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New magazine name reflects our connection to you

Regular readers of Electric Consumer may be perplexed by a few things:

  1. Why haven’t you gotten your Electric Consumer this month?
  2. Why is Tipmont writing articles in a new magazine you got in the mail?
  3. Is Tipmont so popular that they are now being syndicated?

As far as the syndication rumor goes — it’s unfortunately unfounded. And there’s a simple explanation for the other two questions.

Starting this month, Electric Consumer has a new name: Indiana Connection. Throughout the last four decades, the name Electric Consumer aptly described the commonality among the magazine’s audience. But recently, the magazine’s staff and representatives of its subscribing electric cooperatives felt the focus of the publication no longer fit with the limitations of the name.

True, articles about electricity and local co-op programs and activities were included in the magazine but the rest of the content didn’t match what the name implied. Over the years, the magazine has evolved to also celebrate the people, places, food and travel experiences that define Indiana. The magazine’s name needed to accurately reflect what was beyond the cover.

We’re are excited about this new chapter of your electric cooperative’s magazine. Indiana Connection is all about our connection with you and the communities we serve. Your electric cooperative is YOUR electric cooperative — owned and controlled by you. Through Indiana Connection — just as we’ve done through Electric Consumer — we hope to celebrate and strengthen our relationship with you by letting you know what’s going on in your corner of the world.

Just as this magazine is all about forging connections, so are we at Tipmont. We are proud to be an essential part of the communities we serve and look forward to strengthening those connections through this magazine with a long history, but a new name.

Frequently asked questions

While Electric Consumer appropriately described the readership of the publication when the name was introduced in 1981, our audience and our subscribing co-ops have evolved since then. Many co-ops are expanding their services beyond just electricity. As well, the magazine’s content includes much more than just electric information. General interest features are a major focus of the magazine in our quest to attract, engage and entertain younger readers while also remaining popular with our longtime, faithful audience. It was time to choose a magazine name that better aligned with what the publication is and who it represented.

Electric Consumer’s advisory committee — composed of Indiana Electric Cooperatives directors and electric co-op CEOs and communicators — along with Electric Consumer staff considered 270-some name suggestions submitted by the magazine’s readers before settling on three possible names that best fit our vision and goals for the magazine. The committee wanted the new name to:

  1. Align with what the cooperative does and also fit with the content (currently and in the future) of the magazine.
  2. Clearly let readers know the magazine is coming from their cooperative 

Phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same. However, in mid-February, we will be transitioning to a new website: IndianaConnection.org. The magazine’s email address will be info@indianaconnection.org. All of the Electric Consumer URL and email addresses will redirect for a period of time.Our social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest) will remain the same, but you’ll be able to find us as Indiana Connection instead.

Some 270 names were submitted by Electric Consumer readers after we published an article about the name change in the November 2018 issue. Many of the names contained references to electricity. We hoped to find a name with a broader appeal that still clearly indicated the magazine was coming from the readers’ electric cooperative. The Electric Consumer advisory committee selected three top choices for the name which were sent to electric cooperative CEOs and communicators for their feedback. Those names were Indiana Magazine, Indiana Connection and Indiana Community.Each of those names included a co-op identifier to be placed before the name on the cover. (Example: XX REMC’s Indiana Magazine.) The majority of cooperative representatives chose Indiana Connection as the magazine’s new name. We feel Indiana Connection works on many levels. “Connection” speaks to electric cooperatives’ role in connecting consumers to electric and broadband service. It reinforces how the magazine connects with its readers. And, it emphasizes each cooperative’s connection to the communities it serves.

The magazine will be known as Indiana Connection starting with the March 2019 issue.

Although the time between final selection of Indiana Connection and the implementation of the new name has been relatively short, consideration and discussion regarding a new name has been ongoing — even before Electric Consumer transitioned to the magazine format back in 2013. At that point, the timing didn’t seem quite right. No new names seemed to “fit” — and there were concerns that changing the title would be confusing when it came to the magazine’s involvement in projects like the calendar art contest. But, with the magazine’s “refresh” last year, it was clear that the time was right to revisit the name change. To continue to provide a quality publication for readers at an affordable cost for the subscribing cooperatives, we need to attract and maintain advertisers willing and able to pay top dollar to be in our magazine.

Rob Ford

Rob Ford

Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015. Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.

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