Tomorrow’s Fermilab Today

Katie Yurkewicz

Katie Yurkewicz, assistant director for communications, wrote this column.

The year is 2003. On the news you’re reading about the Human Genome Project, the new Department of Homeland Security, the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy and — no matter how much you try to avoid her — Britney Spears.

You’re wondering if you should give up your flip-phone for one of the BlackBerry devices that everyone’s talking about while checking out the new iTunes store on your home dial-up Internet connection.

And on July 21, you receive the first issue of Fermilab Today in your “emailbox.”

Twelve years ago, the Fermilab Today format was at the cutting edge of communication. Fermilab focus groups had revealed a strong desire for more information and a greater sense of community. The switch from a paper publication to a daily email provided a virtual news avalanche that quickly became the go-to source for Fermilab employees and users as well as physicists and Fermilab fans worldwide.

Our need for communication and community has not changed, but technology and digital news delivery certainly has. We are bombarded by emails, newsletters, tweets, posts, blogs, pins, pop-ups, photos, videos. For something to catch and hold our attention today, it needs to be tailored specifically to our needs and delivered in a format and on a timeline that we expect to receive it.

Over the next year your Office of Communication team will transform Fermilab Today into a set of publications targeted to the needs of the many audiences this newsletter now serves. Other new tools will join the labwide calendar in providing up-to-date information and fostering community. We’ll be asking for your input during the planning process, and your feedback after changes are made.

We hope that next year you’ll be using your iPhone 7 to read the Fermilab news you need to do your job, check events on the labwide calendar and add your announcements to a new phablet-friendly forum — all while still trying your best to avoid the latest news about Britney Spears.