CELA Annual Report, 2005 - excerpted article

Communications and Outreach

In 2002 we found ourselves with an outdated website overloaded with nearly impossible to find content. Our often-late quarterly newsletter, Intervenor, required hundreds of hours to produce. Circulation was tiny and shrinking. Inadequate and overloaded systems could not respond to high volumes of inquiries from the public and the media. A detailed review of all print and electronic communications ensued and a comprehensive strategy was developed.

Focusing on the Internet
Central to CELA’s communications strategy is greater use of the internet including a redesigned website, launched in 2004. The website contains over 1000 publications, media releases, articles, and a growing list of frequently asked questions. Indeed, CELA is involved in five websites, including the waterhole, the low-income energy network, pollutionwatch and healthyenvironmentforkids. The CELA Bulletin email list has grown to over 1000 subscribers. It provides occasional updates about CELA’s activities and is archived on-line. You can subscribe on-line or by email to bulletin@cela.ca.

Popular and Scholarly Writing
In 2003, we discontinued print production of the CELA newsletter Intervenor and archived about 4 years worth of content to the website. The on-line version provides a flexible format for ongoing publishing. We will now limit our print publication of reporting on CELA’s activities to this annual report. The decision to discontinue the Intervenor enabled staff to write, and publish elsewhere, more articles than was the case previously. We are writing more for the popular and scholarly press and reaching a wider and more diverse audience.

The Changing Face of Membership in CELA
The newsletter decision also affected our view of membership at CELA. We realized that CELA is primarily service-based, not membership-based. Unlike many non-profit organizations, CELA is not dependent upon membership revenues and prefers not to compete with other organizations for limited membership dollars. If people experience barriers to accessing our on-line resources, we are happy to provide print. Just call the office.