Newsletters are a great way to keep members up to date on various activities that are happening in MES as well as giving them a place to express their creativity. It takes organization and participation to create a good newsletter.
Newsletters are for the members, and it is key to get them involved. Members are much more likely to read and enjoy the newsletter when they have made a contribution to it. Try to come up with creative ways to get members involved and offer prestige for contributions.
- Come up with regular column ideas and then find someone interested to take over that
particular column. Also entertain ideas given by the members.
- Photos of artwork like paintings and crafts.
- Recipe submissions.
- Photos from events and charity drives.
- Book, Movie or Board Game reviews.
- Contact staff members and ask for plot twists, news and rumors for upcoming games.
- Feature a different MES member or officer each month.
- Articles related to storytelling.
Make the newsletter interesting and exciting to read by adding in a variety of columns and photos that will draw the members in and make the newsletter something that the members can take personal pride in as well.
Having a well organized newsletter is also important. The newsletter should be easy to read and navigate. The newsletter may be one page or 20 pages. Either way, make sure to organize it so that members know what is inside the newsletter and can go to a particular column or section easily.
There are a number of ways to format a newsletter. Using tools like Microsoft Office Publisher, or publish the newsletter as a PDF, can make formatting and publishing the newsletter easy. You want to make the newsletter “pop” visually without making it look too busy or crowded so keep that in mind when choosing a layout. If you want to go entirely electronic, there are several free electronic newsletter options that are out there.
- Photos: Make sure that photos are sized to fit and in many cases, cropped so that the backgrounds don’t take up the entire page. If there are multiple photo submissions for a single event, use a graphics tool such as PhotoShop or Gimp to turn those photos into a collage.
- Fonts: The fonts chosen should be easy on the eyes. There are a wealth of fonts available, and while a particular font looks awesome as a header, it may not be best to use it for an entire article.
- Page Design: The pages should be easy to read and flow from left to right. The pages should also be readable. Dark lettering on light colored pages is easier to read then light lettering on dark or vibrant colors.
There are two rules of thumb in newsletters and newspapers. First, the face of a person in an image should never be smaller than a dime. Second, solid blocks of text will be hard to follow. Break up text with headers, images and charts if possible.
Publishing the newsletter:
Think about how the newsletter is going to be delivered to the members. Are you sending it over an MES mailing list? Then you won’t be sending it as an attachment, however you can upload it to a storage site and send a link for the newsletter over the mailing list. If your Domain or Region has a website, it can be loaded there. Announce the newsletter via emails and social media. Printed copies of the newsletter can also be made available at games. For more information and tips about advertising a domain, check Coordinator 208: Advertising your Domain.
Newsletters can be released whenever you want to release them, but it’s generally recommended to release them on a consistent schedule for organizational purposes. These schedules normally occur on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Prestige Awards for Newsletters
Normally for small articles (under 200 words) a prestige award of 5 is reasonable. If there are longer articles or an article with original artwork a prestige award of 10. The person or people who serve as the editor should receive administrative or non-administrative support prestige. It really depends on how regular the work is.
Additional Tips for making newsletters:
- Free reference guide for Electronic Newletters: http://www.companynewsletters.com/electronic.htm
- A free newletter service: https://madmimi.com/
Example Newsletter: https://madmimi.com/p/3132d4/preview