One of the reasons I enjoy speaking at stamp club meetings is the feedback I receive from members on what they would like to read more of in Canadian Stamp News.
I spoke recently at the North Toronto Stamp Club; a very impressive club that meets the second and fourth Thursday evenings at the Westminster Park Baptist Church located in downtown Toronto, at 1585 Yonge St. I’m told their meetings draw, on average, 30 members.
That strong showing was evident when I had the honour of speaking to them April 9. While I enjoy speaking about the history of CSN and our current strategic plans, the rewarding part for me is the question and answer period. And the North Toronto Stamp Club members were prepared.
Several excellent questions were asked about our history, distribution and content. Feedback on our content always piques my interest as it’s our stories, the columns and other features that drive our readership that fuels our advertising. This is usually when I ask for a show of hands of members who subscribe to CSN.
I was taken aback that only a scattering of hands were raised amongst this group of 30 members. “Why not?” is my immediate question. (It is important to point out that several non-subscribers are still readers of CSN – they just pick up their magazine at their local stamp shop, or at a stamp show.)
The most common answer I get for not joining CSN is we do not focus on their area of speciality, such as in-depth coverage of world stamps. While our vision at CSN is to be all things philatelic, it is a tall order to fulfill. Airmail, commemoratives, coils, definitives, cinderellas, military, mintsheets, perforated stamps, souvenir sheets, moderns and first-day covers are amongst the dozens of different stamp types people collect today. This presents a challenge for us in not only covering all the topics, but also in finding these ‘specialized’ writers.
Getting this feedback also presents an opportunity to recruit new writers – whether it’s on a one-off basis or becoming a regular columnist. This year we will be launching a readership review, seeking your input on our content, design, etc. I will write more about this in a future column along with introducing members of our inaugural Reader Advisory Board. Meanwhile, I really appreciate your feedback on our content. Feel free to email or call me with your suggestions on what you like and would like to read more of in future issues of CSN.
Your feedback helps in a huge way to generate the content of our magazine which, in turn, drives our readership… and we all want a strong and growing stamp community in Canada.