• Understand why you are writing your newsletter. First and foremost, newsletters are informational. But they are also a great way to keep your name in front of your customers and clients.
• It’s not about you. Make the information relevant to your campers and their parents. Many readers may lose interest if you go on about personal details, family news, etc. Unless, of course, it’s a family newsletter.
• Keep the writing simple. The best way to convey information is with a straightforward style. Write the way you speak. And if you can’t write that way, find someone who can.
• Use a clean, functional design. The layout of your newsletter should be consistent throughout. A simple design works best. Use a banner head (your logo and the name of the newsletter) for the front page; divide the pages into columns.
• Don’t go crazy with type faces. Only use two font styles. One should be serif type (like this); the other should be a sans serif (like this). Use sans serif for headlines and sub heads. Use serif for the rest of the body copy. It’s much easier to read that way.
• Use art to give visual interest to your work. Photos or drawings help to break up the vertical lines of the columns. Also, sidebars (like this one), can add relevant information and visual interest.
There are several software packages available that can help you create your newsletters. Microsoft Word can be used to create very simple layout designs. Microsoft Publisher offers more sophisticated design possibilities, but if you are having your newsletters printed at a regular print shop, make sure they can reproduce from these programs.
Quark Xpress or Adobe InDesign can give you the professional design you may be seeking, but they are neither cheap, nor easy to use for a novice.
Tim Diering, is Vice President of Marketing for Summer Camp Design, a company that specializes in developing marketing programs for summer camps. He can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (800) 957 7175.