Happy almost end of summer. Time to ramp up for fall and winter activities – or stay the course. Hard to say what the future holds. Your CSEG Executive continues to look for efficiencies, means of boosting revenue and improving the products and services available to our membership. Communications has tried to help the CSEG reach these goals.
Over the past year the means and style with which we communicate and share with the membership has changed. The Recorder has moved from an online PDF copy of a print magazine to a truly digital HTML format online publication. The annual GeoConvention Recorder edition will be the only print edition. The monthly newsletter is being revamped to deliver better, timelier and actionable announcements. Advertising revenue, thanks to a dedicated advertising resurrection team and effort, has become a critical source of income for the CSEG. And an enthusiastic review of the CSEG’s online presence (three websites) is underway.
The past year has seen the Recorder become a real HTML formatted online publication and not an online copy (PDF’s) of a print edition. Many minds and hands were instrumental in this transition. The CSEG board itself acted decisively putting many accumulated recommendations from previous years into practice.
The CSEG must exercise good stewardship over our depleted financial resources. The CSEG is, still, deeply affected by the economic downturn that began late 2014. Many of our membership feel this pain daily. In order to move ahead, modernize our society and deliver more and better member experiences additional funding was required. Raising dues wasn’t an option.
Increasing advertising revenue is critical to CSEG’s survival. But our whole advertising pitch and marketing package needed to be revamped. We set out to sell live ads on an ever-changing website. And the ads had to be directly tied to our precious content that draws both members and non-members from all over the world. Elizabeth Atkinson, past Director of Communications and Ruth Peach, super volunteer CSEG member, set about revolutionizing advertising revenue at the CSEG. With a “why advertise with the CSEG” package in hand Ruth cold-called / cold-emailed over XX organizations in Calgary. The response was significant. The benefits immediate to the CSEG. We certainly hope the same can be said for our faithful advertisers.
One of the interesting and somewhat unexpected aspects of advertising online has been the quality and amount of screen space we can offer our advertisers. We find ourselves in the fortunate position of having more advertisers than top quality, high visibility, screen space.
With no Board volunteers having a background in effective website design we’ve enlisted the help of Jeremy Sherry and his Enter the Mind Media organization. Jeremy fills in and answers all those difficult technology questions that leave me staring blankly. The CSEG has been a benefactor of Jeremy’s expert services for many years – but now we have the motivation and dollars to implement some of his (and the CSEG community’s) wonderful ideas. If you ask various Board members from the past decade what they wanted to see in an ever improving CSEG you’ll find many common themes. The 2019/2020 Board has been fortunate that all the work of our predecessors has led us to the point at which we find ourselves – willing and able to execute on a few critical technology projects.
Some will say we’re moving too fast and changing things that aren’t broken – others will gladly disagree, saying we’re moving far too slowly. All I can say is we’re trying, and our little successes here and there are made on the shoulders of past CSEG volunteers.
The CSEG is not only reworking and improving our online experience, we plan to soon deliver a revamped, more interactive and visually appealing, monthly newsletter. The newsletter itself has the best penetration into the membership’s consciousness of any CSEG message. Given our desire for more advertising space it makes perfect sense to encourage advertising be associated with the newsletter. The newsletter only goes out to our mailing list, so it doesn’t have the global reach that our online technical content based csegrecorder.com website does. Members read the newsletter, or at least we open the email! It’s a valued and effective message delivery system.
Finally, we’re moving to clean up our websites. Three distinct websites may be too much for an organization our size. Yet each serves a distinct purpose. And, each website has both its supporters and detractors. How do we keep the good and get rid of the unnecessary? Our current efforts have us pursuing parallel initiatives. We continue to look for small wins by tweaking the existing websites and a complete rebuild track that could see the CSEG online presence amalgamated into a single website. Much work and effort continue in the background. Stay tuned and enjoy Autumn – wherever you are.
Your Communications Committee:
Andy Williams (Associate Director)
Marie Hong (Associate Director)
Brian Schulte (Chief Editor – Recorder)
Jason Schweigert (Leader – Digital Media Committee)
Elizabeth Atkinson (Past Director and unofficial advisor)