Saturday, August 28, 2010

Are you reading this?

This year, after stepping down from Peachtree Charter Middle School's executive council, I am preparing and sending the school's weekly enews. It's amazing how much the enews has improved communications for parents. Now we don't have to rely on flyers stuffed at the bottom of backpacks, garbled translations of something heard on the PA system, and same-day "oh, yeah, I have a project/test/teacher's note to meet you today."

Interesting fact: there are approximately 962 subscribers to the PCMS E-news. Each week, I get a report that approximately 423 have opened their emails.

Perhaps some are using their email preview screen to scroll down, so their reading doesn't register as an open.

But that's a very high percentage of families who subscribe, but don't read the news.

I've been thinking about some of the enews that are in my inbox right now:

  • Dunwoody High School's e-news.
  • St. Luke's Highlights, our church's weekly news.
  • Atlanta Knitting Guild's monthly newsletter
  • Daily update from eLance, for freelance copywriting assignments
  • Jim Walls' Breaking News
  • Aha! Connection
  • Groupon offerings
  • Spruill Center art classes
  • Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild classes and news
Will I read each of them fully? Okay, likely not. I just don't have the time (or desire) to sit at my computer monitor the time it would take to read everything.

Just as television news has resorted to the "bits and pieces" approach because the audience is overwhelmed by a cacophony of messages, I believe we'll see an evolution of enews as well.

If I have to scroll past the preview window, I have to be invested in the sender. If there are repeated messages, news about something too far out to worry about at the moment, I'm likely to be more dismissive.

So as an originator of electronic news and a reader, I'm of two minds about that statistic for PCMS' readership.

What can we do to make the news important enough for families to read it?

Are we giving them too much information?

It's a quandary.


  1. The enews from PCMS was my lifeblood!!! IMO, it's a perfect way to keep parents informed of what is going on at PCMS. How can families not want to know what is going on in their school?

    In fact, I still subscribe to the enews even though I have no children at PCMS anymore. I love to know what is going on with the schools in our community.

  2. Me, too, particularly as the discussions about a Dunwoody Charter Cluster begin to turn into reality.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts - it's great to hear from you!