Icons of England
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Advisory Board Meeting Three

23 February 2006

  • The ICONS team welcomed Advisory Board members, and apologies were given.
  • ICONS Project Director, Managing Director and Editorial Director each gave brief reports on the status of work on the project. Marketing work is continuing following the launch, with various new partnerships being formed and long-standing partnerships (English Heritage, National Trust, Age Concern, etc) being progressed. Having cleared some of the post-launch backlog (vast volume of nominations, comments etc.) the editorial team are beginning work on the second wave of content provisionally scheduled for launch at the end of April.
  • The Media Report covering the launch of the project in January was circulated, and welcomed by the board, who were delighted at the extensive worldwide coverage of ICONS' launch, which included feature length broadcasts on several national television programmes, double page features in several national newspapers as well as regional media activity throughout the UK and international coverage in many countries.
  • After discussion the Advisory Board agreed to publish notes from its meetings on the ICONS site so that supporters can be kept informed about developments. This followed a number of Freedom of Information requests received by the DCMS; the ICONS team and the Advisory Board welcomed the interest in our work, and everyone agreed that ICONS wanted to be as open as possible. Details of discussion relating to specific icons to be excluded in order not to jeopardise later press announcements.
  • The second wave of Icons (for addition to the site late April) was discussed. The editorial director suggested additions to his original list to better represent the results of the public vote. Advisory Board agreed.
  • As the collection grows, there is still the intention to move toward a system of categorisation which would help both to navigate around a large number of icons, and to ensure that the voting system is more instructive, pitting like against like. The Advisory Board welcomed the plans.
  • There followed a discussion about controversial nominations and how to respond to lobby-groups; there is concern that a determined minority can misrepresent a majority view; this is a risk with particularly emotive and contentious issues and it is important that ICONS remain neutral in such debates. The advisory board gave their opinions and referred final decisions back to the ICONS team.
  • The ICONS team has received six expressions of interest for positions on the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board agreed that the ICONS team should make contact with applicants and where appropriate meet them to discuss their possible role. DH to follow up.
  • Dates for forthcoming meetings to be arranged by e-mail.