The Ps and Qs of Newsletters

Plan

  • Schedule newsletters on your calendar every quarter.
  • Identify quarterly themes in advance.
  • Allow more time than you think you’ll need!
  • Keep "good" and "bad" example files.  Gauge yourself by these every once in a while.

Permission

  • If you’re telling someone’s story or including his/her picture in your newsletter, be sure you have permission from that person.
  • Only include information about people in your ministry communication pieces that you know they are telling publically themselves.

Prepare

  • Collect interesting stories from your ministry.
    • Keep story or topic ideas, notes, and photos in a newsletter file.
    • Take “in-the-moment” pictures.
    • Record ministry stories or insights as they happen.
  • Narrow the newsletter content to one topic or primary story.
    • Ask:  What will interest the majority of my audience?
    • Use other stories or give more details in between-newsletter emails, a blog, on Facebook, etc.

Polish

  • Edit
    • Brush up on grammar (I/me, he/him), spelling, and punctuation.
    • “The Navigators” (not “the Navigators”).  (And “The Navigators” is a singular noun, so write:  “The Navigators is dedicated to…,” not “The Navigators are dedicated to….”)
    • Banish passive verbs (is, are, were, there, etc.); choose active verbs.
    • Use succinct wording.
    • Use understandable terminology (avoid three letter acronnyms, jargon, slang, clichés).
    • Avoid “fewsletters” (a newsletter that includes a financial appeal).
    • Edit (or ask for editing help).
  • Technical tips
    • White paper, black ink (high contrast)
    • White space
      • Space around pictures
      • One inch margins on all sides
      • One full space between paragraphs
    • Left-aligned margin, not justified
    • Simple graphics
    • Serif fonts (Times New Roman or Garamond)

Passion

  • If you love what you do, let it show!

P.S.

  • There are no newsletter Qs!

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