Communications Committee

Who We Are

The Communications committee is responsible for distributing OTW information to the general public, the media, fans, and other organizations. We are typically the first point of contact for anyone interested in or wanting help from the OTW. We also assist other OTW committees in producing information, whether for an external or internal OTW-only audience.

Some of our responsibilities are:

Internal Structure

Communications is led by one or more chairs who manage a team of approximately 15-25 volunteers. We usually have the largest number of differentiated volunteer roles in the entire organization with several small teams as well as additional roles generally held by 1-2 volunteers each. Our teams include:

  • Fanhackers Volunteers, who signal boost fan studies works and make them more accessible to members of fandom
  • Graphics Volunteers, who create graphics for news posts, survey reports, the OTW Annual Report, and more
  • Media Outreach Volunteers, who respond to press inquiries, organize most monthly news series, update press graphics, promote upcoming events, and more
  • Site Moderators, who manage OTW social media accounts

Additional volunteer roles frequently include:

  • Chair-Track Volunteers, who assist with project and personnel management in training to become future chairs
  • Event Coordinators, who organize celebrations of milestones, anniversaries, and holidays
  • Posting Specialists, who supervise the OTW News posting schedule
  • Recruitment, Training & Documentation Assistants, who assist the chair team with supporting new recruits and with creating and updating our documents
  • Report Writer(s), who organize the OTW Newsletter each month and the OTW Annual Report each year
  • Technical Advisor(s), who assist the committee with utilizing the WordPress site and other technical matters

Spotlight on International Fanworks Day

One of Communications’ most visible responsibilities is organizing celebrations each year for International Fanworks Day (IFD). Falling on February 15, IFD is a holiday that the OTW created in 2014 to commemorate the one millionth fanwork posted to AO3. It’s also one of the times that OTW volunteers are directly accessible to fans who participate in the event.

Every year’s IFD features its own theme, such as When Fandoms Collide, Fandom Classics, or Hidden Gems. Festivities vary from year to year, but frequently include a fanworks challenge, calls for meta and testimonials on social media, special guest features, public surveys, and more. One of our favorite ways to celebrate most years is Feedback Fest, in which we encourage fans to rec fanworks that tie in with that year’s theme.

However, most of the OTW’s direct interaction with fans on IFD is on Discord, where we open a server one day a year for games and chat, hosted by OTW volunteers hailing from Communications and other committees. It’s always a joy getting to chat with fans who are just as excited about the OTW and its projects as we are! We’re always happy to talk about our favorite parts of volunteering for the OTW with anyone curious in the chat channel, and fans might even learn something new about the OTW mixed in with other fandom trivia in games like Two Truths, One Lie.

Check out the International Fanworks Day news tag for a history of our IFD celebrations—and, of course, follow OTW News every year as February 15 approaches!

Contact Us

If you want to learn more about the Communications committee, or if you have any other questions, please contact us – we will be happy to hear from you.