includes having to pay the difference between staff and attendee price to attend the con, or remain at the con, if they are removed during the con.

All staff implicitly represent the con, even if their job description doesn't relate to press or PR, or put them in a position of explicitly giving direction to attendees (yojimbo, reg staff, etc.). This is one reason why there is a special demarcation of benefits and responsibilities for this status.

Voting rights is an important part of this demarcation. It's important to the long-term direction and stability of the organization that those people putting in the work and taking on areas of responsibility are the ones making decisions, notably voting on elected officers and other issues such as amendments to the bylaws. This most emphatically does not mean that the opinions of those who cannot vote don't matter. This is why all general meetings including the elections meeting are open to the public, and any member of the public may speak. But the system of elections put in place by the bylaws is a structured system which needs to assign certain rights and powers to certain positions and reserve some rights and power to certain positions, and reserving voting rights for only staff is a component of this.

However, I also recognize that some volunteers work extremely hard, rivaling the amount of some people who become staff. Also, some staff positions don't have an adequate amount or clearly-defined level of responsibility. Therefore, recognizing these multiple issues:

(a) I support volunteers getting some benefits in recognition of volunteering, but not all or even most staff benefits.

(b) I don't think volunteers who work a set number of hours should automatically become staff, or otherwise receive all staff benefits. This doesn't qualify as an area of responsibility.

(c) I made a long post about this issue earlier this month, proposing a re-organization of some staff positions and of how volunteer opportunities are treated. It provides a route for those working a specific commitment of "volunteer-style" jobs to become staff. It also makes many organizational and logistical improvements to the con. I suggest all who are concerned about this issue read my post.

How do you think non-performing directors should be held accountable? Should they be held accountable by the board? Should their performance be discussed by the staff during mid-year? What kind of failures do you think justifies forcing an elected director from office via a recall election?
Currently, the bylaws specifies that board members are removed from their position only by a vote of the body that elected them (2/3 for board-elected positions, and majority (over 1/2) for membership-elected positions). I would support changing this so that either the entire voting membership, or just the board, can remove any board member with a 2/3 vote of those in attendance at an official meeting where notification has been given in advance of the vote. The bylaws do not specify specific reasons where a board member must be removed, or where the electing body should remove a member. This is legally difficult to do. Currently, and in my opinion it is best to remain this way, the body with this right can exercise it for any reason at all. I think giving both the entire voting membership body, and the board, the right to remove any board member with a 2/3 vote is a good system of checks and balances. Either body can remove a board member if it feels they are not doing a good job, or are otherwise not helping the organization. 2/3 vote is a high enough bar, most likely, to prevent frivolous removals, but it can be practically attained when it is necessary to remove somebody.

I think going into the 2008 year, it should be made abundantly clear among the board that neglecting the following things is cause for removal of a board member:

(a) Not submitting a budget on time. I think there should be a "draft" date, and a "drop-dead" date. If you miss the "draft" date, you were late, and should have a good reason, but it can be tolerated. If you miss the "drop-dead" date and never submitted a quality draft, you should expect another board member to initiate the notification procedure for a vote of removal for the next board meeting. (If you submit a budget in the meantime, then it's still up to the board to decide what to do.)

(b) Missing meetings without making arrangements with an assistant to give a report and handle important business. This doesn't mean you can't ever miss a meeting, even at the last second (sudden car break-down, illness, etc.). Unforeseen circumstances happen. But we can tell whether you are making the appropriate effort or not, and making arrangements if you can't be there. If two or three missed meetings go by without you making arrangements, the board should be asking what is going on.

(c) Not being reachable via email or other means. This is a required part of the job (not just of board members but all staff, and especially of directors). It is understood that we can be flooded in email and things can be missed or forgotten. But ignoring urgent issues and/or follow-up reminders is unacceptable.

Finally, I think the 2008 board should continue the attempt starting in 2007 to deliver regular department reports to the chair. This fizzled this year, but it needs to happen for 2008. Not only does this increase communication and facilitate business, but it prevents board members from not doing their job and nobody knowing whether they are doing their job or not. The exact format and frequency of these reports should be determined by experimentation. It could be written, or done via online chat, for example. If the reports are written, then most likely, these reports will go to the chair, but will be viewable by the entire board. Portions might also be visible to all staff, or to the public.

To what standard would you expect your staff to perform? Do you expect them to work both at the convention and beforehand? At what point would you be willing to fire one of your staff for non-performance of their duties?
Please see the above section on "policies". I would use this as a guide for evaluating staff. In my postings for staff position openings, I would make this criteria clear, including evaluation criteria for the specific position, and that removal from staff can occur by failing to meet the requirements. In particular, not responding to communication and reminders, missing agreed-upon deadlines without explanation, and missing agreed-upon meetings or work shifts will count strongly against you, and depending on severity, may result in removal or be considered in conjunction with other reasons in considering a removal.

In the Publicity department, there are many positions where nearly all of the responsibility lies prior to the convention. (However, sometimes there are still connected components that occur during the convention.) For these positions, I would not automatically require unrelated work at con unless the board decided to make this a staff-wide requirement. I don't think there is a need for this, because people vary a lot in their willingness to commit time to the con, and type of desired work, and if somebody is willing to take on a large amount of pre-con responsibility that doesn't easily lend itself to related at con work so they can be free for most of the con, I think that is fair. We have a diverse staff and the diversity of positions allows for this. Keep in mind, that I am referring to positions that don't specify an at-con component. If a position does specify an at-con component, then you will definitely be required to fulfill it.

What new events do you plan on bringing the Kumoricon Street Team to this year?
Street team already has incredible coverage. We actually had a business ask us what advertising company handles our flyer distribution! (Answer: None, of course!)

I've been thinking over ideas for making street team more interesting. One of these could be some sort of scavenger hunt that encourages attendees to seek out and locate our flyers. This game would be a promotional tool in itself. The fact that our attendees are strong locally in Portland means that many of them will see lots of our flyers, already. Such a game or activity would also help cross-promote businesses that display the flyers and posters, and encourage more to display them, or display them more prominently.

How do you plan on taking advantage of online advertisements?
We had advertisements at AnimeCons.com, Advanced Anime, and Soulgeek this year via ad swaps. I would continue limited online advertising, but it is not a planned large area of expansion, because many sites cannot effectively geotarget to the Portland/Oregon area and ads become less effective in terms of the cost because Kumoricon mostly draws locally for attendance. I would like to continue trades for online advertising because the value gain is more clear. Giving extra con book space only costs us the extra printing cost of that page, as opposed to the cost of buying an online ad outright. Furthermore, anime web sites with whom we trade are more likely to unofficially promote us and mention us due to the shared goals and personal interaction in the trade.

The Advanced Anime trade worked very well as a piece of cross-promotion, so I'd like to pursue more of this type of ad trade.

When do you plan on having flyers and/or posters ready for distribution?
Mid-November (see above calendar for timelines). The reason they are not ready immediately after elections is that we are still working on the graphic design for Kumoricon 2008. This will launch on the web site before elections. It will then be enhanced further before the flyers and posters are printed.

Whether I or my opponent is elected, we would likely compare designs and perhaps incorporate elements from them into the final design. :)

What will your department do during the convention itself?
• Greet and accompany press.
• Maintain any online web systems such as the live web scheduling system.
• If we have the necessary equipment, print updated signage and documents.
• Photograph and video-record events.
• Sell merchandise and T-shirts.

T-shirts and other merchandise arrived extremely close to the convention last year, and also at significant cost due to rush shipments and expedited production. How will you make sure this does not happen again this year?
I have incorporated merchandise into my above schedule, and will be following it more closely to ensure that all important tasks are done on time including the ordering of the items.

how do each of the candidates plan on helping make sure their budgets get approved in a more timely fashion?
By simply doing it by the due date. :) To some extent each department just needs to sit down and recognize it as a critical task of the convention, and do the work. More specifically, I would early on review the components of the budget, and do the necessary research in advance if I needed more information to determine the amount to budget for that component.

Um, where are all the nominees from?
I live in Mercer Island, WA (15 minutes from downtown Seattle). The distance from Portland is not a problem for me. I attended every general meeting except one in each of the 2006 and 2007 con years (and for both of those meetings, I notified in advance that I would be missing, and had an assistant in my place for the one in 2007). I also have attended other Kumoricon social gatherings in the Portland area which don't coincide with meetings, so I'm quite willing to make the trip to be more involved with the con.

What are your ideas for new content for Kumoricon 2008? Panels, sponsors, groups, anything?
I'd like to continue expanding the content on the web site. This includes fun and promotional information (photo and image galleries), historical information (archives of past con books, factual history), and event information (details on what is coming at next year's con).

If the department can get the necessary staff, I would like to make an "upgrade" to the con book so that it has a more polished and impressive graphic design and layout.

----

I'm eager to answer any other questions anyone may have, about the timeline, plan, my answers to these questions, or new issues. In particular, please ask if you have any specific questions or concerns about particular dates, or if I missed any questions already posted.

Thank you for reading!
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 07:32:07 am »
Wow Jeff!

Um, I would like to know both of your guys' favorite flavors of Pocky.
Tom the Fanboy
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Offline Mr_Mustash

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 02:40:05 pm »
Question to the Nominees:

Do you think it would be a good idea to rent a theater and show an Anime me movie the Friday night before the convention? (See related thread = http://www.kumoricon.org/forums/index.php?topic=5632.new#new)
KCon '08: Forum Mod/Tech Staff
KCon '09: Panelist
KCon '10: Badge #1
KCon '11: Hung out in hotel rooms. Got krunked.
KCon '12: LOLOLOL. NOPE. PAX PRIME.


Offline JeffT

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 10:48:09 pm »
D'oh, I missed a few questions!

If you (the candidate) were elected and had the opportunity to restructure the organization, what major changes would you make? That is, new/removed/changed departments, and/or moving major functions from one department to another.
I would use great caution in changing very much. Some of the reasons:

(a) People are used to how it is working now, and it has worked fairly well for awhile.

(b) Exact organizational structure is less important than other convention qualities, such as policies and morale.

(c) A sort of structure arises chaotically and automatically which is different than the official org charts. The convention treats bureaucracy as blockage and routes around it. This can cause its own problems, and may even be against policy, so I don't necessarily condone it, but it can also be done properly if necessary. This means things can get done even when somebody isn't doing their job, and it also means that if the official org chart is not optimal, it isn't a disaster per se.

(d) A major reorganization is a lot of work which can distract from more important matters.

If reorganization is done, it should be with sufficient justification, and gradual when implemented if there is uncertainty.

Here is one such example where changes in a situation may warrant a reorganization: We now have two computer programmers in Publicity staff, and also two in Operations staff (working on separate projects). In Publicity, they are working on operational issues relating to the web site, and not really issues relating to decisions about "publicity". It might make more sense to move the technical administration and software development of the web site into Operations, while control of the content and graphics remains with Publicity.

There are advantages to each system. The graphical form, layout, and navigation of the web site has implications for the technology implementation. However, the computer programming staff could more easily work together on related projects, or even the same projects, if they were under one manager. I've been discussing this very issue with these staff members, and the board, recently.

A related, more broad, question, is: Should the org charts and the positions therein be designed based on areas of responsibility, or the skills of those filling them? It seems that in practice, it has leaned more toward the former.

There are lots of factors weighing on each side, so there aren't usually easy answers to questions like these.

(BTW: If the web site technical administration and software development were moved to Operations, I would apply to hold this management position, also. I've been doing it within the Publicity department already—only my boss would change. My new boss would be somebody else, rather than myself. :))

Also, several of you have spoken of removing people when necessary and wanting to force the directors to be accountable to the point of having them removed, but if push comes to shove, what will you do to guarantee follow-through on that?  There have been instances in the past where directors have failed to do their job as stated in the job description and nothing happened to them.
I've mostly answered this earlier. But to add:

Personally, I will be willing to vote to remove a director if, in my judgment, it is in the best interest of the organization and if that decision is in alignment with the intent of any relevant statements in the governing bylaws. I would place this decision above any friendships I had with that person, as a moral, and probably legal, obligation (and in fact, I would not consider it unjust with regard to any friendship).

I will also understand that other board members will apply the same standard to me, as a board member.

What do each of you plan to do to improve inter-departmental communication?  How do you plan to make sure department heads do not step on each others' toes as far as decision making goes?
If by asking these together, you're implying that such goals can be at odds, then you'd be right. Getting this balance right is partly a matter of experience.

I tend to pay attention to con-wide news and issues even when they are not in my department. I think it's important for the board members to do this, and it would be a good idea for many staff members to do this, too.

A guideline to keep in mind (both for general staff and board members) for not interfering with others' work, is: Am I making a decision that affects the work of the con in a manner outside of my job description? If so, then permission should first be obtained from the staff member who does have the issue in the scope of their job description. This DOES apply to directors, as well.

If directors disagree on who handles what, and the disagreement cannot be resolved, then a board resolution is needed. The decision of the board is then final and binding until and unless it is superceded by a subsequent board resolution.

As to what I personally plan to do:

(a) Submit regular reports according to what the 2008 board requires.

(b) Sometimes attend meetings or read meeting minutes or reports from other departments.

(c) If I need something from another department, ask early enough so that they have time to best provide the assistance.

(d) Approach the other department with my concerns if I have a suggestion, or want to do something that may affect them.

I wonder if nominees would be comfortable to outline for readers who might not know, their background, if any, in attending, volunteering for, being panelists for, staffing, and/or being management for other conventions; what positions, if any, they will hold for other conventions in 2008; what differences they have noted between their other convention(s) and KC; and what they can personally promise that they will do to retain what makes KC unique (and perhaps what they think does make KC unique).
I also have been staff for Sakura-Con for 2006, 2007, and in progress for 2008 as the position of Video and Support Coordinator. This position prepares the automated video playback systems in the con's video rooms, and provides technical A/V support during the con.

At Kumoricon 2006, I gave a "Name That Tune" panel, a game in which the players identify anime music. I don't have any panels for any con planned at the moment, but would like to give one or more panels again at Kumoricon and/or other cons relating to anime music. I don't have a timeline for this.

The first Kumoricon I attended was in 2005. I regret not discovering Kumoricon before 2004, as that year sounded like a blast. :( I've attended (including staffing) a total of 13 anime conventions, and also one convention devoted to the subject of planning other fan conventions (sci-fi, furry, anime, etc.).

My staff work for Sakura-Con only barely overlaps what I have been doing for Kumoricon. This is one of the reasons that I like being staff at both conventions—I get to do more stuff!

Each convention has its qualities and drawbacks but I act fully in support of each convention while staffing for it. I like to see each convention excel in the things I am personally doing for it. In some ways, this puts the conventions in a competition with each other, but I view it in a constructive, not primarily competitive sense—how good can this con do this to set the standard in this area. In a broad sense, I see separate anime conventions in general as not in competition (as similar for-profit businesses would typically be), but in a great position to cooperate with each other as they typically have almost the exact same visions and goals.

Two qualities that I see particularly in Kumoricon are:

(a) The feeling of a relaxed, laid-back environment

(b) Emphasis on the cute and loving aspects of anime

An example of the latter is having a chibi version of the mascot, which we will continue.

Do you think it would be a good idea to rent a theater and show an Anime me movie the Friday night before the convention?
Without having checked the prices and possibilities yet, this strikes me as not within our reach, unfortunately. I think rental of a theater and of a film print would be too expensive to justify. With that money, we might be able to buy a 1080p projector instead and show the movies in Blu-Ray format that Bandai Visual USA has been releasing recently, and probably have money left over for other video room upgrades which would last permanently.

Um, I would like to know both of your guys' favorite flavors of Pocky.
Oh man, now for a hard question! I'm just gonna take the escape route and say the strawberry Pocky with the chunky pieces. However, you have my authorized permission to substitute a more exotic flavor of your choice. :)
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2007, 12:41:05 pm »
great replies, except that i personally see the biggest differences between sc and kc as the proportion of emphasis on fan creations vs. industry creations, and in the way staff relate with each other more informally with more of a family feel.

do you see such as positives, negatives, or perhaps have a different perspective on those?

also i'd love to hear from other candidates.

also how much should the content of the programming guide and the con book be decided by publicity vs. programming?

also how much should folks in programming other than the chair work with publicity? or is that only necessary when the chair is inaccessible or running a little behind?
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline JeffT

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2007, 11:17:30 pm »
great replies, except that i personally see the biggest differences between sc and kc as the proportion of emphasis on fan creations vs. industry creations, and in the way staff relate with each other more informally with more of a family feel.

do you see such as positives, negatives, or perhaps have a different perspective on those?

also i'd love to hear from other candidates.

also how much should the content of the programming guide and the con book be decided by publicity vs. programming?

also how much should folks in programming other than the chair work with publicity? or is that only necessary when the chair is inaccessible or running a little behind?


I support both industry and fan creation involvement in fan conventions and feel that each is a huge benefit to the con.

Industry brings us the shows that really are the base of what we all love.

Fan creations bring us a huge breadth of content that would not otherwise be created either because it would not be profitable commercially, or because there is not an official path for its creation.

I believe each is hugely beneficial to the other (if the groups can even be separated as such) and I don't see either one as overpowering the other at Kumoricon and similar cons, or really even being in conflict. Therefore, I would not feel that increased involvement of one in any way hindered the other. In fact, I have been hugely impressed by how much the two groups are in active harmony with each other. One example of this is how involved industry tends to be in actively helping fandom, whether it be in convention appearances, almost universal free permission to screen content, or the tradition of announcing new licenses at fan conventions. Another is the fanart community, where people express their love for their favorite anime shows and characters by creating derived but original works, and how industry almost universally regards this as beneficial promotion, rather than something to be stopped. Alongside the accepted tradition of selling fanart in Artist Alley, is the respect for the original industry works also by disallowing bootlegs of industry content in the dealer's room.

That said, I think as a fan convention, Kumoricon should always be run--meaning staff and board members--by fans. Not industry, or a mix of industry and fans. Kumoricon has a relationship with industry, it is not industry itself. (Unless you count the "anime con industry" specifically.) These relationships do include advertising, such as in the convention program. But these advertisements are comparatively a small portion of the budget and Kumoricon is not dependent on them for its survival or general rate of growth, so I don't see that factor as a problem.


The publicity department traditionally creates the program book, as it involves communication with the attendee and potential-attendee public, and graphic and layout design closely incorporating Kumoricon's branding and theme. The department does, however, use the schedule and event descriptions provided by the programming department. But Publicity copy edits them and can edit them for length. I believe that this division makes sense. If elected, this year, I plan to consult Programming earlier on in the year to find out what specific events they would like Publicity to more heavily promote.


Department communications: Departments need not communicate through the chair, and usually won't. They will talk directly to each other. But directors should keep the chair in the loop, especially if the issue involves more than just the two departments. This can be extended generally, to:

Staff under different managers (or directors) can talk to each other and work with each other directly. But, each of them should keep their direct superior (be it coordinator, manager, director, or chair) informed. This might, in some cases, include prior approval, but doesn't necessarily. The important guidelines to remember are don't interfere with another staff position's official job description, and don't take action that represents the con outside of one's official job description.
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Offline Darkerlight

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2007, 03:02:52 am »
great replies, except that I personally see the biggest differences between sc and kc as the proportion of emphasis on fan creations vs. industry creations, and in the way staff relate with each other more informally with more of a family feel.

do you see such as positives, negatives, or perhaps have a different perspective on those?

also i'd love to hear from other candidates.

also how much should the content of the programming guide and the con book be decided by publicity vs. programming?

also how much should folks in programming other than the chair work with publicity? or is that only necessary when the chair is inaccessible or running a little behind?


I see it as very positive that Kumori has a bigger emphasis on fan creation and fan run events proportional to industry creation. Kc and Sc have two very distinctive flavors, two very different personalities and I'm glad that we've been able to keep that distinction. I love going to Sakura because it’s Sakura and I love going to Kumori because it's Kumori. It wouldn't be as enjoyable if the cons cloned each other. I'm glad that both cons are able to work so closely with each other without losing what makes them unique.

It is impressive, as Jeff said, that the two groups (industry and fan creation) work in such active harmony. It's a mutually beneficial relationship which does include some advertisement and sponsorship and they do provide the content (anime, manga) that we all know and love. I would not pit these two against each other but I have been very open in saying that I think we are heading towards commercialization and an elitist attitude, frankly this worries me. Our direction needs to change. I believe that we need to know our roots and take a close look at the way we use our industry relationships and advertisement to promote the con and how it will affect the flavor and atmosphere of this year's con and the ones to follow.

The way that Kc and Sc relate as staff is also very distinctive and I feel that neither way is better, both are quite different. I also feel that although we aren't adopting the Sc staff feel that we are beginning to lose some of our "family feel" which is also quite worrisome to me and I would continue to do everything I can to build our community, not just our fan base.

As far as Programming vs. Publicity is concerned (especially for the guide and con book) I think that the staff should make an effort to communicate on a frequent basis, directors should stay both informed and actively involved, the chair should be updated and maybe involved if they wish to be but it should not be something that is a nessesity. Chairs were never meant to be relay stations -thats what a phone is for- and should not be treated as such. Everything publicity does over the course of its year is to promote what programming will be doing and because of this I would like to see them take a more active interest before con to help set the scene. For example I would like to see programming giving suggestions for tournaments, events, and advertisement they would like to see a presence in and possibly helping street team as long as it in no way became a determent to their current positions. I would, in turn, like to see some of street team or publicity staff trade off to help other departments or run panels during con.

In addition to that, I would like to see Programming have a more active role in graphic design and layout of the blurbs, but believe that is up to the director that takes the position weather or not they wish to run their office like that. The divisions already in place for the book should hold for the reasons Jeff listed but also for one more: timeline. Someone has to be there to say definitively 'this is enough, we need this to go to print now' or we'd never meet the deadline for con.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2007, 03:06:41 am by Darkerlight »
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2007, 01:59:33 pm »
I basically agree with all of the above, love you both and thank you both for your conscienctious replies.

I share the desire to retain a "family feel" and obviously come from a position of fan creation bias, but there can be ways to incorporate input from industry without losing that, so long as it remains a deliberate focus.
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2007, 11:43:32 pm »
Just to clarify, you do mean "family feel" as in, those of us who are staffing/attending feel like an extended family together (As nakama is often used for in anime)?  As opposed to some other definition, more like 'family friendly'.  (Not that I'm against having family friendly events/time blocks, but young/older adult themed items make up areas of interest that are sadly quite under-served by North-American cultures.)
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Offline Darkerlight

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2007, 05:26:12 am »
Just to clarify, you do mean "family feel" as in, those of us who are staffing/attending feel like an extended family together (As nakama is often used for in anime)?  As opposed to some other definition, more like 'family friendly'.  (Not that I'm against having family friendly events/time blocks, but young/older adult themed items make up areas of interest that are sadly quite under-served by North-American cultures.)

hmmm... good question. In my response I was refering to family feel as staff/attending like an extended family, is that also what you were refering to Rem?
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: 2008 Publicity Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2007, 01:29:32 pm »
oh definitely. i definitely meant having a warm welcoming familiar staff environment. personally i am more interested in the adult rather than chibi oriented programming
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).