Tideline quarterly newsletter going digital
by Anne Morkill, Refuge Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Summer 2019 issue of the Tideline quarterly newsletter is our last in print format. Following trends in the business community and across government, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service transitioned from print to digital newsletters and reports several years ago. We have been a bit slower in this transition, but we now find ourselves at a crossroads and decided to follow a new path. The reasons are various, ranging from staff changes and realigned priorities, to new technologies and ever-present budget challenges.
Going digital is not free, but it is less expensive than print. The savings on printing and postage are substantial, and we’d rather re-allocate those funds toward a more multi-faceted communications strategy, as well as on-the-ground resource conservation and public engagement projects. I want to especially recognize the support of the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society for funding the layout and printing of Tideline for many years. We will continue to collaborate with the Society on developing and distributing the next generation of the publication.
Communication plays a vital role in our efforts to inspire and educate visitors, by building awareness, understanding, and engagement. As we have with the printed Tideline for nearly 40 years (the first issue was published in 1981), we want to bring you the stories you want to read and the information you find most valuable. The Refuge and the Wildlife Society are envisioning a digital strategy that employs and integrates the latest media platforms and products (website, social media, etc.). We will deliver user-friendly information to our traditional readers while striving to engage a broader base of current and new supporters.
With a new digital platform, we hope to bring you more timely news, feature stories, and event announcements in a format that can be easily shared. A digital version will give us the ability to provide links to more in-depth stories and related information sites. You’ll be able to simply click on a link to sign up for an event or volunteer for an activity; share stories instantly through email or social media; or print for later reading or future reference. Based on our recent survey, one of the most popular features is the Activity Schedule, so we will post complete and up-to-date activity listings on the refuge website (https://www.fws.gov/refuge/don_edwards_san_francisco_bay/) and provide digital copies of the schedule for those who wish to opt in. The schedules will be formatted for easy printing, whether to post on your own refrigerator, pass along to friends and co-workers, or pin on an activity board at your local community center or school. And we will continue to host past issues of Tideline on the refuge webpage for your reading pleasure.