Results from the EMS Survey on communications and networking

The EMS Council meeting held in September 2017 established the Liaison Committee which replaced the Editorial Board. The aim of the committee is to oversee and improve relationships (a) with EMS Members and the wider meteorological community and (b) between EMS Members.

The first task of the Liaison Committee was to prepare a survey of Member Societies. It was intended that this would provide information about how communication with Member Societies could be improved. Also it was an opportunity to find out more about the activities of Member Societies. About half of the Member Societies responded to the survey.

One of the interesting findings was that nearly all the Member Societies have a mixture of professional, academic and amateur members, with the proportion of amateur members varying between about 10% and 75%. This suggests that the EMS might need to put more emphasis on meeting the needs of the amateurs.

Overall the Member Societies are content with receiving news or communications from the EMS on a monthly basis. However, regular provision of news depends upon the EMS receiving news reports from the Member Societies. But at present only about half the Member Societies provide news items. To improve matters, ways will need to be sought to remove any barriers to submitting news items whilst encouraging their submission.

An important way in which the EMS provides news is the regular preparation of the ems-message. About a third of Member Societies distribute the ems-message to its members. Most of the other Member Societies sometimes distribute it, though a small number never do. It is important to try to improve the distribution of the ems-message because it is a means of sharing information about the activities of Member Societies.

In response to a question about the EMS having a more active presence on social media, 28% indicated “yes” and 64% indicated “maybe”. This is an area where some development might be appropriate, provided there are resources to produce material and manage the process.

About one third of Member Societies run events in collaboration with other meteorological societies or meteorological services. It is recognised that collaboration is desirable (e.g. about climate change and education), but language and finance are significant constraints.

The survey provided some suggestions about how EMS communications could change. These included:

  • Improving communications with the media about the EMS Annual Meeting.
  • Providing more information about the activities of Member Societies and Associate Members.
  • Encouraging submission of nominations for EMS awards.
  • Being more effective in getting information from Member Societies.
  • Using social media more proactively.
  • Explaining the value added by membership of the EMS.

The slides with detailed results of the survey can be found at

The Council meeting to be held in Norrköping on 10 and 11 April 2018 will discuss the results of the survey. After the meeting, information will be provided about the actions taken in response to the results of the survey.

Thanks go to everyone that responded to the survey and to Emily Gleeson and her team for preparing the survey and analysing the results.

Bob Riddaway, EMS President
member of the Liaison committee


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