Sunday 12/9/2012 BMM Newsletter/ Vritta Past, Present & Future Vinata Kulkarni, Mohan Ranade
BMM Newsletter Started in 1981 as Brihan Maharashtra Vritta/Mukhapatra Mukhapatra of whom ? Of all Marathi people across North America , as a Platform, to bring together and to reach out the Marathi People...in North America . (It’s Purpose is NOT and should NOT be- BMM ownership approach , neither be just a voice of BMM Governing body.)
BMM Newsletter Initial (1981) Purpose of the Newsletter To convey news from Maharashtra in absence of Marathi Newspapers in North America Break down 60-40: (Maharashtra News-US, Canada News) This format continued till 2000 Phased out as Internet became popular 3
BMM Newsletter Initial (1981) Purpose of the Newsletter Early decision not to compete with Ekata (Literary magazine from Canada published quarterly) Therefore does not publish Stories, Poems and other literary content except in special issues
BMM Newsletter US portion - Hand written Indian portion - Type set Changed to computer fonts in 1991 Fonts developed by MadhavDeshpande, Detroit, MI Late ShrikrishnaPatil, San Jose, CA
BMM Newsletter No set subscription initially - 1987 subscription set at $12 /year - Current subscription $25/year - Life Membership started in 1987 at $150; currently at $250 - Electronic subscription started in 2007 at $10 /year (now free, since 2011)
BMM Newsletter Current Subscribers - 272Print Edition ( 46 Annual, 207 Life, 19 Canada and other countries) - 116 Electronic edition Complimentary E copy, goes to 90 BMM donors, 16 foreign Marathi Mandal Presidents, 387 Past subscribers, (Potential to send copy to also 602 past subscribers if their email ids would be known ) 7
BMM Newsletter Subscriber Base - Mostly over 50 years old Acquired through Past EC’s efforts and lately through BMM Convention registration process ( Since 2012, current month’s e -copy also goes on BMM website and BMM Face book, so age group of e copy- readers may vary than previously observed. )
BMM Newsletter • Content • - Adhyakshiya and cover (1 page), • - Back page (½ page ad plus address block) • Other Ads (1½ page max.) • BMM projects, Mandal news, convention (4 pages), • Other (Lalit & other sahitya, book intro, noteworthy -profile, specific sadars, occasional cartoon ..) (5 pages) • Total 12 pages
BMM Newsletter Content (contd.) 12 page Paper -Newsletter weighs 1 oz. (# 80 Bond Paper) Can be mailed with basic first class postage - US 0.44 cents - Canada 0.75 cents - Int’l 0.98 cents (any page sheet beyond that causes approx 25% increase in printing + mailing cost)
BMM Newsletter Financial Outlook Income Life Member reserves- return on investment, Subscription Ad Revenue Annual Income vs Revenue – Hardly breaks- even
BMM Newsletter • Analysis of Current Situation • WHAT IS WRONG or IS ANYTHING WRONG? • Not a financial problem • DOES NOT REACH INTENDED AUDIENCE • One suggestion was • SEND IT FREE TO EVERYBODY
BMM Newsletter • Analysis of Current Situation • -Good balance sheet is necessary but not Sufficient • Current trend in the Newspaper Industry • revenue generated through other means • In 12 pages quality of the content is well maintained but need to take it to further level • (Making free copy is not the solution, many other free papers lack in quality • (eg. papers in drive-way)
BMM Newsletter Analysis of Current Situation What is first Chicken or egg (Content or readers) BOTH Will get new readers (and keep current ones) - if the content is strong - if marketing is improved Need Efforts on both fronts simultaneously
BMM Newsletter Analysis of Current Situation (contd.) Need more good writers from North America Historically those who send articles on their own do not meet standard - Good writer does not volunteer - Need to seek writers (BMM reps. Can suggest names of good writers from their Mandal zones) - Need cajoling of known writers
BMM Newsletter • Analysis of Current Situation (contd.) • Why content has less variety? • Lack of story ideas from members • Lack of feed back • Lack of interest of readers about • write up on BMM issues discussed • by EC and Board of directors • (similar trend in many Other Marathi publications in US)
BMM Newsletter Analysis of Current Situation (contd.) Why subscribers do not increase - Lack of marketing at local level - At Mandal programs - Through Mandal e-mails - Through Mandal web site
BMM Newsletter • What is the future ? • Current liability is Life Members • Course direction need to be identified • Who will be readers in 2020 • Delivery format: Print or Electronic? • Content?
BMM Newsletter What is the future ? A: Need More funds, B: Resources who can spend time to attract and motivate good writers. C: Resources who can motivate readers to participate, express and discuss issues of the community.
BMM Newsletter • What is the future ? • - More electronic than print (may be web based format ) • Amortize Life Members and reduce liability? • Phase out annual print subscription? • Separate e-letter for MAIYTRA • Sahitya Section on the Web • Special editions ( one we have in Diwali ) to generate interest 20
BMM Newsletter • Overview • Where we have been ? • Where We are ? • Where We are Going ? 21
BMM Newsletter VrittaOutlook : Early80s- Type -set news from Maharashtra, and Hand- written copy of US/Canada’ news 22
BMM Newsletter Vritta Outlook Late 80s October 1989 January 1989 23
BMM Newsletter Vritta Outlook : Late 90s Diwali 2000 January 1999 24
BMM Newsletter Vritta Outlook : Early2000s- January2002 Diwali 2002 25
BMM Newsletter Vritta Outlook January, 2012 November, Diwali, 2012 26
BMM Newsletter contents Info about : BMM activities , BMM events, Various Mandal news , programs Notable –North American -Marathi Vyakti- parichay New Book- Parichay Cartoon on topics relevant to North American Marathi community Occasional poems, stories Lalitsahitya – Specific topics/sadars 27
BMM Newsletter January 2010 -12 BMM vritta E- section on BMM WebsiteVrutta on BMM Facebook Few Audio,Video links New topics/sadars E-copy - Wider Circulation 28
BMM Newsletter • 2013 and ahead • Along with paper, • Web-based digital copy in the interest of North American Marathi Community • for wider circulation.
BMM Newsletter • What is the future ? • For sustaining Marathi language, informing Marathi community, and keeping the community closer • across North America, • BMM Newsletter in format(s) • suitable for various age-groups, is • essential communication tool.