Some Ideas For Newsletter Content

Foreword By The Author

When trying to find fresh ideas for your newsletter, start by resolving two fundamental questions. First, exactly what actual information would you like (or need) to put forward to your readers? Second, precisely what kind of topics would your average reader consider all-absorbing?

Giving an answer to the first query helps to make sure that you stay with the newsletter’s central point. The second answer focuses attention on the need to include reader-oriented content. For instance, a human resources newsletter’s primary goal (from the employer’s angle) could be to relate company policy as this effects personnel. The fact is that it then runs the risk of turning into a summary of regulations unless the readership are taken sufficiently into account. A more rewarding approach would be to have the ‘rules’ prioritized, broken up into effortlessly consumed slices and put aside under the title ‘information we have to transmit'. They can then be balanced with material which the target audience is more likely to want to read. Another useful method is to include articles that explain the thinking that produced these guidelines. Or even one which tells stories explaining what might come to pass if a particular 'rule' is ignored.
Mike Alexander
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First Question

Newsletter cover
Image by Nick J Adams via Flickr

The list below suggests a few other things which you may want to think about regarding question one. A few of these might not make sense insofar as your own publication is concerned but these are just memory joggers. Disregard what's inappropriate and replace them with your own more relevent inclusions:

  • Calls for helpers
  • A timetable of recurring events
  • Planned activities and happenings
  • Task updates, especially in the event that readers have already shown support, and add progress graphics such as tote boards, graphs and so on
  • Brand new, as well as pre-planned assignments, staff required, goals, type of help wanted and so forth
  • Additional reports from the organization (assuming that there is one)
  • Contact details of the main institution (as distinct from the publication masthead, where contact data about the newsletter is shown)
  • Updates about things concerning the organization (such as report etc)
  • Information about connected concerns, business contributors, sponsors etc
  • Notices regarding benefactor rewards, discount rates to associates of the host (readers) etc
  • Case studies and accounts of successes concerning the company and just how it performs

Second Question

The second query (what kind of information the readership finds all-absorbing) is not nearly as straightforward. Nevertheless there is a lot more scope from the creativity perspective. Persuasive topics are those which the typical audience wouldn't pass up without, at the very least, having a second glimpse. For example, in the event that your newsletter was created for the Elvis Fan Club, anything at all to do with the club, or Elvis, could clearly be eligible but then again, so would anything at all to do with rock & roll in general and possibly anything to do with popular tunes of the fifties and sixties, teens from the same period, styles of the era, etc.

Here, then, are several more creative ideas you might want to think about for the second answer:

  • Stories about those who were assisted by the organization (or the newsletter readership)
  • Various articles round the general theme of the group’s primary pursuits
  • Data on the number of individuals among the readership who put their hands up to assist or who gave willingly
  • Listings of present helpers etc without regard to the actual value of their contribution
  • Thumbnail jottings covering specific volunteers or benefactors
  • Report of challenges set in place by other volunteers or benefactors
  • Extracts from articles and reviews (found in newspapers, periodicals etc) concerning the organization or the group’s common fascination, particularly if quirky or humorous
  • Features on the operation, success and (particularly) workers of departments within the host organization
  • Profiles of celebrities associated with, or who are known to possess sympathetic opinions about, the readers’ pursuits
  • Tales concerning earlier times of the typical interest or concern
  • Wellness news or illness avoidance tips, health and safety tips etc
  • Motivational messages, quotations and snippings
  • Calls for input to the publication coming from within the readership

Looking For More Ideas

Most of us run out of creative ideas from time to time. All a lot of us need is a prod in the right direction to get us back on track. If you'd like some newsletter content options, or are running out of ideas, I hope this information helps by delivering such a nudge.

Newsletters tend to be tightly targeted towards a niche market or readership. Frequently there's a pre-existing outfit like a club, business or Association, to which all or perhaps the majority of readers belong. The result is that a relationship almost always prevails among the people that define the target readership; they share some sort of mutual interest or realize a ‘common good’. If there's no such bond, a newsletter could be the ideal medium for cultivating one. Each and every newsletter publisher, consequently, should make their primary objective the cultivation and nurturing of such a bond. A regular journal or newsletter for this type of group ought to provide a balance of reader-oriented and interest or organization-related reading. For this purpose you need to have a clear image in your mind of who your readers are, what their preferences are, etc.

Involve The People

Never neglect to feature newsletter 'fillers' like jokes or humorous anecdotes whenever possible, provided they're acceptable. Additionally, if you're able to, and particularly if it matches your newsletter’s theme, interactive pieces such as quizzes and puzzles. ClipCopy Content Solutions can be an outstanding resource for these kinds of things, in addition to articles etc addressing a wide range of subjects.

And one final word of guidance: whenever you are able to, include lots of faces. Folk have an eternal fascination for seeing themselves in print, as well as reading about others that they know or remember.

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