At the Drupal CXO weekend in Brussels in October 2010, a number of Drupal shops from across Europe were represented by members of their management teams. Acquia was also present, represented by CEO Tom Erickson.

Recently I'd been wondering why, when we all collaborate so well on code we don't also collaborate more on other elements of our Drupal businesses. At the CXO weekend I put forward a few sessions to explore this. One of these sessions was on marketing...

We all produce similar marketing materials for our businesses - websites, slide decks, proposals/tenders, leaflets and more - and yet we're all creating them from scratch. We all have to write paragraphs about what Drupal is, why it rocks and so on. We all have to come up with case studies. Yes we need to write from scratch all the stuff about our companies, but we should be able to collaborate on the common drupal-related elements. More than saving time and effort, I think this will lead to better marketing - not just of our businesses but of Drupal as a whole.

Acquia has been making some excellent contributions in this area for its partners - but I wondered if we could open up a community effort to compliment that (and Tom has indicated Acquia will support it too). A number of others agreed, and we got together to discuss this and start putting the idea into action - and the EMR project was born.

The Principles of the Project

1. Drupal first. All materials will be to promote Drupal and associated projects, as well as the community - not for promoting any individual organisation. They will be free from branding, but will be ready to be branded by organisations that use them.
2. Open Source. The materials gathered here will be open source (license to be clarified - GPL / Creative commons etc) and can then be used by anyone. This also means that all source files must be included (eg PSDs for any graphic designs).
3. Customisable. Downloaded materials can be customised by any person or organisation for inclusion in their marketing - eg you can include some slides in your presentations to clients and adapt them to fit your brand style, include your logo etc
4. Collaborative. Just as developer create better code by collaborating openly, we believe business people can create better businesses by collaborating openly. Let's share, and share a-like. If you improve a resource that you've downloaded - please contribute your improvements back to the community.

The Action Plan

1. Gather existing marketing materials - inc slides, videos, copy, illustrations, photos, white papers, case studies etc from all their currently scattered locations. Identify which are currently open source/public domain, and encourage others to open up these resources through a GPL license.
ACTION: Anyone can open an issue in this project with links to existing resources. Those resources can then be investigated and discussed in the issue. Please put forward ideas, links, or upload resources (respecting copyright). I stress that _anyone_ is welcome to do this.

2. Create a wish list - what do we need copy about, what kind of images do we need, what do we need design templates for, etc?
ACTION: Anyone can open an issue with a request - eg 'Slidedeck for presentation about Drupal for business audience'. Again, _anyone_ is welcome to do this.

3. Create the resources. We're looking for designers, copywriters, marketing whizzkids, sales experts, photographers and more. Anyone who's interested in creating great resources to promote Drupal.
ACTION: Please add your name and introduction in the 'volunteers' ticket that's open in this projects issue queue.

4. Commit resources to the project. Once a 1.0 version of a resource is ready (having been worked on in an issue ticket) it will be added to the repository, a nightly package of which will be downloadable from this project. From then on tickets can be opened to submit improvements to any resource - either with an actual patch attached, or just with the details in the body of the ticket. A maintainer can then make the change in the 'official' version of the document. (we are very much looking forward to this being on Git)


So - Drupal shops, freelancers and fans - Drupal 7 is coming, let's create marketing resources that will do justice to the amazing work the developers, UX team and more have done for this major release.