Communications Policy

Please also see the Social Media page for information about using AvaCon social media tools for communications.

General Communications

In general, we expect everyone involved with AvaCon, both staff and volunteers, to uphold a very high level of professionalism in all their communications, both with colleagues and with others.

Professional communication means:

  • Using proper spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation in all communications
  • Avoiding jargon, slang, swear words, or derogatory terms
  • Limiting the use of technical terms whenever possible and explain any necessary technical terms so they can be understood by a general audience
  • Adopting a tone of polite, respectful, and helpful friendliness

Regarding the use of social media communications, we appreciate whatever help you can provide in communicating with people and using your social networks to spread the word about AvaCon and its activities, but we also want to make sure the left hand always knows what the right hand is doing, so please make sure your communications are always super professional and on message.

General Questions and Requests for Information

The email address is our general address for questions and inquiries. For all but routine matters, most general questions should be referred to the address so they can be answered by the appropriate staff. Though we appreciate the desire to be helpful, it’s best to to have the person responsible for a particular area answer questions rather than giving out incorrect information or information that hasn’t yet been fully vetted.

If someone asks for information about an activity or event, and you know the answer but it hasn’t been publicly announced yet, please refer them to email as well. You’ll find this most likely to happen as we’re leading up to a large event, and we want to ensure the information we’re sharing is consistent.

Major Announcements

For major announcements, we create a communication document with text formatted for group notices, notecards, emails, tweets, etc. and would ask that you use the template for sharing information with your professional or personal networks to ensure our communications are always consistent. You’ll find these documents in the AvaCon Staff > Marketing & PR folder, and if you are responsible for sharing information with certain channels, we ask that you mark down what in-world groups, email listservs, or other communication channels you would like to cover and update it anytime you send out a notice so we’re sure not to spam the same groups with multiple announcements.

Requests from News Media, Bloggers, or the Press

Please refer requests from news media organizations, bloggers, or the press to the Marketing & Social Media manager or an appropriate member of the management team if the request is regarding AvaCon or its events or activities.

If the request is for you to provide your personal or professional opinion on a matter unrelated to AvaCon business, you do not need to seek approval or permission.

If the request is for you to do an interview or participate in an activity as a representative of AvaCon, then that should also be discussed with the Marketing & Social Media manager. For events or interviews in which you will be representing AvaCon in an official capacity, we may need to review the content of the interview or activity in advance so we can ensure our messaging is consistent and that we give out accurate information.

How to Handle Controversy or “Bad Press”

From time to time, issues may arise that are of a controversial or high profile nature, or someone may post or publicize information that is critical of AvaCon as an organization, or even an individual associated with AvaCon. These things happen, and there are both good ways and bad ways to handle a sensitive or controversial situation.

In general, the first rule of dealing with controversy or “bad press” is DO NOT RESPOND, certainly not if you are upset, and certainly not on your own or without discussing it with members of the management team first!

Even if you are named individually in a post or news story, if it is in relation to your work or involvement with AvaCon, then it is an issue that should be discussed and handled at an organizational level. Our goal in handling sensitive issues is always to provide accurate, clear, and complete information, and that is best done when the issue has been discussed and an appropriate messaging strategy developed.

If you see a controversy brewing about an AvaCon event or activity on a social media network, forum, or discussion board , please alert an appropriate member of the management team, but don’t respond yourself. In the past, well meaning but misguided attempts to address questions or concerns on various fora have inflamed rather than de-escalated the situation, and that’s a situation that should be avoided.

Remember – You Represent AvaCon!

Above all, please remember that you a representative of AvaCon in all of your communications with your colleagues and with others. Use common sense and professional demeanor and language in all of your communications about AvaCon and everything will be fine. 🙂

Have questions or concerns? Contact your supervisor for help!