New Recreational Mariner E-Newsletter Focuses on Safety at Sea

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NOAA nautical chart partner OceanGrafix relies on research and customer experiences to launch e-news focused on safer boating. Called OG News, it's a non-promotional e-news designed to keep sailors up to date on nautical news, NOAA, and safety at sea.

OceanGrafix, NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), http://www.noaa.gov/, print on demand supplier of nautical charts, has launched a monthly e-newsletter "for serious recreational mariners" which underlines the mission of OceanGrafix (http://www.oceangrafix.com) and of NOAA, which is safety at sea.

Called OG News, http://www.ixfr.com/survey.asp?IX=e_e_e_mig_jkf_e_gmfn&SL=hkjm, the monthly e-news is objective in nature, with articles focusing on sailing and charting information, education for experienced and novice mariners alike, and the importance of using NOAA paper nautical charts along with electronic navigational systems. OG News launched its first issue with more than 3,000 subscribers.

"We researched newsletters for recreational mariners and found most to be product-focused or promotional in nature", states Larry Kocon, Business Director, OceanGrafix. "Our main goal in planning OG News was to provide truly helpful information, focused on mariner safety and education. A secondary goal was to ensure that mariners are more aware of how, and how often, nautical chart data is updated, and how NOAA paper charts should be used with electronic systems for optimum safety and fail-safe backup."

The topic of chart updates was a key driver behind the launching of OG News, and research supported the need for such information to be disseminated to mariners.

An extensive December, 2008 survey by OceanGrafix and USPS (United States Power Squadrons) found that recreational mariners in general don't pay a lot of attention to official NOAA chart updates: 55% do not update their NOAA charts using the Local Notice to Mariners (LNMs), which are important, ongoing chart updates provided weekly by each of the nine U.S. Coast Guard Districts; and 88% of mariners either are not aware of, or don't normally obtain, a new NOAA chart when it is issued as a new "Edition", which brings the chart fully up to date with all LNMs and other changes deemed important by NOAA.

OceanGrafix, http://www.oceangrafix.com, is an official USPS partner and they have signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding where both parties promote boating safety and education.

Analytics from the OceanGrafix website also contributed to its decision to launch OG News: research showed that the demand for objective sailing, charting and safety news is very strong, as evidenced by its highly popular Resources Page, http://www.oceangrafix.com/o.g/OceanGrafix-Nautical-Charts-Info.html. The company found that as it continually added helpful, non-promotional content to its Resources Page, that the page quickly became the most popular page (among 26 pages on its site) in terms of visitors' time spent.

Articles in upcoming issues of OG News will cover topics such as: how NOAA updates its charts; how to combine GPS with charts for optimum safety, how charts become out of date; NOAA Local Notice to Mariners and Editions; "chart kits" versus full sized charts; how today's technologies allow charts to be 100% up to date (printed on demand); a video (http://www.youtube.com/B2Binc#p/u/1/iR0brOhSB1s) on how to fold a NOAA chart, and more.

"Our plan is for OG News to be around for a long time, and for it to be considered a valuable resource for information on safe boating," says Mr. Kocon.

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Larry Kocon

Joe Hendershot
B2B Inc.
651-905-1400
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