Submissions:2019/Putting Institutional Partners at Ease: Becoming a Reliable Guide in an Unfamiliar Landscape

From WikiConference North America
Jump to: navigation, search

This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2019.


Putting Institutional Partners at Ease: Becoming a Reliable Guide in an Unfamiliar Landscape


Reliability of Information
+ Relationship Building & Support

Type of session:



Presentation Slides: File:Putting Institutional Partners at Ease Becoming a Reliable Guide in an Unfamiliar Landscape WCNA 2019.pdf

As Wikimedia DC’s Institutional Partnerships Manager, I actively engage with up to 40 new and established partners each year. This has given me experience in building relationships with both returning partners and those who have little to no knowledge of how to host Wikipedia events or engage with Wikimedia projects.

During my presentation, I will share tips for being a reliable and accessible guide when leading new and possibly skeptical partners through the planning process. My presentation will not address how to recruit new partners, but rather how to move forward once interest has been expressed.

I am aware that conference attendees may already have extensive experience planning editing events and initiatives. While my approach may not be groundbreaking, I hope that some of these tips may help attendees to enhance their own processes or possibly validate their established practices.

Below are select steps for effective partnerships. Additional steps will be added as I craft my slide deck. I will also include cases studies and tips for troubleshooting.

Establish your baseline: Potential partners come from a variety of fields. Even the most casual conversations can lead to partnerships that ultimately result in edit-a-thons, editing workshops and/or broader collaborative initiatives that help partners to share their resources with the world.

When working with new partners, you must first determine what the partner knows about engagement. Ask pointed questions with the goal of learning about previous experiences. Has your lead contact attended an editing event in the past? Do they know what it means to edit? It’s always best to start from the beginning than to assume previous experience.

While Wikipedia is known around the world, it’s been my finding that few know how articles are created/edited. Remain accessible and do not judge your partners when answering questions. Empathize. It was once new to us, too.

Listen: What are your partner’s goals and do they align with yours? What would they like to accomplish?

Lead contacts are often charged with staying within thematic parameters. Work to determine limitations and opportunities. Are they looking to share resources or edit articles that align with an upcoming exhibition?

Set Expectations: Establish, in writing, the division of duties. Share best practices, but also remain flexible.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Ariel Cetrone

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:

Ariel Cetrone (WMDC)

Affiliated organization(s):

Wikimedia DC

Estimated time:

20-30 Minutes

Preferred room size:

No preference

Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

Yes, Wiki Leadership Bootcamp 2018, though in a broader sense

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)