PR Society of America has told those who joined after Aug. 2 that they will only be sent e-mail versions of the monthly PR Tactics tabloid and the quarterly magazine PR Strategist.
Current members are being asked to voluntarily convert to e-mail delivery in order to lessen the environmental impact of printing and mailing and to cut costs.
The Society lost $500,688 on its publications in 2012. Publication expenses were $1,041,509 and income, $540,821. Advertising revenues were $503,396 and subscription income, $37,425. Costs included $770,418 for salaries and fringes of publication staffers.
It had an $18,719 operating loss for the first half of 2012 on revenues of $5.4 million despite a dues increase of $30 in 2011.
Publication costs used to include administrative expenses which were $457,838 in 2003. A bookkeeping change in 2004 removed such expenses from publications and 12 other categories of spending including awards ($113,045) and sections ($194,223).
The expenses were combined under "administration," totaling $2,002,580. Unallocated administrative expenses were $2,462,077 in 2012.
Since PRSA takes in 5,000-5,500 new members each year (renewal rate is 70-75%), it would take at least a half dozen years for it to substantially reduce printing/mailing costs unless numerous members opt to get T&S via e-mail.
The current membership total of "21,000" is close to what it was in 2000 (20,266).
Circulation of Tactics is 27,500 to members and 3,500 to "additional subscribers," according to the Society's website. Strategist circulation is 21,000 plus 3,500 to others.
IABC Went "Cold Turkey" on Its Mag
The International Assn. of Business Communicators, which also faced high publication costs for its 50-year-old Communication World bi-monthly, went entirely digital with its May issue.
This caused some griping among members who said the printed magazine was just about the chief benefit they received from the group.
CW is available on desktop, mobile and iOS devices. As of Sept. 1, T&S are available on Smartphones.
Longtime IABC member Neville Hobson reviewed the digital CW in May and found some technical problems but expressed hope that matters would improve.