Well what a change – the Riding On has grown bigger but smaller all in a blink of an eye. The page size has increased to a standard A4 sheet whilst the number of pages has reduced to 40pp plus the cover. This is the immediate difference members will see in the Riding On this Spring 2018 Edition.
For many years the cost of publishing and distributing a quality quarterly printed magazine has been of continuing concern to NatCom. The costs persistently increased and this has been more burdensome as membership numbers reduced. Publication of the magazine was brought in-house late 2013 and diligent, devoted ex-officio officers have given countless hours of their time putting together the magazine each quarter. We should all be thankful for their dedication.
The first year of in-house publishing saw advertising revenue reach $123,113 and the net cost for 21,800 magazines was only $139,500 – or in unit costs each member contributed $6.37 per annum from membership fees towards the cost of Riding On. In 2018 the equivalent number is $12.57 per member per annum for only 14,000 copies of the magazine due to increased printing and postage costs impacted by ever decreasing advertising revenues. This amount taken from subscriptions before other administrative costs are covered points to continuing deficits in trading for the Club.
Given the concern about rising publishing costs and endeavouring to gauge members’ sentiment about the paper copy of Riding On there were open forums at the ENM and AGM recently at Barmera. Clearly members wished to keep the paper copy of the magazine so NatCom has examined options to keep publishing and distributing paper but at reduced costs. The option settled upon is what you see today — an A4 magazine with less pages but more news with redundant material removed. Where the information is already available on the website, we have removed those pages – so the Gear Shop, Branch lists, badge and general information etc. will no longer be included in the magazine. These changes will reduce print and postage costs by some $70,000 per annum. The contribution per member to the publishing of the Riding On will be brought back to $7.50 per annum per member somewhat closer to the previous costs.
We will keep the same publishing schedule for Riding On – Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring each year. Many members have opted to receive the magazine via the Riding On Website or by the downloadable file which can be stored on your e-reader. From this edition of the magazine those members will receive an email announcing when each edition is available online. An announcement will also be made via the website.
Many Branches use Facebook and websites and other apps to communicate and the National Committee has over the years, increased the use of electronic communications methods – Intercom, BranchComms, National Rally enewsletters as an example, as well as information provided via the News Item announcement on the main website. Riding On remains a valuable communications tool but it too has had to change – we know you will enjoy this Spring edition.
Your National Committee feel sure members will still receive the vital information they need about Club activities in the new format magazine. Enjoy this edition of Riding On and feel free to bombard the Editor with your comments for further changes or improvements.