Last year when the Diocese did our Communications Audit, responses to questions about the AZ Episcopalian, our quarterly print magazine, were all over the map. Some people who received it looked forward to it and loved learning more about what was going on in the diocese. Some people who received it enjoyed seeing if people they knew were mentioned in it, but admitted that they didn’t read all the articles.
A surprising number of responses came from people who wanted to receive the AZ Episcopalian Magazine and had attempted to sign up to receive it… but who had been unable to successfully do so, despite repeated attempts. There are similar (if opposite) responses from administrators who have tried to remove people from the mailing list but have been unable to do so.
The AZ Episcopalian is produced by the Episcopal Journal, which owns and controls the mailing list. Our Director of Communications, Laurel Way, and I are committed to offering print communications for the diocese, but we believe there are better and more effective ways than continuing to work with the Episcopal Journal unless they improve their database management.
Because of that, we have decided that for 2022, we are going to reduce the issues of the AZ Episcopalian from four to two. The two editions we publish will be larger and more thorough than the current ones, and the savings of $10,000 from reducing the number of issues will be used for other communications strategies to promote the Gospel.
Also during 2022, Laurel Way is going to be exploring other print options for our communications. We are looking at both what other dioceses are doing and producing and also at what fits Arizona. What stories and images will best connect Episcopalians across our diocese? What stories and images will deepen our faith in Jesus, and help us love our neighbors? What is cost-effective, and what database system will allow us to easily expand and respond to the needs of our readers?
As part of this transition, in March we are going to do a big diocesan-wide push to expand our reach with the E-pistle. Since this comes out weekly, it is our most effective way of communicating directly with our members across the diocese and beyond. Look for more information in the coming days!