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Regional A7 club magazine costs
#1
I have just read an article in the latest PWA7 club magazine that states that the 2019 cost of production for the monthly magazine was £15,172 and postage and packing costs were £13,649. This is more than the money generated by the membership subscriptions (£27,596). I assume that the figures for other regional clubs may be similar.

While I realise some people will always prefer a hard-copy I would be happy to read the magazine online and see the money saved used to benefit the A7 movement in other ways and perhaps it would also be possible to see online versions of other club magazines for a small additional fee.

What do others think?
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#2
I do like to have a printed copy in my hands, but with those figures it is certainly something to consider. The problem is there are still quite a large number of owners who do not have computers or internet access. Approximately half the contributions I receive for the Grey Mag come as hard copy through the post.
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#3
I still like a magazine to read, primarily because the articles are often more considered and in-depth than anything I read on line. The A7CA mag along with the couple of regional club mags I read carry well researched contributions, often historical in content. Would an online version attract the same contributors? or the same quality of writing? Perhaps they would if the paper versions were to disappear, but I'm not entirely convinced.

There are undoubtedly advantages of having so many regional clubs but I have always thought it a shame that the huge editorial efforts of the many clubs couldn't be combined to produce one quality magazine. Could perhaps the information which is of regional interest only (club nights, local rallies etc) be put on line but the wider interest articles about cars, technical issues, specialist services be pulled together into one publication, with all the economies of scale that brings. A quick glance at publications for larger clubs (I get to thumb through a Triumph club mag whilst my daughter is having her piano lessons) shows us what we are missing. 

The size and scope of the Austin 7 world is very apparent if you take a quick look at the various Facebook pages and it seems to me there are both opportunities and pitfalls in pursuing an online-only future. Whatever the pros and cons of it, we are living through a time of change.
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#4
Because the local postal system has become so unreliable, each month I email some 330 online copies of the Melbourne Club magazine 'The Light Shaft' to those who provide an email address.

It appears that a few members won't use their email and some email providers are getting more and more agressive with their spam protection, sending the email to trash- so not a perfect system 

Around 300 members still opt for a hard copy but many are seeing the benefit of online - not to mention the storage ! I have 8 feet of old magazines back to 1952 which will probably outlast the online issues (until they get binned)  

From memory the Club could save about $26,000 pa if we dropped the hard copy.
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#5
hi dave,

those figures sound dangerous for a club.

sometimes clubs forget they need to run as a business? or die as a club?

you know me, and im not good with the interweb, so i like a magazine. but for those who can operate the web better, need to come forward and take a online copy.

i love the idea, for a small addision, getting access to other 7 clubs around the country.

perhaps as a club they are not looking at there postal costs as a business. bigger businesses will get better rates for there postage charges.

perhaps clubs need to tackle there postage company and say were are putting out 500 small parcels on the same day. WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR US. if that reply saves £500 it may put them back in the black.

this year is a strange and often difficult one for ALL of us. ive had to change and adapt very quickly as a sole trader. the clubs HAVE to do the same thing. or ??????

tony.
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#6
The one unassailable advantage of a printed magazine is that it's permanent. When asked how could digital images be saved for ever, multi-billionaire Larry Ellison - the boss of computer company Oracle - is alleged to have replied, "Print them out."
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#7
I look forward to the Online copy of our Light Shaft magazine and read it before the printed one arrives. But I also look forward to getting my hands on the printed one. OK I can print off the online copy even in full colour but I still prfer the Club's hard copy.
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#8
Could it be increasing the subs by £2 a year cover it ?
You can't buy a newspaper on a Sunday for that !
By all accounts the VSCC nearly went bust for costs out weighing income and they're subs are £90 ish per year.
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#9
We all have to be grown up about what is actually worth printing on quality paper, at club level, for the environment - and to keep club costs down. Ironically, my local club mag has improved massively with having no social activity presently... as I don't have to read what buns were selected and so on. I don't keep club mags as they aren't designed to have enough content worth re-reading (in contrast to the Grey Mag which does). By 'aren't designed', I mean they constitutionally need to represent the activity in the groups.

I'm just looking though some old 80's 750 Bulletins I was lent - A5 size and on superthin paper - fine for club reports/sales and wants if indeed people can't be forced to just have an email circular. Second class stamp (sub 100g) should be an absolute max.

At lower "local group" level in the clubs, email circulars seem to work perfectly well.
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#10
(05-12-2020, 09:25 PM)daveg Wrote: I assume that the figures for other regional clubs may be similar.

While I realise some people will always prefer a hard-copy I would be happy to read the magazine online and see the money saved used to benefit the A7 movement in other ways and perhaps it would also be possible to see online versions of other club magazines for a small additional fee.

What do others think?

Hi Dave,

On your first point - no, we (ScA7C) have always ensured that our membership fee income is greater than that the outgoing costs. The committee meets before each AGM to discuss the budget for the next year and draws up any changes to fees it thinks may be required.

Some years ago the Club revised it's membership fees so that those receiving an emailed PDF of the Magazine-only could join for £5 instead of £12. This was very popular with the (grown up) children of Club members and others too - the membership rose and, of course, every £5 was 100% profit.

A few years later some grumbles, from a vocal minority, stopped this because they said it was unfair to have a tiered membership fee structure.

The result was that membership dropped and paper usage increased...

We have always had a rather relaxed view towards sharing our Magazine freely, as a PDF, and don't share the fear that by sending it out to others we could loose membership - the reverse in fact. Many who started to get our Magazine for free enjoyed what they saw so much they then joined the Club and started coming to our rallies and events.

On a personal level, if all the Clubs amalgamated into one UK-wide one I would simply set up another local one and start the fun all over again...

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