by John Byrne Barry
Adjusting The Planet's Orbit
Last fall, The Planet lost two of its valued contributors, Senior Editor Jenny Coyle, to the Club Web team and Associate Editor/Designer Kim Todd, to freelance writing. Then, in January, Executive Director Carl Pope announced a reorganization that puts The Planet team into a new communications unit that includes Sierra magazine, the Web site and Sierra Club Productions.
This offers us a chance to examine the mission and scope of The Planet and see how it might evolve as the Club comes to depend more on e-mail and the Web to generate activism.
The Planet's primary goals are to give activists the information and opportunity to take action on Club campaigns, as well as to tell stories about the inspiring work being done by our volunteers and staff.
We're asking our readers to help us with this evolution. In December, the Club launched a new and improved e-mail Take Action system, in which we contact activists by e-mail and provide them with a direct link to our Web site, where they can write a letter or send a fax or e-mail to their public officials. We'd like to invite Planet readers to join this new program. It's easy. Sign up on line at www.sierraclub.org/takeaction/.
These e-mail alerts won't replace The Planet, but will allow us to reach activists more quickly with timely information.
We'd also like your help in evaluating The Planet. Please take a minute and fill out the survey at right. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
Meanwhile, we're trying to get The Planet to more members who might want it, so some of you may be receiving The Planet for the first time. We're mailing it to 5,000 members who have taken an action in the past year, like contacting a public official. For those new readers (and a sample of our regular readers), we're enclosing a postcard to Interior Secretary Norton, c/o the Sierra Club, urging her to keep the timber, oil and mining industries out of the wild, undeveloped areas of our national monuments, wildlife refuges, and our other wild public lands. If you're receiving The Planet for the first time and want to keep receiving it, please sign and send the postcard. We'll deliver it to Norton for you and sign you up for The Planet.
In the coming year, we will be reevaluating the role of The Planet and how to more fully integrate it with our electronic publications.
If you have a strong opinion about The Planet, now's the best time to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.
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