Published 12/1/2007
Peter Pollack

Headline News Now to debut in January

Popular e-newsletter gets new look, wider distribution

For many AAOS members, AAOS Headline News—the Academy’s thrice-weekly e-newsletter—is an indispensable tool for keeping up-to-date on news items of particular interest to orthopaedists. The short summaries of breaking news stories and announcements, with links to more detailed information, are ideal for busy orthopaedists who want to stay current.

“It’s a great service,” says Andrew M. Wong, MD, chair of the Member Communications Oversight Group (MCOG). “But I’m always meeting members who aren’t aware of it.” To address that problem, the MCOG has redesigned and renamed the e-newsletter and will be introducing the upgrade to the entire AAOS membership in January.

A look back
For more than a decade, Headline News has connected subscribers to announcements from U.S. government agencies, news stories on compensation and practice management, AAOS opportunities and announcements, and even updates from state-level sources.

Yet the simple, text-based format of Headline News has failed to keep up with competitive electronic publications that display graphics and present content in a more eye-catching way. In short, Headline News was showing its age.

Perhaps worse, many members may not even realize Headline News exists. “What is that?” and “How can I sign up?” are common responses when an AAOS fellow passes along something he or she has discovered through Headline News. With an “opt-in” subscribership of more than 6,000, the e-newsletter is popular, but still reaches just about a third of the Academy’s membership, suggesting that many people are simply unaware of this valuable member benefit.

A move forward
Beginning in January, all of that will change. Headline News has been redesigned and will be officially renamed Headline News Now. The new name brands the e-newsletter to the printed member publication, AAOS Now. The simple, text-only format will be replaced by a more colorful and easier-to-read modern presentation. Embedded links will eliminate the need for long, arcane URLs. Simply clicking on the descriptive statements such as “Read more…” or “Sign up for the seminar…” will take you where you want to go.

Finally, with the redesign, the publication will convert to an “opt-out” subscriber system. All AAOS members who have e-mail addresses on file with the AAOS—including PGY2 residents and above, candidate members, and international and emeritus members—will receive Headline News Now in their e-mail boxes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those who wish to “opt-out” of the service can simply click on a link to be automatically unsubscribed. Resubscribing through the AAOS Web site will also be easy to do.

“For many years Headline News has been a tremendous member benefit, with the number of subscribers growing slowly and basically through word-of-mouth,” explains Frank B. Kelly, MD, chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet. “The Academy now has e-mail addresses for more than 80 percent of our fellowship, so we thought it was time to re-launch Headline News. We hope to reach those members who for one reason or another have never received it and give them the opportunity to see what a valuable service this is.

“The re-launch is also a perfect time to revamp the format, brand it with our new look, and couple it to our member news magazine, AAOS Now, so it’s identified as a member publication,” he continues. “Headline News Now will be an easy way for fellows to connect with breaking news about many issues affecting the practice of orthopaedic surgery. I think our members will like the new format, and it will have a very positive impact.”

The first issue of the revised AAOS Headline News Now will arrive in your e-mail boxes on Jan. 7, 2008. Watch for it!

Peter Pollack is a staff writer for AAOS Now. He can be reached at ppollack@aaos.org