Communications Committee

Minutes of the Communications Committee Meeting

March 24 - 27, 2006

The Committee met in Ottawa from March 24th to March 27 with the following members in attendance:  Barry Melanson, Sabri Khayat, Bob Campbell and Susan Duncan.

The Committee prepared April’s newsletter for publication and had a general discussion on other UTE communication items.   The following agenda items were discussed: 

  • Achievements Book and Owner’s Manual
  • Help Book
  • Website
  • Email
  • Newsletter Format / Questionnaire

UTE Achievements Book and the Owner’s Manual

The Committee reviewed the contents of both books, making minor revisions.  The Committee reviewed different formats for the books and are recommending that we adopt the smaller version of the booklets for our next printing. 

Help Book

The Committee reviewed the Help Book.  It was suggested that an updated copy be put together for reference and for new locals.  Brother Campbell informed us that the Policy and Procedures Manual will now fall under the Communications Committee’s responsibilities.


The Committee reviewed the website and various suggestions were made including:

  • Changing the collage on the splash page once a quarter
  • Keeping most items on the home page for no more than three weeks
  • Change the President’s Message: What we have now would become the President’s Welcome and we would add a President’s Update which would be changed every month and would include what is happening now.  Some discussion was had with reference to who would write this.
  • Adding links to the Executive Committee from with the structure section; add a link to the locals from the structure section.
  • Adding terms of reference for all committees; if none, put in the By-Law
  • Underline text links to make the site easier to navigate

This was only a cursory examination of the website.  All members will do a more in-depth review between now and the next meeting.


The Committee discussed the issues with the email system and the webmail interface that most locals were using.  It was agreed that the current interface is less than desirable.  The software that we are currently running does have a new interface which is better, however, reports from other companies who have moved to it have been less than favourable.

The Committee examined another software product, SmarterMail which is being sold by one of our current vendors and receiving high praise by companies who have made the switch to it.  The Committee was pleased with the web interface and the functionality of the new software, as well as its relatively low cost. 

The Committee recommends moving to the SmarterMail software for our email system.

Newsletter Format / Questionnaire

The Committee appreciates the flexibility that Council has given us with regard to the size and format of the newsletter.  We discussed the feedback that we have received on the newsletter as well as the number and type of articles we currently receive from members, staff, locals and council.

The Committee has decided to continue with our current format for the present.  Brother Melanson will draft a questionnaire for our next meeting.  Brother Campbell and Sister Duncan will put together pricing for various formats, for our next meeting.