The Mental Health Association of Portland ceased to distribute a monthly summary of site posts on June 1, 2014 due to lack of interest.
The organization sent the summary via email to over 10,000 subscribers, mostly Oregonians interested in mental illness and addictions issues. The list was dominated by state workers and employees of county service agencies. The monthly missive replaced Eyes & Ears, a printed and HTML newsletter, which may still be produced.
A subscription online service shows us the number of receivers of the summary email, and in June, after wavering in the area for several months, the number of receivers who opened the email went below 20%, a benchmark we had been waiting for.
That meant 80% of the receivers did not read the email, or that their organizational server had blacklisted the domain mentalhealthportland.org – so that no email could be received. That figure, in our eyes, shifts our monthly email from a service to an annoyance.
Each email had an “unsubscribe” button, and over the course of publishing about 0.2 percent of the list unsubscribed each month. On the front of our web site was a mechanism to sign up for the email blast. That had a similar matching number of sign-ups each month.
Issues like mental illness are fatiguing to read about, and it’s likely many subscribers joined during an investigative period and when sated ceased to be engaged. Others, state employees and such, may just not be curious beyond the scope of their job description.
Replacing the monthly email is our Twitter account @mentalhealthpdx which has rapidly grown over the past two years to over 24,400 followers. Through this account we post news articles and comments between five to fifteen times a day. We encourage you to join us on Twitter.
We have a Facebook page but it is a poor service for community organizing. That page has about 3,400 friends. We have no plans to develop this Facebook page further.