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We help academic departments and programs achieve their strategic communications goals by partnering with them to produce their alumni newsletters.
Newsletter tips and tricks
Planning a newsletter? Consider these tips.
Answer this question and then you’re ready to consider what they want to know. Avoid the pitfall of filling the newsletter with stories of importance only to you or your department.
Don’t let the focus become rehashing past events. Share new professional development, latest research and events they can look forward to.
Write the articles so readers can get the information they need quickly. Instead of one wide column, consider breaking it up into two or three columns to support the ease of scanning. By making it easy to browse, you increase the chance they’ll find an article of interest and take away at least some information.
Readers are more likely to read if articles are supported by visual elements. Compelling photos and illustrations draw readers into articles.
Use short sentences, bullet points and paragraphs. Follow the inverted pyramid style of journalism and lead with the most important information. Direct readers online for more information. Readers aren’t going to sit down and read anything cover to cover. They aren’t studying for finals. If you keep it short, focus on stories that are of interest to them, they might skim the newsletter before they recycle it. Don’t, and you won’t get that.
No single type of story format will appeal to every reader. That’s why it makes sense to vary your content. These are some alternative story formats that can quickly engage a reader’s attention.
- Five things to know
- People profile
Stories to tell
Create a publication your audience wants to read.
ALUMNI ARE TYPICALLY INTERESTED MORE IN THESE STORIES:
- Research and new developments
- Alumni profiles
THEY ARE LESS INTERESTED IN:
- Dean/departmental head letters
- Lists of publications, presentations or grant awards
- Donation news (unless you can write about how it will improve education, increase opportunities or support research that can improve the quality of life or our understanding of the world).
OTHER ITEMS OF HIGH INTEREST INCLUDE:
- Class notes
- New educational initiatives
- News about well-known faculty
- New faculty (if likely to indicate prestige or advance in the department)
- Shared student experience