Mark Corum

Writer, marketer, political consultant, educator, designer, and Plone evangelist. Current member of the board.

Who am I

I'm a staff member at the University of Virginia. I've been a Web and UI designer for over 15 years and a political & marketing consultant for more than 20 years. I've been part of the Plone community for four years, including leading the Plone Marketing team for the last year, a member of the Steering Team and recently became a Plone Foundation member. I was an advisor to the Plone Foundation board in 2008-2009, and a member of the Plone Foundation board for the last year.

Mark Corum

Why am I interested

I'm interested helping the Foundation communicate, market and evangelize Plone to a wider audience than ever before.  I want to tailor our message to potential users instead of just preaching to the choir of existing developers. I have a background in grassroots and community organization for causes I believe in - and Plone and its community are a cause I can promote wholeheartedly.  I'd like to make Plone more approachable to new users and developers.

What I have done in the last year

For the last year, I've lead the Plone marketing effort.  This includes the "This Month in Plone" news digest that appears on, news articles, press releases, promotional materials, and working with the board to fund Plone being represented at events around the world.  We've gotten logo guidelines approved and in place,  and begun to see a more consistent presentation of our image.  We kicked off work on a larger global effort at the Penn State Symposium with our first marketing sprint - and in the next few months you'll begin the see the results of that effort.  I've helped push an effort to promote user groups as a major element of evangelizing Plone, including getting Board permission to host websites on for user groups who are interested.  I've also worked as part of an effort to encourage greater diversity within our community, starting with a statement on the issue the membership will see at the Bristol Conference.

My goals for next year

  • Develop stable funding sources for the Plone Foundation through sponsorships, advertising and appealing to a larger donor base. Fundraising isn't fun, but it is essential to having the resources we need to make things happen.
  • Use those funds to create scholarships, fund effective marketing and promotional campaigns, support user groups with materials, speakers and resources - and fund sprints aimed at fixing issues we know need to be fixed. 
  • Provide developers with solid, actionable research into what Plone users and potential users are looking for, what new features they want, and what problems they most want resolved.
  • Expand Plone's presence at events around the world by engaging many more Plone companies, developers and user groups as representatives.
  • Expand the Plone community in new directions by engaging users from outside our traditional borders - and making the Plone community a more inviting place for new users while giving our installed base a reason to hang around.  I'd do this by continuing to improve our communications, as well as placing an emphasis on education and cooperation with other open source communities to make sure Plone is seen as a viable option for new users.
  • Make Plone more visible than ever before by focusing our marketing on the people who develop, build and use Plone - our community - and the projects they create. 
  • Continue support for Plone events that work - conferences, sprints, World Plone Day, Plone Tune-Ups and others - as well as working to develop new events to meet community needs.

What I can add to the Plone Foundation

  • A depth of marketing and public relations knowledge.
  • An ability to plan, engage, communicate and collaborate across many groups of individuals.
  • Three decades of professional writing and communications experience, including public relations, advertising, journalism, publishing and brand development.
  • Experience in publishing, media and copyright law.

Names of Plone Foundation Members Who Second My Nomination

Elizabeth Leddy
Veda Williams
Hanno Schlichting