Whether you write a newsletter for your church, community association or employer, you can learn some tips. Make your work easier and your product better.
Tip 1 Know your audience. Know what they want to know. Tailor your stories to their needs, not the whims or pet projects of your staff.
Tip 2 Remember that you are writing a newsletter – a publication about news. Write about future events more than past ones. Offer “news they can use.”
Tip 3 Before you start the first issue, plan for the year. List all the topics you might include, such as department or committee profiles, people profiles, client testimonials, case studies, new hires.
Tip 4 Decide which should appear on Page One. Do not put the boss-person on the front of every issue. S/he gets enough ink.
Tip 5 As you design the publication, know the word count in advance. If you want the “creature feature” on Page Two to describe a pet shelter that’s a member of your association, learn first whether you have 175 or 400 words to fill.
Tip 6 Consider involving other people as reporters or writers – and make certain your correspondent/s respect deadlines. If they are reluctant to contribute, offer bylines.
Tip 7 Depending on your mission, you might initiate an advice column. Would this work? A pediatrician on safety issues for kids? A lawyer on avoiding risks in your home? A gardener on plants that thrive naturally in your community?
Tip 8 Acknowledge the people within your organization who helped you do this. If you credit them, your information sources will want to help again.
To learn to write newsletters better, take a class.