Start a community newsletter

By Paula Felps

Newsletters are an effective way to remind residents about meetings, introduce newcomers and provide a forum for discussing ideas and concerns. It can be both entertaining and informative while helping bring your community together. If you’re ready to jump into the newsletter publishing world, here’s how to start your own:

Know what you need

These days, almost anyone can publish a newsletter. In addition to having a reliable computer and printer, you’ll need to decide how it will be distributed. A newsletter delivered by email is more “green” and has fewer costs associated with it.  If you’re going to print the newsletter, consider how much it will cost, how you’ll pay for it and how it will be distributed. (If you’re delivering it by hand, check local association rules to ensure you’re in compliance.)

Some of the basic things you’ll want to decide as you start include:

  • Format. How many pages will it be? Will it use photos? Plan your design for each page (Google “newsletter templates” for ideas or free layouts or check out the templates in Microsoft Word.)
  • Frequency. Will it publish monthly? Bi-weekly? Quarterly?
  • Content. What topics will you cover, and how will you gather your stories? Create an editorial calendar to help plan ahead.

Remember that selling ads to local merchants is a great way to offset any costs for the newsletter, or the money could be used for community events. Be sure to ask your neighbors for input on the first issue to see what else you they’d like to see included.

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