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[802SEC] Re: IEEE 802.11/802.15 Publicity Committee/31 July meeting notes

Dear SEC:

Yesterday, I participated in a conference call organized by Karen McCabe. She arranged the meeting in order to deal with a proposal by 802.11 and 802.15 to schedule a conference call for the press and analysts after 802 Plenaries.

I intended to dial up mainly as an observer. However, Jim Meyer, the 802.15 publicity chair, was the only other 802 person on the line, so I chirped in too.

Karen has provided notes of the meeting (below). The key point was the idea of holding a conference call about a week after each Plenary (Friday seemed like a good day). The discussion would key off of the IEEE 802 News Bulletin, which should be distributed a day or two earlier. Logistics and format are undermined; Karen will work on ideas. The 802 people would be calling in from their remote sites.

Although we did not discuss the potential negatives of such events, we would need obviously need to be cautious about them. I think the key issue would be to ensure that the speakers would fairly represent the activities and that they didn't say anything to embarrass us [in spite of efforts by the questioners to get them to do so]. We would also have to think carefully about how to allocate access to the lines. Given the problematic issues, I think that any such 802 conference calls would require SEC approval.

We also covered some PR issues unrelated to this media conference call idea. For example:

(1) There was discussion of updating the News Bulletin between Plenaries, particularly after interims. The new static URL for the Bulletin <> gives people a place to check for the most recent news. Seems like a good idea to me, as long as Working Groups are free to opt in or opt out without pressure.

(2) We discussed the need for posting three kinds of background material to the web:
  (a) Summary of 802 and the technical areas covered
  (b) 802 process, including glossary of terms (PAR, WG Letter Ballot, Sponsor Ballot, recirc, etc.)
  (c) What are the benefits of using products based on 802 standards
This seems like a good idea too, but it's a lot of work to write this material and get it approved by the SEC. Also, (a) would require regular maintenance (unless it were pretty bland and just pointed to the WG web sites for the details).

What do you think of all this? My main concern is that, even if we all agreed that extra PR is a good idea, and if we all agreed on the process, I would still be worried that there is too much work here. I don't see a lot of interested volunteers. Just the Plenary-based News Bulletin is a big job, and I'd like us to maintain (and possibly improve) it.


>Thanks for your time yesterday to discuss the possibility of holding
>news/industry analysts briefings after the IEEE 802 Plenary meetings, plus
>to address some other questions IEEE staff had.
>We agreed that it would be best for the IEEE 802 News Bulletin to be
>released prior to the briefing--to set the agenda for the briefing. We do
>need to be cautious that the briefing just doesn't reiterate what is in the
>newsletters. It probably is best to keep the briefing at a high level,
>identifying items/issues that have the most controversy and the most
>interest/news. It would be best that presenters have developed "sound
>bites" that the media can use. It is also recommended that we keep the
>briefings streamlined--trying to avoid numerous task force individuals
>(upward of 15) giving their reports. Having "too many"  presenters will
>elongate the briefing to possibly up to 1.5 hrs. This is long for today's
>media/editors. A suggestion on the table is to identify spokespeople for
>each key group and have that spokesperson give the report.
>We also discussed the preference to hold the briefings on Fridays (good day
>for the media/less competition for media time since Friday is usually a
>slow news day). If we keep the current momentum for the 802 News Bulletin,
>we anticipate being able to have the bulletin out within one week after
>each Plenary. Based on this schedule, the briefings could follow 2-3 days
>after the release of the bulletin.  Logistics also were discussed, taking
>into consideration the potential number of media/analysts involved, as well
>as how we would coordinate the briefings among the various 802 groups and
>IEEE staff will document issues/considerations regarding logistics and
>email to the meeting attendees.
>As an outcome of the discussion on press briefings via teleconference
>and/or webcasting, Karen McCabe will investigate IEEE's capabilities for
>hosting such briefings via webcasting, etc. IEEE has in house a Placeware
>application for internet conferencing, but it is believed the number of
>participants may be limited due to the IEEE's Placeware contract. Sprint
>teleconferencing is also available via the IEEE, but the Sprint
>teleconferencing can only hold up to 30 callers at one time. As we
>discussed, we anticipate a larger audience than 30 participating. Plus,
>strictly a teleconference would be difficult to monitor, etc.
>IEEE staff will also include a feedback mechanism in the next IEEE 802
>Bulletin to gain input on satisfaction among the media regarding the
>bulletin (too long, too short, just right, meeting their needs, etc). In
>suit, we can test the waters on interest in a media briefing after the
>bulletin is release vs immediately following the Plenaries, etc. This will
>help us gauge interest and how we should proceed in establishing the
>Other items discussed:
>- Relationships with Alliances that are based on/support IEEE 802
>We have witnessed Alliances generating/releasing news regarding IEEE 802
>standards groups developments/milestones, but with disregard for the
>IEEE--losing site of who (IEEE groups) developing the standards. Staff has
>reached out to Alliances (to their PR contacts) to see if we could
>establish improved coordination of news and gain awareness/recognition of
>the IEEE in the Alliances news releases. Staff has not had much success.
>Based on our discussion yesterday, this is due largely to the Alliances not
>necessarily seeing the value in maintaining the IEEE in their messages and
>when the alliances have established messages, adding one more (IEEE)
>complicates what they may be trying to accomplish. The IEEE needs to
>establish a compelling story, if you will, on why its of value to the
>alliance(s) to keep the IEEE in their messages. Staff will discuss further
>as part of the overall IEEE standards program marketing effort.
>- 802 News Bulletin After Interim Plenary Meetings/802 News Room
>To date, we have not released a news bulletin after interim plenary
>meetings due to the difficulty in getting the news items from the various
>groups, plus difficult to put together one bulletin when interim plenary
>meetings are held at various times/locales. Now the we're on track (thanks
>to Roger Marks) getting news items in a very timely manner, we can follow
>through with news that comes out of the interim meetings. Since we have
>established a "home page" for the IEEE 802 News Bulletin
>(, we can better support incoming news
>from the interim meetings. We can utilize the 802 News Bulletin as an 802
>News Room and announce when interim meeting reports/news will be available,
>and post them as we receive them.
>I also want to mention that we have developed an IEEE News Bulletin web
>icon and will be circulating to the various IEEE 802 website web masters
>for inclusion, if they wish, on their sites when linking to the IEEE News
>Again, thank you for you time and input. I will be following up within the
>week regarding staff's action items.
>Karen McCabe
>Senior Marketing Manager, IEEE Standards
>445 Hoes Lane, PO Box 1331
>Piscataway NJ 08855 USA
>PH: +1 732 562 3824