By Sally McGlew
DESPITE the popularity of mobile technology, studies show that 78 per cent of consumers still use a printed calendar at home or at work.
That’s a lot of people using good old-fashioned pen and paper, and proof that printed calendars still make great advertising.
The merits for and against the Swan ratepayers and resident’s calendar have been debated over two ordinary council meetings at the City of Swan this year.
In February, a motion to stop publishing the calendar was lost 3/12, which showed there was support for a future calendar.
This month councillors voted 10/3 to keep it but undertake a review of the distribution of the City of Swan calendar.
This included having it printed by November; advising ratepayers where the calendar can be collected in the annual rates notice; investigating the opportunity to promote local businesses in the calendar and the opportunity to include more information about key local events for residents in the calendar.
The calendar has been produced by the City of Swan for the past 12 years.
Council stopped mailing out the calendar in 2020 and made the free calendars available at various locations in an effort to curb costs for printing and postage.
But community response has shown that the calendar is still popular among the majority of ratepayers.
Cr Dave Lucas said perhaps Council should consider making the calendar larger and running to 16 months as it was frustrating when it ended at 12 months and there were future events to mark on it to be held on the 13th or 14th month.
“I only ever receive positive comments regarding the calendar,” Cr Lucas said.
In an unofficial survey on Facebook by Cr Rashelle Predovnik, 336 people commented on the issue.
She said on her page, 118 followers voted to cull the calendar and 67 others voted to keep it.
But Cr Predovnik said it was the suggestions people made, that were the most telling.
She said most of the suggestions related to improving the calendar’s distribution.
City staff said most of the work on the calendar annually could not be started until after the financial year has closed.
While it is helpful to include information about local events in the calendar and give people something to look forward to, Cr Mel Congerton said in the age of COVID-19 it became problematic to include such events in a diary format that could change rapidly and with little notice.
He said it could also cause issues if events were cancelled because of COVID-19.
Cr Tanya Richardson said she believed promoting events that may be cancelled due to COVID-19 was not a moot point.
“Of course we can continue to promote events and that is understood that it is subject to COVID-19 conditions,” Cr Richardson said.
Cr Predovnik said Council would resolve to communicate better with ratepayers who don’t regularly look at the website or Facebook for pick up places for the Swan calendar; promote a stronger uptake of the calendar and improve information for locations to pick up a calendar to help inform the merit or otherwise of its retention.