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AFTERBURN REPORT 2011

COMMUNICATIONS

In our first-ever sold out event year, the Communications team got strategic. The department has grown by several employees, serving a larger community and a larger internal organization; changes in responsibility and refinements of process helped to effectuate better workflow and faster, more collaborative practice than ever before.

A cross-departmental Communications Committee entertained strategically-focused agendas with an intent to evolve our approach to public relations and communications. A departmental task force worked to evolve Burning Man's camera policies to modernize our approach to ever-evolving camera technologies while upholding our devotion to Decommodification and participants' rights to privacy.

The Media Team entertained more applications and approved fewer films; we began turning away more pre-event requests for information in an effort to guide exposure, while creating better processes for managing incoming requests for interviews and appearances. Such requests are at an all time high, as we seek the perfect balance between controlled growth and our longtime devotion to sharing the story of Burning Man with the larger world in pursuit of sharing our principles and experiences with those who may never visit the event.

Enjoying a new transmitter, new antenna, and new lounge-friendly digs on playa, Burning Man Information Radio (BMIR) went 24/7 for the second year in a row in 2011, providing essential information and eclectic entertainment for the citizens of Black Rock City.

The Regional Network grew larger (again!) and held another successful Leadership Summit in San Francisco in March. The wildly successful Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE) project brought together 23 regionally-created collaborative artworks from all over the world for a major conflagration on Thursday night in BRC. The new Meta-Committee, a hand-selected group of exemplary Regional leadership, gained momentum and really began to flourish in its role as an advisory board to Burning Man, helping to guide us as we seek to better support the Regional Network and the Burning Man culture at large.

Through the Regional social media and special appearances, archive management, image sharing, print publications, our website, the press process, our own forums, and the growth of Burning Man awareness in the world at large, the Communications Department helps support the spread of the culture beyond the desert by keeping the story alive all year long.End of page