Why guiding magazine is going termly

We're making some changes following member consultation on improvements we need to make to our membership communications

Tegan Jones, Lead Volunteer
18 Apr 2016

What we have in store for the magazine and more

Hello and welcome to another update from the Membership Communications Team! We are so excited to tell you that we are now beginning to make the changes you suggested in the Membership Communications Review.

What's this all about?

Over the last few months, our volunteer Task and Finish Group and I have led a review of all the ways in which we speak to our members. We're putting together a whole package of improvements, that will affect our magazine, our emails and our website – all to ensure you can get the information you want and need. We'll be bringing you lots more information on those changes over the next few months.

What's happening now?

There will be no magazine in June this year. Instead, the next guiding will come out in mid-July, in plenty of time for the autumn school term. This later arrival should help ensure that the content of the magazine does not become out of date before your unit's meetings recommence after the school summer breaks. And it also means that Leaders in all Countries and Regions can finish their summer terms before receiving their summer holiday reading!

There won't be a magazine in September this year as we're making the timing fit more with school holidays (more on that below). We'll be channeling all our efforts into working with volunteers to launch guiding magazine with a brand new look later in the autumn, based on the feedback we received in our research into what members want from it.

The catalogue and Adventure Made Easy will be coming to you early this year, in your July copy of guiding magazine.

What's happening next?

We will be working with lots of member input over the coming months to develop our plans for the magazine, website and more. Here are some of the changes we're making in response to your comments so far.

Making the magazine timelier

You said: '[It would be better] if the magazine came out in enough time to use the ideas contained therein for planning the following term.'

We're planning: Your responses made it clear that you really value guiding, but that its issues could be timelier. So, we are changing the frequency from four a year (quarterly) to three (termly). These will coincide with the school terms: provisionally, March for the summer term, July for the autumn term, and November for the winter/spring term. However, the precise dates will be decided with input from volunteers across our different Countries and Regions to ensure that you will all be able to use the ideas in the magazine over the upcoming term.

More practical guiding information

You said: 'More activity ideas and practical help.'

We're planning: We will also be making changes to guiding's content. The magazine will become even more focused on day-to-day guiding, with more ideas and resources for fun activities for girls, and more showcasing of the amazing work that all our volunteers do.

Changing the way we look

You said: 'More colourful and less text.'

We're planning: While this summer issue of guiding will look the same, we'll be transforming the appearance of future issues. We will be looking at every element of our design – the text, the photography, the illustrations – as well as the overall look and style, and making sure we get the balance right.

More reader-friendly

You said: 'If the magazine was a bit shorter I would be able to read it all in one go, as opposed to now where I read half then put it down and forget about it because I don't have time to read the rest.'

We're planning: We recognise that our volunteers lead busy lives and don't always have time to read a long magazine. We'll be bearing this in mind during the redesign of guiding, making sure that it's user-friendly, easy to navigate and a pleasure to read.

More co-ordinated with our website

You said: 'Improved website to find key information that may have been previously highlighted in newsletter or magazine.'

We're planning: We are working with our Digital Team to make sure the information in the magazine is co-ordinated better with the information on our website. We're also looking at new ways to offer a digital version of the magazine alongside its hard-copy version. These improvements are an important part of Girlguiding's web development project and digital transformation work. Look out for more information on our new website - and how we're making it easier for all our members to find the information they need - over the next few months.

To help us achieve these changes, we are working with our volunteer Task and Finish Group to reach members in areas across the UK, as well as our Youth Editors and our Readership Panel online, to make guiding more fun, inspirational and practical – just as you asked for.

We are really looking forward to making your suggestions a reality. The magazine's transformation is an ongoing process, so be on the lookout for future opportunities to feed into the changes even after the first one lands.

Are you up to date?

Make sure your email address is up to date so that you don’t miss further updates about the improvements we have planned.