Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 4 The Newsletter… There are two main types of newsletters: Communication Service It is important to define beforehand what role your newsletter will be playing.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 5 Communication Newsletters The majority of newsletters found in public libraries are targeted towards being used as a public relations tool. A communication newsletter that has been correctly assembled will contain a variety of elements that the library staff, clients and community will gain from. The newsletters could contain articles about upcoming events, for example, a special book reading by a special author. The information will be fairly generic, not focusing on too much on any area. As a communications tool, the newsletter should work well together with all the other communications publications that are being used.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 6 Service Newsletters Service newsletters for a library contains information about the different services that the facility offers. It would also contain news, research information, hints and tips, questions & answers and offer informational types of resources for a targeted audience.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 8 Software That Can Be Used for Creating Newsletters There are a variety of software packages available for you that can be used for newsletter creation: Word Processors Graphics programs Page Composition
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 9 Which Software Is Best? The software used for the newsletter will be dependent on several things: The software available within the company The type of output that will be used for the newsletter The budget available The training and skills of the person developing the newsletter
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 10 Training Is The Key A thorough understanding of the software will help create a professional looking document. If the software is understood, deadlines will more easily be met. The key to a successful work environment is training.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 12 Newsletters for Electronic Distribution Today, documents are not only distributed as a ‘hard copy’ but are distributed electronically as well. Adobe Acrobat (pdf – Portable Document File) is one format that is commonly used. Hard copies should be produced for those people that either don’t have the Internet connection easily available or for those that prefer the hard copy. An example of a pdf link.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 14 Microsoft Publisher 2003 Our example software for this session is MS Publisher. With each new version of this software that Microsoft releases, your job becomes easier. For a person who is just starting out in this field, Publisher is an easy and intuitive software to help you learn the necessary skills. For a person that is constantly under time constraints, Publisher will come to the rescue with a variety of built in features that will help to build a newsletter (and other publications) in as few steps as possible.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 15 Formatting a Newsletter Consistency in your documents will create an identity for your organization that is easily recognized. Once settled on a design, create a flexible template with it. How many pages? This depends a lot on how much information you are putting into your newsletter every month and how the newsletter will be printed (printing costs could affect the amount of pages). Four pages (two double sided) or eight pages (four double sided pages) is the normal amount of pages used for an average sized newsletter.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 16 Acquiring Content Coming up with ideas for the content of a newsletter can be a huge task. Below are a few options for acquiring content: Write the content yourself. Hire someone to create the content for you. Use a company that will provide ‘filler’ content It is also possible to access free content on the Internet.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 17 A Few Online Content Resources: Library Clipart http://www.libraryclipart.com http://www.libraryclipart.com Bates Information Services (Subscription) http://www.batesinfo.com/tip.html http://www.batesinfo.com/tip.html Free Newsletter/Ezine Content http://www.wahmcopywriter.com/free_content.htm http://www.wahmcopywriter.com/free_content.htm Free Newsletter Content http://www.seishindo.org/articles/_articles.html http://www.seishindo.org/articles/_articles.html Sources of Newsletter Content http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/emailnewsletters/contentsources.htm http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/emailnewsletters/contentsources.htm About.com – Obtaining Newsletter Content http://desktoppub.about.com/od/newslettercontent/ http://desktoppub.about.com/od/newslettercontent/ Welcome to Marketing Treasures http://www.chrisolson.com/marketingtreasures http://www.chrisolson.com/marketingtreasures Mary Ellen Bates – Tip of the month http://www.batesinfo.com/tip.htmlhttp://www.batesinfo.com/tip.html
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 18 Possible Newsletter Topics Small Table of Contents (What’s Inside) area Editor’s or Manager’s message Current library news topics Upcoming events Biography of a staff member One or two feature articles (this is dependent on length of newsletter) A listing of new books, videos, software etc. Humour (cartoons or jokes) A children’s column with story or puzzles
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 19 Some Basic Rules Avoid double spacing between paragraphs. Learn how to use the Styles feature in your software. Don’t use multiple font faces in the same document. Avoid overuse of All Caps and Small Caps. Allow for a good mix of graphics/photographs and articles. Be careful with font size / line length. Avoid using the two space rule.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 20 Some Hints & Tips Alignment - in general, objects on the page should align to something else on the page. Graphics or photos that are pointing or facing left or right, should be facing into the page. Try to avoid using drop caps in the lower portion of the page. If you loosely divide the page up into thirds and place different types of elements in each area, your pages will be visually more appealing and interesting. When dealing with graphics, use the larger is more important concept. Pay special attention to character, word and paragraph spacing.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 21 Some More Hints… Frame your newsletter page with white space… White space surrounding headlines and subheads will make it easier to read. Vary your font sizes according to text importance. A picture is worth a thousand words! Remove any unwanted areas of photographs by cropping Consider using captions on your images. If the software is capable of it, use two-page spreads.
Page 2 of a newsletter with two-page spread turned off. Page 2 and 3 of a newsletter with two-page spread turned on.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 23 Some More Hints… When adding images, try to align them to the grid of the newsletter or columns. If using text wrap on images, pay special attention to how the gap between the text and the image looks. If you use horizontal rules to accent headings, pay attention to the spacing between the text and the line. Allow extra space between the last paragraph of body text and the heading of the next article. Less hyphenation is preferable. When using columns, pay attention to gutter widths and ensure that they are consistently the same throughout the document. If long blocks of text are needed, consider breaking them up with pull-quotes.
One page solid textSame page with a pull-quote and two images Same page with a pull-quote and two images and mixed columns
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 25 Boxes, Boxes.. And More Boxes Avoid using boxes to define different articles on the page. The boxed in look will clutter the page making it look messy and will be distracting to the reader. If you must use boxes, avoid using a thick outline on the box. If you use a thinner outline, it will help to keep the look of the newsletter light and clean. Instead of using boxes, consider using thin lines in their place, avoiding connecting them. Dark filled boxes with contrasting text on top can be difficult to read. Use these sparingly.
The above image is page two of a newsletter that has been created using boxes. The image on the right is the same page, but 1.5 point dotted lines have been used instead. The articles are still separate, but not in your face.
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 28 PROOF IT WELL! Proof, proof and proof again! Spell checkers and grammar checks in your software will do a reasonable job but they are not always 100% accurate. Print and Proof – and then have someone proof it for you. IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO SPOT YOUR OWN MISTAKES!
Bayswater Design & Computer Consultants 780.435.3687 29 And so… Decide on the software to be used and learn how to use that software. Decide whether your newsletter is a communication or a service newsletter. Plan the format of the newsletter and consider the template option. How many pages will the newsletter be. Develop content, locating the articles and the images to be used. Decide what the output of the newsletter will be, hard copy and/or electronic. If hard copy, how will the newsletter finally be printed. If necessary, talk to the printer so that you handle the file correctly. Read and practice the hints & tips – they will help you to develop good habits for designing your newsletter.