CAPE Communications Survey

June 02, 2010

In order to develop a long range work plan for CAPE communications that would be responsive to the needs of CAPE Locals and membership, the CAPE Communications Committee distributed a survey to all members of the National Executive Committee, and to all CAPE Local’s Executive Members. The questions included subjects such as:

How effective did they feel the National Office was in reaching CAPE members;

How could CAPE strengthen its communication activities? Including support to the Locals;

Ideas for the CAPE website;

Balancing hard copy communications with that of emails and website accessed information;

The utility of online discussions and a President’s Blog;

Ideas for the future including short, medium and long term.

While respondents were not overly critical in their views of CAPE’s communications activities, there were definitely areas for attention. These included:

Uses of technology for strengthening our communications activities: Most felt that it was time to use electronic methods for getting information out to members. This would entail updating the membership list to include email addresses. Hard copy was viewed as essentially wasteful, and should only be used at voting time. Note - although we didn’t ask, several people suggested electronic voting.

Changes to the CAPE Website: Overwhelming support for reorganizing the material on our website including making recent information (such as minutes, documentation, etc.) readily available in a timely manne.), and removing outdated material.

Online discussions and related activities: The idea of online discussions was definitely supported however with strong provisions for security and moderating. There were a few suggestions for Twitter, specifically for getting fast, short information out to members.

Support to the Locals: we were pleased to see that most respondents were positive towards CAPE’s support to the Locals. Suggestions for improving communications however included enhancing the information flow to the Locals and Regions, promoting the use of emails, an improved membership list, and information sheets/articles on pertinent topics such as CAPE’s vision, contract updates, work place issues, pensions, family leave, and so on. Of note is that several Locals also felt that they could be used to convey information.

Next Steps:

The results of this survey have been used to develop the CAPE Communications Committee work plan, which was recently and unanimously approved by the National Executive Committee. This work plan will be presented to the Local Leadership to inform the Locals as to what we expect to achieve in the near future as well as our long range plans for CAPE.

We hope that in a few months CAPE Members will find the website easier to navigate and more useful, and that both Local membership lists and email lists will be available. In accomplishing the latter, we will be working closely with the Locals to build on their advice and expertise.