This is “Writing Newsletters”, section 14.1 from the book Writers' Handbook (v. 1.0).
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Newsletters are used by companies, schools, families, and other groups. It may well be that we are witnessing the tail end or the last gasp of the traditional newsletter now that they are increasingly being produced with word processing templates and distributed electronically via e-mail and websites. But even if that’s true, the processes of designing and distributing electronic newsletters are much the same as those used by website designers using more sophisticated templates and technology. And even if they are someday completely replaced by other means of getting out information about an organization, whatever replaces newsletters will borrow many of the same rhetorical techniques.
When you are designing a newsletter, give serious thought to the amount of content and amount of researched articles you want to include. Keep in mind that unless you can sustain the level of the first few issues of your newsletter, subsequent issues will appear to have declined in quality. You need to be able to maintain your initial newsletter plan in order to protect your organization’s image. On the other hand, you should always be open to feedback from your audience to help keep your newsletter on track and evolving with your audience’s needs. Announcing that you are making changes and improvements based on audience feedback is an excellent way to build trust and rapport with your readership.
Each newsletter is unique based on its purpose and the needs of its intended audience, but regardless of whether they appear in hard-copy or electronic form, they have some general features in common (shown in the following lists).
Using your favorite word processing program’s newsletter template, determine which would be best for the following audiences, purposes, and contexts: