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Oconto Falls School District Community Newsletter March 2017
Click on image to view PDF of newsletter.

During the 2016-17 school year the Oconto Falls School District conducted a three-day conference called Destination Education. The conference brought together business owners, community leaders, parents, students, teachers and administrators in order to plot a path for the school district for the next 10 years.


Communication is key

One of the top take-aways from Destination Education was the need for better communication and a closer connection between the school district and its residents. Quarterly newsletters strive to achieve those goals. Newsletters allow the school district to effectively connect with people in the community, while sharing important news and information plus highlights of what’s going on in the schools.
The school district utilizes the newsletter to reach residents who don’t have children enrolled in the schools and residents who are less likely to go online to the district’s website and social media platforms.


Educating voters

To kick off this new form of communication, the district focused on a pending referendum. The goal was to help district voters understand the financial needs of the district and learn about specific projects and initiatives, their benefits and the tax impact associated with an $11.5 million, five-year referendum proposal. The referendum was not only successful, it passed by a higher margin than expected.
The newsletter will continue to be an effective communication tool and serve to improve personal contact between the district and its residents.


Style elements

Highlights of the newsletter include the following:
 The information is presented in a clear, easy-to-understand format
 The font and style of the type make it easy to read
 The full-color design and graphic layout appeal to the eye
 The photos give readers an inside look into the schools
 The newsletter is integrated with the district’s new district website,


Best of all, the district has a new way to reach out to the community and share the pride of its accomplishments.

13 Tips for Writing Superpowerful News Releases To Get Your Audience’s Attention

Hi,
This is Writer to the Rescue with a powerful promotional idea for business owners and organizational leaders.

News releaseBefore I start “saving the world one word at a time” by telling about the superpowers of a news release, I’d like to talk numbers. As a mild-mannered newspaper editor – my alter-ego for the last 7-plus years – I touched 70-90 articles/photos a week. Included in those files were press releases of all sorts.

According to my calculations, I’ve processed nearly 8,000 news releases in my lifetime. I’ve read plenty of really good news releases, and some, well, let’s just say they fell short of their mission.
Let me offer these 13 tips about what makes a good news release:
1. Be Newsworthy: Choosing your topic is a good first step. Write a news release when you have an announcement to make like a milestone anniversary, new acquisition, open house, etc.
2. Be Timely: Distribute your news release within 2 weeks of the event or date you’re recognizing. Know and follow the publication schedules of your news outlets.
3. Be Courteous: Address editors by name and write a short note explaining your purpose for sending the news release. For a time-sensitive news release, suggest an ideal time for publication. Thank the editors for their consideration. Attach the news release as a Word Document and photos as .jpg or .png images.
4. Be Thorough: Make sure to include all important details, like name, address, email and phone number. For events, use the formula of time, date, then place for consistency and simplicity.
5. Be Readable: Ask yourself what your audience wants to know, then answer those questions. Keep the news release under 400 words, and check it closely for grammatical and spelling errors before you submit it to news outlets. Use short sentences and short paragraphs.
6. Be Conversational: You can use templates to provide a structure for your news release, but put the information in your own words. Otherwise, the news release sounds “canned.”
7. Be Visual: Include 1-2 photos with the news release. Write a caption explaining what each photo is about. Identify people in photos by first and last name, left to right. Identify them by title, too.
8. Be Promotional: It’s OK to blow your horn! A great way to do this is by quoting someone who has something positive to say. Quotes are great because they let people tell their own stories. Plus, the reader’s eyes are attracted to quotes.
9. Be Informational: As an addendum to your news release, include an “About Us” paragraph describing your business or organization. It’s your last chance to leave an impact on the editor, so make it professional and descriptive, but brief.
10. Be Patient: Write it. Edit it. Share it with colleagues. Tweak it. Sleep on it. Then submit it.
11. Be Careful: When you submit a news release to media outlets, be sure you attach the correct document and photograph. This prevents embarrassing follow-up emails to correct your mistake.
12. Be Knowledgeable: Do some research to determine the best media outlets for your announcement. Use the correct email for the media outlet or the submission process that is standard for the media outlet.
13. Be Smart: Consider partnering with a professional like Writer to the Rescue to prepare your news release. What’s your specialty? Chances are, it may not be writing news releases! It happens to be a specialty of mine. To get started, contact Joan@54.235.149.85.

shepherds pie

Here’s to Casseroles, Content and Creativity

Content marketing strategy is a little like a shepherd’s pie. For those who don’t know what a shepherd’s pie is, let me explain. It’s a baked casserole in which meat is at the bottom and mashed potatoes at the top.

What about the middle? Recipes for shepherd’s pie vary greatly in the ingredients for the middle.

So what does this have to do with content marketing strategy?

The meat and potatoes provide the structure for the shepherd’s pie: the organization, categorization and main components of the dish.

The middle is like the substance of content strategy: the story, topic, brand, voice and tone that fill in the structure and make it a delicious dish.

Content strategy puts into use a wide range of tactics, just like the middle of the shepherd’s pie can have a wide range of ingredients: canned corn, diced tomatoes, etc.

The goal of adding all these ingredients is to create a delicious meal to enjoy. The goal of a content strategy will be to successfully achieve business goals and meet audience needs.

You need to peel, slice and mash the potatoes and put together the different ingredients of the shepherd’s pie, which corresponds to the need to create posts, blogs, photos, videos, etc. for content.

The reward for your work in the kitchen is to eat the shepherd’s pie and think about how good it is or how you might change ingredients to make it better, much like you monitor content for its effectiveness and adapt strategies as the audience responds.

Then there’s cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes, which is much like deleting inaccurate or outdated content on social media platforms.

This is why I believe content management is much like a shepherd’s pie – without the yummy taste.