Publications/Communications

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Dug
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon 28 Aug 2006 11:17

Publications/Communications

Post by Dug » Tue 12 Sep 2006 23:52

Having glimpsed through the May minutes of a RCC meeting, I noticed a communique from the BCA asking that some member clubs were not fulfilling their obligations to their members by failing to disseminate information regarding BCA activities to the membership.

I've not seen any BCA information for some considerable time now, and thought I'd look into it. However, the secretary of my club assured me that the club had been sent nothing for quite a while.

Have I missed anything important that our club may or may not have been sent?

David Cooke
Site Admin
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu 29 Dec 2005 23:22
Location: Axbridge, Somerset, UK

Post by David Cooke » Fri 15 Sep 2006 02:22

Good question.

I guess you read this minute from the CSCC's AGM.
8.4 – Obligations on BCA Member Clubs
The BCA had noted correspondence at its AGM which suggested that some Clubs were not adequately fulfilling their obligations to their Members in respect of keeping them informed about what the BCA was doing, important communiqués, etc. CSCC Member Clubs are reminded that they are the only route of contact the BCA has with its Club Individual
Members (CIM’s); a declaration to this effect is actually part of the BCA membership form. A quick survey of those Clubs represented at the Meeting revealed wildly different degrees of information dissemination.
The CSCC Secretary was only repeated what was said at the National Council meeting. I can't remember what the specific issue was. In fact there might not have been a specific issue, this is the kind of language I've heard before from one specific individual who has a bee in his bonnet about CIM's.

There is an important message here. That is that the BCA has no direct communication with CIMs and relies on the clubs. This was a deliberate choice in order to keep the costs of CIM membership to a bare minimum.

However using patronising language like "not adequately fulfilling their obligations " is unhelpful . It just winds people up. Especially since I think the only items BCA has sent out this year are Newsletter 6 (This week) and the notification of the AGM in March.

Ideally the BCA Newsletter and Handbook should be made available to the club membership rather than kept as the personal copy of whoever it is posted to. Easy for the few clubs with libraries, tricky otherwise. Alternatively items can be extracted for the club newsletter, but where do you draw the line? Clearly it can't all be republished. Should you even republish an item such as the BCA Chairman's Annual Report? I think not.
The Club Application Form wrote:It is therefore incumbent upon the Club to ensure that BCA communications and information is passed to your members. This is a condition of BCA membership.
This is way to general. It simply isn't practical for clubs to do this with everything they receive from the BCA. Maybe the BCA should be more explicit about the items it thinks clubs should pass on to its members and issue them as press-release. Then leave the other items about the good works of the BCA to the discretion of editors.

The BCA does have other routes to get its message across. It has a website that it could put copies of the Newsletter on. And dare I say it, it has this Forum where the officers can directly interact with the membership. Neither of which is really happening. Maybe when it is using its own channels of publication in a timely and effective manner it'll be justified in expecting more of the clubs.
Dave Cooke
BCA IT Working Party, BCA Web Services, National Cave Registry Co-ordinator, CSCC Webmaster

Les Williams
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Joined: Fri 30 Dec 2005 15:48
Location: Wells, Somerset, UK.
Contact:

Post by Les Williams » Fri 15 Sep 2006 18:06

Cookie wrote: The BCA does have other routes to get its message across. It has a website that it could put copies of the Newsletter on. And dare I say it, it has this Forum where the officers can directly interact with the membership. Neither of which is really happening.
I would like to point out that BCA Newsletters are on the web site.
It is just that we have not had a regular Newsletter for some time. :(

I hope to rectify this situation very soon.

Les
Les Williams
BCA P & I Officer & Webmaster
CSCC C&A Officer
WCC Caving Secretary
Hidden Earth Conference Manager
In my spare time I sometimes go caving...

Les Williams
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri 30 Dec 2005 15:48
Location: Wells, Somerset, UK.
Contact:

Post by Les Williams » Sat 16 Sep 2006 16:23

All BCA minutes are now available online

You can find links to them on the documents page (of course)

:D
Les Williams
BCA P & I Officer & Webmaster
CSCC C&A Officer
WCC Caving Secretary
Hidden Earth Conference Manager
In my spare time I sometimes go caving...

David Cooke
Site Admin
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu 29 Dec 2005 23:22
Location: Axbridge, Somerset, UK

Post by David Cooke » Wed 20 Sep 2006 11:57

Mmm, I seem to have posted a bit of a late night rant above. Lest people get the wrong idea:
  • I support the idea that club should pass BCA information on to their member. In fact I argued strongly for this in order to keep the CIM (Club Individual Member) fees as low as possible.

    BCA needs to package the information in such a way that clubs know what they are supposed to pass on. It is simply impractical for clubs to pass it all on. Clear guidance is needed. Currently a club might believe they are required to reprint the whole of the BCA Newsletter.

    That the BCA Newsletter is available on-line is the first bit of news that clubs should pass on. Sorry Les, I'd forgotten they were on-line. But if I didn't know, then I bet the vast majority of cavers also didn't know.
Dave Cooke
BCA IT Working Party, BCA Web Services, National Cave Registry Co-ordinator, CSCC Webmaster

Tim P
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu 19 Jan 2006 21:23

Post by Tim P » Mon 09 Oct 2006 19:48

Guidance and/or assistance on what publications and communications the BCA expects its member clubs to pass onto its CIMs would be very useful. Hopefully most of it is available online so this will not be very onerous.

Tim Palmer
NPC Secretary

Jenny Potts
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed 11 Jan 2006 18:49

Post by Jenny Potts » Tue 10 Oct 2006 17:13

The query about making it clear what BCA expects club secretaries to pass on to their members has been noted. In future, BCA will try to make it clear which particular items of information are important for club members to know about.

For example, there will be a circular included in the N/L to be sent to all BCA members later this year which will give details of the BCA AGM for 2007, the list of nominations for officer and representative posts required, the deadline dates for these and where nominations are to be sent. We hope that club secretaries will bring this to the attention of their members and the information will also be posted on the BCA website to make it easier.

The agenda for the 2007 BCA AGM on 24th. March will be posted on the website before 10th. February 2007 so everyone can access it. This will be in addition to it being posted to all club and direct individual members.

Don't forget that all BCA N/Ls are placed on the website as soon as possible after publication so that all members can access them. The Minutes of AGMs and Council Meetings are also posted as soon as they are ready, in draft form if necessary.

At present it isn't possible for BCA to email all its members who have internet access to advise them of important items posted on the website but this may be on the cards for the future, if that's what members want.

Please let us know if you think there are other ways in which BCA can improve communications with its members.

Jenny Potts
Acting secretary, BCA
Jenny P.

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