Publicity chair duties

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Publicity Chair (and Social Media Chair)

Conference Handbook - Publicity Chair Duties

Author: Wei Xu, Barbara Plank, Eduard Hovy, Shiqi Zhao (April 2017)

In some conferences, there maybe a dedicated social media chair. If not, the publicity chair will also be responsible for promoting the conference on social media platforms.

The publicity chair has three major roles:

  • International (main responsibility): Disseminating information about the conference (calls for papers, etc.) to the largest possible appropriate technical audience
  • Social Media (main responsibility): Initiating and maintaining a social media stream before and during the conference (e.g., Facebook and Twitter). We should consider setting up a single Facebook and Twitter for all main conferences.
  • Local: Accessing and bringing in the press at the time of the conference

Important instructions and warnings:

  • Many mailing lists or websites may require several days to register and another several days have messages posted. Start registering and posting at least a week in advance!
  • The major role of the publicity chair is to advertise the conference and inform people of important updates. Hence, continuous communication with the general chair, local chair, website chair and program chairs is necessary.

International Dissemination (CFP and mailing lists)

  1. Websites for posting calls for papers:
  2. NLP mailing lists:
  3. NLP regional groups

Social Media

  • Establish feeds in Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere for the conference, with the appropriate hashtag name. Try to avoid hashtag clash, for example, by using #acl2016berlin instead of #acl2016. #aclYEAR is typically used for a sports event (e.g., For EMNLP, NAACL, EACL we don't seem to have this issue.
  • Before the conference, broadcast interesting updates (invited speakers, social events, awards, etc.).
  • Perhaps include the hashtag in an appropriate message in the conference handbook?
  • Arrange for a team of people (especially students) to actively post messages at the conference using the hashtag.
  • Ask the conference chair to announce the social media during the opening.

Local Dissemination (Press)

The Press is usually interested in the following kinds of topics:

  • A major breakthrough that changes society (rare if ever)
  • A famous invited speaker (like a big name from Google)
  • Some unusual demo or event

If the conference has none of these, you’re unlikely to interest a reporter. But do try! For ACL and EMNLP, there are local organizers who may help. At ACL 2010 in Sweden, the TV station interviewed several people and broadcasted on national news. Below is an example email that we sent to local media for NAACL 2016, that you would need to update and improve before sending it.


We would like to draw your attention to an annual international computer science conference -- NAACL ( -- that is to be held on June 12-17 in San Diego for the first time.

It is a week-long annual conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics, the premier international scientific and professional society for people working on computational problems involving human language. More than 800 computer science researchers in the Artificial Intelligence area will gather together to discuss and present their recent discoveries in machine learning algorithms and various applications, such as deep learning, machine translation, social media analysis, knowledge bases, dialog and interactive systems, to name just a few.

This year’s program consists of 6 half-day tutorials, 100+ talks and 15 full-day workshops. Attendees include students, professors, researchers, software engineers, entrepreneurs from both universities and industry ranging from large companies such as Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg to small start-up companies. Two keynote speeches will be delivered by Regina Barzilay, a professor of MIT and Ehud Reiter, the Chief Scientist of Arria NLG, a UK-based company offering Artificial Intelligence technology in data analytics.

We would like to invite you to attend the event. If you are interested in reporting on the event or need more detailed information, please feel free to contact us at any time.

XXX XXX (University of XXXXXX --
XXX XXX (University of XXXXXX --
NAACL 2016 Publicity Chair and General Chair

Example Tasks and Timeline from ACL2017

Social Media

    • Recommended platforms: Facebook, Twitter
    • Optional platform: Instagram
    • Reference* social media accounts: Facebook@acl2017 Twitter@acl2017 Instagram@aclnlp

Chairs to communicate with

    • General Chair
    • Program Co-Chairs
    • Web master
    • Local Organizing Committee

Timeline: (Approximate)

A. As soon as chair is selected:

  • Create/get access to social media accounts and fill with conference information
  • Identify media outlets with local organizing committee (e.g. university press, tech magazines, tv stations, etc). Optional: national or international media outlets

B. Oct - Feb, mainly information dissemination

  • First, second and last CFP
  • Call-for-participation of tutorials, demos, etc.
  • Any social media updates suggested by chairs
  • Reach out to media outlets

C. Feb - Jun

  • Promote information from Program Co-Chairs and General Chairs
  • Confirm with chairs on official hashtag and announce via social media
  • Promote registration when the website is up
  • Promote accepted papers
  • Promote conference venue information
  • Promote other misc informations on the conference website (e.g. reminder for visa application, conference hotel booking, etc.)
  • Follow up with media outlets

D. July - Before Conference

  • Reminder of registration deadlines (early, regular and onsite)
  • Promote about invited speakers and other conference activities
  • Promote any info requested by the chairs

E. During Conference

  • Promote reminders of all the main events/activities, as well as tutorial and workshop information
  • Work with webmaster and chairs to disseminate any important information; also to make sure there's no discrepancy in schedule between difference sources (e.g. handbook vs conference app)
  • Promote any last min changes or correction
  • Take photos of sessions, optional: post to instagram
  • Re-tweet important posts