2018 – What a year for CONTACT!

2018 was a huge year for CONTACT, full of ups and downs – but mostly ups.

There was some amazing audience/data growth this year (I’m so glad I’m locked into an ‘unlimited data downloads’ plan with my service provider!)…

  • 3.8million page views on our web site
  • 48,000ish average unique visitors per month
  • 1695 gigabytes of data dowloaded by visitors (mostly magazines, of course)
  • 580 news stories published
  • 140 YouTube videos uploaded
  • 104 Blog posts published
  • 29 newsletters emailed
    • to more than 10,000 subscriber each time – i.e. more than 290,000 emails sent
    • with open rates higher than 30%
    • and click-through about 11%
      • (which is well high, according to experts I’ve spoken to)
  • 5 magazines published (March, June, September, December, Invictus Games), and,
  • 1 grand plan to print CONTACT again – dead and buried!


The one big downer of the year, of course, was calling time on the grand CONTACT print plan. I really thought that would work. But, sadly, the audience just didn’t support it (except for the 69 out of 1000 needed who actually did support it – I am eternally grateful).

But, as they say, no point dwelling on the past. It is what it is, and we move on.

So, what will 2019 hold for CONTACT?

That’s actually a massive question.

With the #printCONTACTagain plan fallen through, CONTACT actually needs a new grand plan to safeguard its future.

I hinted earlier that I might have one (already!).

I’ve even said it was ‘completely radical’.

But I also said I need to ‘shop it around’ a bit before explaining in public.

That process takes time – especially over Christmas.

But it is maturing in my thinking – and no one has hit me over the head (yet) when I say it out loud.


But enough of that…

I just want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones health, happiness and prosperity in 2019 – and ask for your continuing support and best wishes as I mull over this new, crazy scheme – which will undoubtedly require your love and support in return 😉



Brian Hartigan






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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

7 thoughts on “2018 – What a year for CONTACT!

  • 30/12/2018 at 3:21 pm

    Greetings Richard,

    I have a question with regard to your submission to the Federal Government. Why?

    Everyone who served in Vietnam came home with at least (eventually) four medals. The Overseas Service medal, the Australian Vietnam Service medal and the Australian Service 67-75 medal plus, from the South Vietnamese government the Vietnamese War medal.

    National servicemen also received the National Service medal!

    So said National Servicemen received one more medal than regular or direct entry members.

    Numerous men were conscripts during Vietnam, and some paid the ultimate sacrifice, but other than the unstated appreciation of the nation nothing was done to differentiate them from the regular troops.

    Why should there be?



  • 30/12/2018 at 3:18 pm

    Best Wishes to you and your Family Brian and I hope you have a great Christmas and New Year!

    Its been a big year for Contact, sure its a disappointment not to see print going ahead, but I expect you’ll dust yourself off and move on from this. I’m keen to hear what new plans you have in development.

    Roll on Contact in 2019!

    • 31/12/2018 at 9:48 am

      Thank you Dave.
      The print failure was hard to swallow. To be honest, it near broke my heart.
      But I have taken some time out to think – about CONTACT – about what’s important to me – and can assure you and others, I am ready to get back to work – as soon as these holidays get out of my way 😉
      Many happy returns to you and yours,
      Brian Hartigan
      CONTACT Editor

  • 30/12/2018 at 2:44 pm


    I produced a quarterly, email-based, newsletter, for the members of the Officers’ Mess, at RAAF Edinburgh, for two years. I stopped when work took up all of my time – and no one wanted to take over.

    Further (probably like you) I did it all myself while holding down that full time job (probably unlike you) and I had no advertising, subscriptions nor submitted articles.

    I researched everything, interviewed all relevant personnel, wrote the articles, checked it and sent it out to the members. I also made my quarterly deadline – Every three months.

    My point is – I did it because I wanted to do it.

    If you are finding CONTACT too onerous perhaps its time to stop?


    Past Editor
    Mirrabooka Mumbling
    RAAF Edinburgh

    • 31/12/2018 at 9:44 am

      Hi Wayne,
      the fact you ‘feel my pain’ means a lot to me.
      I have actually come close enough to set a closing-down date three times over the years (most recently – about a month ago), but just can’t bring myself to do it when push come to shove. I – and more importantly for CONTACT’s survival, my wife – think it is worth the effort.
      This blog might give you some idea how ingrained CONTACT is in my life – http://www.contactairlandandsea.com/2017/01/22/defence-reporter/
      It’s just too hard to give up on something that important – that engrained in your very soul.
      Sincerely and with thanks for your understanding and support,
      Brian Hartigan
      CONTACT Editor

  • 30/12/2018 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Brian,

    Thank you for your consideration to my long running appeal to have the Federal Government formally recognised over 3000 National Servicemen who served with distinction in South Vietnam. The matter is still sitting on the Minister’s table.


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