The District 8 Mailing List & Monthly E-Newsletter
I recently wrote on my intentions to highlight some of the “first’s” that occurred in District 8 during my three terms as your District 8 Director. The first “first” I’d like to discuss is the e-mailing list that quickly turned into the D8 Monthly E-Newsletter. District 8 became the first AND only ARBA district to offer such a service to its members.
While running for D8 Director back then, one of my stated goals was to work toward the improvement of communication throughout our district. One means of achieving this goal was through the creation of a mailing list of members’ email addresses from which I could quickly notify members of important updates, such as show cancellations during the winter. Once elected, I quickly fulfilled this pledge by making it possible for members to register for this mailing list on the D8 website. The D8 Webmaster and I soon realized that we could do so much more with this mailing list. And shortly afterwards, the D8 Monthly E-Newsletter was born!
Over the years, this newsletter grew from just a page or two into basically a full-sized e-magazine. The monthly show schedule for each state and province in D8 was included along with links to the show flyers we were able to obtain. Each issue contained an Article of the Month which alternated between rabbit and cavy topics and then later to club spotlights. Each issue also contained an article from me in which I addressed current issues in a timelier and more personal manner than in the bi-monthly ARBA magazine. When available, articles by the state/provincial representatives and D8 Youth Advisory Council members would be included. When special events were coming to D8, such as the National Cavy Specialty Show, the newsletter was used to promote them.
While the D8 Webmaster and I co-created the newsletter, we could not take full credit for its success. It took the support of so many members from D8 and beyond to make it work. When I termed out of office in September 2016, there were well over 1,000 subscribers. It took the support of the state/provincial reps, D8 Youth Advisory Council members, many concerned members providing me with the information necessary to include in each issue, and the members and judges who contributed so many articles. And a special thank you goes out to the D8 Webmaster who also served as the Newsletter Editor whose efforts made it all take form.
Admittedly, preparation of the newsletter was very time consuming. For each Article of the Month received, there were many more “no” responses and non-responses. It took time to reach out to show officials, attempting to obtain show flyers. Research time was needed to obtain answers to questions received from our members. And once this was all concluded, the Editor put it all together in a very presentable form.
The beauty of the mailing list was that while it was used primarily for the newsletter, it could still be used for its original purpose, that of notifying members of last minute updates. I was not limited to using the mailing list for a single monthly newsletter. When something came up between issues, we could still send notices when needed.
Friends, I thank those of you who supported this effort toward improving district-wide communication. I truly believe that improved communication helps keep our members informed, and in turn it can keep rumors to a minimum by getting the facts in front of everyone. I am very proud of what WE in D8 accomplished by working together to improve communication.