For some time now, the RACI Board and the Chemistry in Australia Management Committee have been considering how to continue to deliver the magazine to members in the more financially restrained environment we operate under as a result of recent declines in membership numbers and income. Faced with this scenario, the need to cut RACI’s contribution to the production of the magazine is ever more pressing.
For a considerable period, RACI has delivered 11 issues of Chemistry in Australia per year to all members. The cost of delivering the magazine in hard copies has escalated over the years because of rising printing and delivery (postage) costs. In an attempt to arrest the costs, in 2015 members were asked to choose one of two delivery options: online only or print (with a subscription fee to cover postage costs). With these changes, we achieved a considerable reduction in RACI’s contribution to the magazine production. However, as postage and printing costs continue to rise, the required level of contribution from RACI continues to creep up further. A more sustainable strategy is therefore needed to minimise or eliminate RACI’s contribution. Such a strategy requires us to consider how we produce the magazine, frequency and number of affordable issues, modes of delivery and possible new items for inclusion.
After considering various options, the magazine management committee has chosen to embark on a ‘Towards Zero (RACI contribution)’ strategy. The strategy is aimed at minimising or eliminating RACI’s contribution to the magazine’s production. To achieve this, we have to reduce production costs, such as the number of issues published and associated editorial and print costs, as well as hard-copy delivery costs (posting fewer issues).
To this end, from July 2018 the magazine will be published under the Towards Zero arrangement to ensure that the magazine is more financially sustainable and requires little or no RACI financial contribution. The Towards Zero strategy will involve reducing the current number of annual magazine issues from 11 to six per year, and having a new bimonthly national branch newsletter, provided to members by the National Office, in alternate months. So, members will receive 12 items (six magazines and six national newsletters) per year instead of the current 11 issues of Chemistry in Australia.
The national newsletter will have a unique benefit of broadening and enhancing members’ national perspectives and experience of RACI. The newsletter will be provided online only to minimise production and delivery costs. This will involve developing a well-designed consolidated newsletter with inputs from all branches in lieu of their usual monthly newsletter. For the first time, RACI members anywhere will be able to know what is happening at all RACI branches.
For this new strategy to be successful, we must achieve a conservative advertising income of about $40 000 p.a. However, this will only be possible if more RACI members read the online version of the magazine. The more member visits to the website, the better our chances of attracting more advertising income and the lower the required contribution from RACI. Visit chemaust.raci.org.au for each issue, and click, browse and share. Your RACI is counting on you!