President’s Note – February 2017

Volume 27, Issue 3
February 2017

Bob Bolf, President

As you may know, this is a bargaining year. Our faculty collective agreement (CA) expires on September 30 and negotiations for the new CA will begin in July. From now until the new CA is ratified is a critical time for all faculty. We have sent out messages to faculty letting you know about the on-line demand-setting survey and the follow-up demand meetings to be held in early February.

One of our problems has always been how to establish and maintain contact with all faculty. Other than e-mail, Newsbreak seems to be the traditional media to inform and engage in dialogue with our faculty. We struggle with how to get all faculty to read Newsbreak when it comes out, as most likely there will be something relevant to each and every faculty member at Humber.

So how do we increase the eyeballs reading Newsbreak? The problem is compounded by the fact that part-time faculty do not always see Newsbreak as being relevant to them, and that partial-load faculty could be constantly alternating between part-time and partial-load status.

Print media generally have gone to great lengths to get more readership. One of the best approaches I have seen was the cover of a 1970s issue of National Lampoon. The publishers of National Lampoon were the same people who founded the Second City comic groups in Chicago and Toronto and went on to have successful careers with Saturday Night Live.

The cover that I’m thinking about showed a picture of a startled dog, with a hand holding a gun to the side of it’s head. The headline read, “If you don’t buy this magazine, we will shoot this dog.” I guess one needs a certain type of sense of humour to appreciate this ploy, and as I said, I still remember this cover.

It made me think whether or not this type of tactic would work nowadays. Given the awareness of animal rights and sensitivity to gun violence, it may not be as effective today, as it was in the 1970s. But I wonder, what publishing tactic would work today?

It would have to be something that is relevant and easily related to by the readership. While the premise of the theme may involve artistic license, any consequence or reward attached to the described action would have to be real and actually delivered. I wonder what would work today?