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Newsletter

East Midlands Region Newsletter Survey - Janet Austin

Not all survey respondents replied to every question about the Newsletter, however, there was enough information to give a picture. The vast majority of respondents made positive and thoughtful comments most of which I hope will be implemented.

1 Newsletter features

Most interesting/useful sections in the Newsletter and number of respondents Sections skipped through and number of respondents
Diary Information 134
Branches round the Region 124
Regional activities 122
News from the Guild 113
Young Embroiderers in our Region 79
Advertisements 77
Advertisements 62
Young Embroiderers in our Region 53
Regional activities 32
News from the Guild 29
Branches round the Region 22
Diary Information 15

Sections not read  and number of respondentsWould prefer to use EMREG website for information  and number of respondents
Young Embroiderers in our Region 25
Advertisements 21
Diary Information 12
News from the Guild 13
Branches round the Region 12
Regional activities 9
News from the Guild 21
Branches round the Region 20
Regional activities 18
Diary Information 17
Young Embroiderers in our Region 12
Advertisements 7

At least 4 members responded to very useful as I don’t have a computer: (the information was entered by friend.)


2 Do we need an East Midlands Newsletter?

(Question: What did you think of our first East Midlands Region Newsletter?)

SAMPLE COMMENTS:

(a) Positive comments:
  • I enjoyed reading it and found it informative
  • I think these are a useful tool for advertising the guild to members of the public that express an interest in the guild.
  • Well done for getting it off the ground
  • It is developing really well and, resources allowing, I would love to see it published more than once a year
  • Felt connected to region which can feel remote, good communication 
  • I thought it was very well done 
  • Lovely to be able to see what other branches are doing
(b) OK comments:
  • A good start but I got a bit confused about purpose of it especially as other Guild communications have changed recently
  • A good start, but feel that much information was duplicated on the website where it would be more up to date. 
  • Hopefully will slowly improve, especially if we could extend the advertising to help pay for it
(c) Negative comments:
  • Sorry but don't really see the need for a regional newsletter as everything can be included within Contact
  • Don't feel that it is necessary given how much it must cost to produce - why not use the branch structure to pass out info and let each branch ensure all its members are informed
  • Not enough re my branch. Probably our fault
(d) Didn’t see copy / don’t remember
  • I do not think I have ever seen one 
  • It didn't make much impression 

3 Development:

Question: How would you improve the Newsletter?
Question: What would you most like to see in our next edition?

SAMPLE COMMENTS
Whilst many respondents said that they did not think that the newsletter needs improvement or couldn’t think of any improvements there were a lot of positive suggestions made:

CONTENT:

(a) More contributions from branches and individuals
  • I think it would be good to have articles written by branch members which are only in the newsletter - perhaps appearing on the website when the next issue of the newsletter comes out. 
  • Be clear about when it is due to be published so as to invite/encourage contributions
  • More information about each branch's programme to get new ideas. 
  • Encourage more input from branches - Less 'Guild'.
  • Perhaps getting a report from every branch in the Region!
  • What each branch is up to including speakers and workshops and activities so we can learn from each other
  • Less 'Guild'. More contributions from members.
  • Members work, or what they have been doing at branches, contacts for booking for talks
  • Greater advertising - articles from members
  • More space to what’s on in the region?
  • More information about what other groups do for ideas.
  • Book reviews, recommendations of speakers & workshop tutors with photos to show items made
(b) More news from region:
  • Photos from competition entries, eg Members' Challenge and from Kickstart
  • Most important Region News, details of Kickstart workshops, Region Day and Summer
  • More about the various initiatives - I really don't 'get' Kickstart
  • Reports from Summer School
  • News about the regional day for those unable to attend
  • News about forthcoming regional events and exhibitions
  • I think I'd like to know more about what the role of the regional committee is and what relevance there is to the branches
(c) Variety of topics / features
  • Book reviews, recommendations of speakers & workshop tutors with photos to show items made
  • That a new branch has successfully been set up in Hinckley. It's good to see new branches forming. (How a new branch was set up?)
  • More factual information on early/historic works
  • Visits made by branches related to the world of textiles.
  • Articles about all different sorts of embroiderers
  • Perhaps, having inspirational projects.
  • Information on how to complete a project
  • An article on design or on something to inspire a work
  • More modern designers exhibited especially hand stitching
  • photos & articles of learning experiences and smiley faces of members having a good time doing it.
  • Some idea from region about how we consider and contribute to strategic change programme
  • News of new products and how to source them. 
  • Useful websites
  • Increased information about activities beyond the Region.
  • More info/events in the What's On Listings, please.
  • More what's on where in date of course!
  • Maybe information about workshop ideas
  • Workshops and activities so that we can learn from each other
(d) Presentation
  • Add more images - more pictures to break up the type
  • Fewer photos of people
  • Make it a bit less formal more chatty
  • I liked the colours and presentation - appealing presentation (colour, paper quality etc)
  • It's good keep it young and not old fashioned
  • More modern approach
  • More concise
  • Make it bigger
  • Interesting and good compact size - very informative and a lovely size to read

4 Online or Hard Copy? (This question has emerged from responses).

Online
  • No cost to us and, therefore, can be produced more frequently, if necessary – (but could advertising be more vigorously investigated?) 
  • It can be more up to date with information and can respond more quickly to regional events 
  • Everyone, with access to a computer, will be able to receive it - and at the same time
  • Make it digital and more like a Blog that branches could add to at any time. Once a year is not sufficient in the digital age.
  • More of it, more often.
  • Don't feel that it is necessary given how much it must cost to produce - why not use the branch structure to pass out info and let each branch ensure all its members are informed.
  • An unnecessary expense given that finances are difficult within the Guild as a whole.
  • Liked the branch information about what they had done, but for me could be on line instead
  • Scrap it to save money
  • Don't feel that it is necessary given how much it must cost to produce - why not use the branch structure to pass out info and let each branch ensure all it's members are informed.
  • Is it available on-line?
  • I think I was given a copy when I joined this year. I glanced at it but generally I would go to the website for information rather than try to find it now!
  • It could be kept be up to date if online
  • Just keep the content up to date
  • Very Good although with an annual Newsletter it is difficult to give up to date information about the Guild and diary dates
  • just keep the content up to date
  • More what's on where in date of course!
  • Put it on the Regional website.
  • It's the same information as on the website so can't see how you can put anything different really.
  • It would be good to have the newsletter online too.
Hard copy
  • It doesn’t discriminate towards people without a computer.
  • All members will receive a copy
  • It is good to have to hand out to interested non-members – publicity at events, meetings, exhibitions etc
  • Easily portable therefore can be read anywhere 
  • A good idea, especially for people without computers
  • Enjoyed it very much. I'm much more likely to read a hard copy right through (usually sitting down, with a cup of tea!); anything arriving on line will be skipped through at best. Time to visit websites is at a premium.
  • I think these are a useful tool for advertising the guild to members of the public that express an interest in the guild. Often a computer isn't handy to show information about the guild, but a newsletter is.
  • Very useful as I dislike sitting in front of a screen , much prefer to read sitting comfortably.
  • I most appreciated it being a printed copy that I can keep for reference.
  • I hate newsletters being sent on line, with the need to print off useful info. (especially when something I'd like to keep is in glorious colour.) - like your cover- 'trees in Swingtime'..
  • Keep it as a hard copy
Points
  • If most of the suggestions are implemented then it is likely that more people will be needed to help - as sub-editors, contributors and “typesetters”
  • Consideration needs to be given to production. Should the newsletter be available completely online, completely as a hard copy or online but with a hard copy for those without email? 
  • Publicity - how do we ensure that everyone is made aware of and receives a copy of the newsletter?
  • Encourage all branches to contribute
  • How do we encourage more members’ interest in our future via Young Embroiderers
As a result of feedback from the survey the newsletters are now available to download from the EMREG website.


Dear All,
It is with regret that I feel I must resign from the job of newsletter editor and therefore from the East Midlands Regional Committee owing to ongoing health problems.
I have thoroughly enjoyed starting the embryonic newsletter from the initial "About Our Region" leaflet to the first two newsletters and know that it will go from strength to strength, improving every year.
It has been a privilege working with you all and seeing how hard, and creatively, you work for the good of the guild, the region and the east midlands' membership. As I say, I have big regrets particularly as we now have the results of the survey but I know that really it is the right decision for me to take now.
I wish you all the best and with many thanks,
Yours sincerely

Janet Austin