Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Newsletter - printed or electronic?

Someone has, quite rightly, asked why we've just published a printed glossy copy of our Newsletter if we're trying to reduce printing. They've requested an electronic version.

Well, the pdf version is available from our home page, or direct from here if it's gone from the homepage by the time you read this.

Last year we did some surveys and focus groups on how people wanted to receive information and keep in touch with us, and it was quite obvious that people had different preferences - some preferred electronic, some preferred printed. So, we decided to do it in both formats - we've reduced the number of printed copies drastically, and only send a few to each department, and point people in the direction of the pdf version. There's a fair amount of PR involved in the production of the Newsletter - one of the criticisms of IT departments in general is that we don't market ourselves as well as we should and people therefore don't see the value, or the breadth, of what we do. A professional, well-produced Newsletter with interesting and informative content is one way to improve this. Printed copies can be given to colleagues and visitors for them to browse through. Piles of them can be put in the Information Commons for students to pick up - we know they do this, but don't read emails we send them! We've also found that our own staff like to have their own copy - any that get one and don't want it, can always return it to the Comms team.

I'd be interested in any comments on the format and content - both from inside and outside of the Institution!


Richard said...

We shouldn't waste paper - it doesn't grow on trees you know.

I think the current newsletter will be a lasting memento - if you look back at it in 3 years you'll have a list of hundreds of 'web 2' projects that have folded.

Peter A said...

I am very pleased with the newsletter. Congratulations to the team!
It is not just for those who like, or even those who are comfortable with IT - it is for everyone who uses CiCS services. That includes a huge number who will read a paper magazine format far more readily than a URL. That's not a problem, just normal behaviour. We need to communicate with our very wide range of users more than we need to save this tiny fraction of our year's paper supply.

Anonymous said...

I think it's very good.

I was particularly taken with the 'Foobar' picture by eboy on the back and was intrigued by the 'evil' red men in mouse costumes with a yellow 'M' on the front.

I can guess who they are meant to represent but why 'Red mice'???

In trying to find out I found this on flickr :-

...but I'm still no wiser!