Co-marketing and chapter meeting co-hosting procedures


Andrew van der Stock

Thursday, October 20, 2022

From time to time, leaders will bring an opportunity to support a similar organization, such as promoting another organization’s event or seminar, staffing a booth or desk, or running a Capture the Flag event. Often the leader wants to promote the activity through OWASP’s platforms because, in all likelihood, it will interest OWASP members. We call these arrangements “co-marketing,” and there’s a process to getting them approved so that OWASP is not abused as a free marketing tool by others.

Here’s how to get your co-marketing approved quickly and efficiently by supplying the correct information early. Not all co-marketing will be approved, as most of the requests we receive are not OWASP-like or simply trying to abuse OWASP’s large audience or as free marketing.

Here’s how to get it done:

The process is simple:

  1. Click here to create a co-marketing request in Jira
  2. OWASP Foundation staff will evaluate the ticket against our criteria (see below).
  3. If acceptable, a simple one-page agreement will be executed by the OWASP Foundation and the other organization, stating what will be delivered in both directions. Please keep it simple, and remember only the Executive Director can sign agreements.
  4. If a budget is required, some source of funds, fundraising, or sponsorship to cover costs is required before approval.
  5. Once signed, the other party will supply the social media posts to send. Once vetted, the OWASP Foundation will execute all deliverables of the agreement.

Some things to note

  • Get in early. Apply at least six weeks before it’s due to start so that sufficient time is available to cross-promote the event(s) or activities.
  • Be on mission. The comarketing arrangement has to be “OWASP-like” - something to do with application security and our mission, and preferably free and volunteer-led.
  • Reciprocal and fair agreements. Make sure we can promote OWASP, a chapter meeting, or another OWASP activity or event as part of the arrangement. We will not be promoting an infinite number of social media posts, but a fair and reciprocal amount.
  • Member benefits. If there are free tickets, or other benefits such as discount codes, etc, they should be considered an OWASP Membership benefit, and apply to all OWASP members, not just a few. Please seek local OWASP Members to volunteer or benefit before any other arrangement.
  • Promote approved co-marketing only. Please don’t promote co-marketing on your chapter or project page, Meetup page, or social media accounts until the agreement is signed. The OWASP Foundation will deliver all of the cross-promotion once approved. If the approved co-marketing event is local, you can optionally promote the event on your chapter, Meetup, or project page. Posts must use the vetted social media to avoid any issues with OWASP’s vendor neutrality or free advertising.
  • Co-marketing is not a chapter meeting. Only OWASP Chapter meetings count towards OWASP chapter activity requirements.

Running chapter meetings with other organizations

If you want to run a meeting with another organization, such as B-Sides or Null, this is not co-marketing and is currently more of an informal arrangement with the other group. OWASP currently has no policy on co-hosting meetings, but we know it happens. The forthcoming regional chapter policy covers co-hosting meetings, so to avoid confusion, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines:

For a chapter meeting to count towards chapter activity, the OWASP meeting portion of the co-hosted event must follow Chapter Policy:

  • Organized and run by local chapter leadership
  • Publicized on the OWASP website and relevant social media, Meetup, or another meeting platform
  • Free to attend
  • The new draft Chapter policy states that “OWASP branding [including our logo] should be clearly visible to meeting participants.”

We trust leaders to use their judgment to ensure OWASP is treated fairly, with integrity and openness.