Publicity chair duties

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Publicity Chair

Conference Handbook - Publicity Chair Duties

The publicity chair has two major roles:

  • International: Disseminating information about the conference (calls for papers, etc.) to the largest possible appropriate technical audience
  • Local: Accessing and bringing in the press at the time of the conference

It is important that both these roles be fulfilled, but not that they be fulfilled by the same person. Quite commonly, local publicity is handled by someone in the Local Arrangements Committee. General technical publicity can be handled by the General Chair or a designee. In recent conferences, the local chair has also been handed the duty of creating the conference handbook, for subsequent printing and distribution by the proceedings chair(s).

International Dissemination: Technical Community

  1. Publications
    • ACL Finite String and Computational Linguistics
    • AAAI Magazine
    • Machine Translation journal
    • IEEE Computer
    • Communications of the ACM
  2. bboards and technical associations
    • ACL bboard
    • SIGIR bboard
    • ACL SIG bboards
    • AMTA bboard
    • HCI bboards
    • Speech processing bboards

Local Dissemination: Press

  • PR for press and TV
  • may use sponsorship to motivate a press breakfast

Author: Eduard Hovy, 2000, from notes by Rick Wojcik and Gary Coen

Proposal for a Three-member Publicity Committee


  • one person from the Local Arrangements Committee (with easy access to all practical info, the conference website, local publicity channels, including whom to invite from press and media, etc) If the conference website is maintained by the local organizer, this member of the Publicity Committee should be the one to liaise with those responsible for the website in order to ensure some sort of conformity, both in content and in presentation.
  • one person from the Program Committee (with easy access to all content related info)
  • one person appointed specifically to the committee who would focus on mailings and mailing lists: preparing a list of all groups that conference announcements should go to (or updating the one from the previous year!); possibly preparing targeted versions of announcements for industry, neighboring fields (e.g., AI, CogSci IR, HCI, etc.) and outlying regions (e.g., Eastern Europe, Middle East, Latin America, etc.), based on information about the Program, the Workshops, the Tutorials, and the Scientific Demos.

In addition, Priscilla should be involved, as she is already taking care of many of the publicity activities anyway.

Publicity Scenario

A. Pre-conference publicity

The main activity appears to be relaying electronic announcements sent out by Priscilla to various other mailing lists, and asking editors of newsletters and websites to include an explicit pointer to the conference. If there are related conferences/workshops shortly prior to the ACL conference, the Committee could develop flyers to be distributed there. What the flyers could contain depends on what is known about the conference and related activities (workshops, tutorials, etc.) at the time of the related conference/workshop. This has a cost, but it was for other reasons that flyers were not prepared for distribution at COLING'2000. For ACL'2001, the Committee could consider distributing flyers at NAACL'2001, once the cost issue is resolved. (See III.)

B. At-conference publicity

The Local Arrangements chair organised a press conference during the conference, with (paid) assistance of a professional agency. The Publicity Committee prepared background information. This would be one of the responsibilities of the member of the committee from the Local Arrangements group, as they are most likely to have easy access to such information as the history of the organising university, its track record in international activities and in NLP, names of local VIPs that ought to be included, participation statistics, etc). Background information is also needed about the program: why were specific formats and themes chosen, some statistics about submission and rejection, choice and background of invited speakers, etc. So this should involve the member of the Publicity Committee from the Program Committee. Besides the Press Conference, the Publicity Committee might consider other forms of publicity to the local community (city, state, county, etc.) both right before and during the Conference.

Remaining Questions

Should the Publicity Committee consider types of publicity for which funds are required, and if so, who pays--ACL or the conference? For example, posters. Steven Krauwer (Publicity Co-Chair, ACL 2000) said they decided against posters because they tend to be very expensive, and he has never seen any evidence that they are effective.

Author: Bonnie Webber, in discussion with Stephen Krauwer, 2000.

ACL-IJCNLP09 Publicity Items

This section of this note shall act as a bulletin board for publicly important updates to the ACL-IJCNLP 2009 publicity chairs, Andy Way and Min-Yen Kan.


  • Sep 08: budget approved by General Chair - includes local conference publicity and banners.
  • Sep 08: circulated call to corpora, SIGIR list.


  • Jul 09: newsletter circulated to all ACL members.
  • Jul-Aug 09: conference handbook compiled.
  • Aug 09: press conference held (but no press arrived, even after much publicity with reporters)
  • Aug 09: at-conference and post-conference blog posts updated. Flickr group for photos created by Dong Minghui (webmaster) and files uploaded by us.