NLC to Update Publications, Web News Delivery

April 30, 2012
Last Print Edition of Nation's Cities Weekly to be May 21 

by Amy Elsbree

NLC announced today it will be making changes to its print and electronic publications as part of its efforts to ensure timely delivery of news and information while providing the greatest flexibility for members to customize how they receive communications from NLC.

The most immediate impact on NLC members will be the discontinuation of the print edition ofNation's Cities Weekly after the May 21 issue. After that date and during a transition period, the paper will continue to be produced electronically for distribution to members via e-mail and a downloadable digital version online.

Currently, NLC publishes Nation's Cities Weekly each Monday, sending hard copies to elected officials and key appointed officials in all NLC member cities along with e-mailing an electronic version to all city officials and staff members from NLC member cities. 

Because of the lengthy production process involved with printing and shipping the hard copy of the paper, this weekly cycle can no longer keep up with 24/7 cycle that now dominates news delivery. 

Instead, NLC anticipates shifting to a printed publication offered monthly or bimonthly that provides commentary and analysis, resources for cities and organizational news. This will be complemented by round-the-clock news and commentary from NLC via a suite of Web-based tools, including NLC's websiteTwitter, NLC's blog - CitiesSpeak.org - and Facebook

In addition, NLC will continue to provide a weekly e-mail for members pointing to the highlights of that week's NLC news and activities and to offer e-newsletters tailored to specific member interests.

"Our goal is to offer our members a variety of ways they can gather news and information from NLC," said NLC Executive Director Donald J. Borut. "We know our members don't all have the same preferences nor do they all have the same access to electronic devices and computers.

"In addition, we have to be responsive to and constantly evolve with the changing nature of news delivery, trying new ways to stay connected with our members," said Borut. "I look forward to getting feedback about what is and isn't working so we can continue to innovate and experiment going forward." 

The first phase of change will be the discontinuation of the print edition of Nation's Cities Weekly. The May 21 issue will be the final issue mailed to NLC member cities. After that date, city officials and staff will receive Nation's Cities Weekly via e-mail. It will also remain accessible on the NLC website. 

The second phase of change will come with the upgrade of NLC's website in late June with a fresh look and more flexible layout on the homepage. A new content management system will allow for continuous publication of news and closer linkages to social media. 

The final phase will come with the introduction of a new printed publication - which will also be available online - and a new version of the Nation's Cities Weekly e-mail. These two products will be designed and developed based on member feedback gathered over the coming weeks.

NLC members will be able to control their access to NLC publications via myNLC, the recently launched online portal. On myNLC, members can sign up to receive e-newsletters that match with their interests or opt out of others. They can also select to receive the hard copy publication or view it solely online. Members are also encouraged to continue to follow NLC on social media. 

NLC intends to continue offering a job posting service for cities but will shift the service to an online system that provides greater flexibility for users and greater access to potential job seekers. 

Details: To provide input to NLC, members are encouraged to complete the short survey available at http://bit.ly/NCWSurvey. For questions or if you have trouble accessing Nation's Cities Weekly online, please contact NLC Member Services at (877) 827-2385 or memberservices@nlc.org.