Last October, at a BSFG Committee Meeting, we decided to review the publication of the BSFG Newsletter. As you would be aware, considerable time is required to collect articles, format and publish the newsletter. There are currently four publications per year. At this point I would like to say thankyou to Ian Herbert for his tremendous commitment in putting the newsletter together, and to the members who contribute articles.
In order to ascertain what members would like and expect in the newsletter, we conducted a survey. The following information and percentages relate to the paid financial members of whom 30% responded.
The compiled results are as follows:
• 100% of respondents wanted to receive a newsletter
• 50% read every newsletter
• Of those who read the newsletter, 58% read all articles.
Main reasons given for not reading the newsletter were time constraints and that some members only read the articles that interest them.
The preferred number of pages was four to six. Some thought it should depended entirely on number of articles submitted.
58% wanted to receive the newsletter quarterly. Again some thought that should depend on amount of content.
Another suggestion was that perhaps only two or three special editions throughout the year be emailed out, and other articles of relevance as they appear.
Topics of interest
• Climate change and related topics such as sustainable housing and renewable energy etc.
• Limits to growth
• Air water and soil pollution
• Waste management
• Natural environment /biodiversity
• Local activities and initiatives -practical ways to contribute, updates
• Stories of what others are doing and achieving
• Links to other resources, new stuff
Most members wanted to see articles on action group reports, editorial comment, local issues and relevant links to topical articles. Many also thought a cartoon would be a good addition.
• Fewer newsletters eg. two per year with short sharp key messages with photos
• More contributions from members
• As there are many opportunities to keep abreast with what you are interested in through media , it is of more interest to see what is happening locally
• More photos
• Make it the pick of the website discussions and content
Member's contribution to the newsletter
• 63% of respondents indicated they would contribute to the newsletter occasionally
• 25% said they contribute regularly
The newsletter could be left at other venues around Benalla e.g. TAFE and Library. 'Preaching to the converted' comes to mind - how can we reach the unconverted?
Thankyou to the members who submitted their thoughts and completed the questionnaire. Although we would have liked to have heard from more of our members, the information was thoughtful and relevant.
Overall members were very happy with the content and delivery of the newsletter. Members cited climate change and related issues as very important for inclusion in the newsletter. There was a strong emphasis for wanting articles on local action, initiatives, outcomes and photos. In response to many of the questions, this topic found its way into the member's responses.
on behalf of the BSFG Committee