Polly Bond Entry 2024

Best Email/Digital Newsletter/ Magazine

Below are three 2023 publications of the Delaware Communion Magazine.

Summer edition,
published June 2023

Fall edition,
published September 2023

Winter edition,
published December 2023

GOALS: The overarching objective of the quarterly digital magazine is to present captivating and relevant stories about individuals within our organization, diocesan ministries, human-interest, current events, or theology in a user-friendly and visually appealing format accessible across all devices.

A key focus and goal for 2023 was to elevate the reader’s experience and explore new possibilities for our publication. To achieve this, a significant change was implemented — we transitioned from a digital flipbook to a web-based format, starting with the Spring edition in March. The new responsive design is better for our mobile device users, offering an enhanced reading experience and improved navigation compared to the traditional flipbook. Notably, the inclusion of a Spanish translation option reflects our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility for a diverse readership. Instead of purchasing a program for the desired style, I designed and built the new format for the magazine.

We introduced a printer-friendly option for each article, as well as a ‘complete edition’ printer-friendly version. To streamline the printing process, images were intentionally excluded from the printed version, enhancing cost-effectiveness and convenience for readers who prefer hard copies. The updated format also allows for the integration of short videos alongside written articles. Occasionally, we feature authors sharing insights about their stories through video clips placed at the end of the article. This innovative addition brings a new dimension to our storytelling, creating a more immersive and engaging reader experience, which is one of our continued goals.

AUDIENCE: The intended audience for this entry encompasses a broad spectrum, including all members of the diocese, parishioners, individuals who attend church without formal membership, seekers on a spiritual journey, and anyone with an interest in the content.

SUMMARY: The Delaware Communion Magazine, an official publication of the Episcopal Church in Delaware, releases periodic issues (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter) with a distribution list exceeding 3,200 recipients. This magazine is dedicated to reflective, expository, educational, and occasional narrative pieces, explicitly excluding church or diocesan announcements (the weekly eNewsletter is designed for these type of announcements). Each edition comprises four articles (including a feature), a bishop’s letter, and occasional letters from the editor.

In 2023, our focus was on a series titled “My Journey in the Episcopal Church.” This four-part series featured articles aligned with specific months: 1) “My Journey in the Episcopal Church as an Ordained Female Priest” on National Women’s Day, 2) “My Journey in the Episcopal Church as a Gay Person” during Pride Month, 3) “My Journey in the Episcopal Church as a Person in Recovery” in September for National Recovery Month, and 4) “My Journey in the Episcopal Church as a Black Woman” in the Winter edition (December, January, February), incorporating Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month.

Aligned with the entry’s goals, a transition from a digital flipbook to a web-based format commenced with the Summer edition in June, as detailed in the goals section. Instead of purchasing a program for the desired style, I designed and built the new format for the magazine.

METRICS: Following the shift to a web-based format integrated into our diocesan website, our digital magazine consistently emerges as the top-performing page during its publication month. On the day of release, we observe a surge, with sessions and pageviews experiencing an average spike of 200%.

Notably, the feedback from our readership has been the highest we have experienced, with a substantial volume of positive responses expressing their satisfaction with the new format. This surge in reader engagement surpasses any feedback received for our previous efforts. We did not receive any negative comments regarding the new format.

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