Newsletters are something every campsite has to deal with, and for good reason.  They are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to distribute information about your campsite to potential donors and clients.  But creating newsletters can be time consuming, especially if the person in charge of writing them is not the creative type.  Newsletters can also be a source of negative advertising if not done well.  The task of writing and formatting a professional newsletter is not something that can be dissected into a few simple steps, because each word, font, and color can drastically influence the outcome.  But there are some tips that can be offered regarding the entire process:

  1. Less is more.  Many campsites send out quarterly newsletters, but consider whether you could do with fewer.  Social media outlets, blogs, and other technology offer opportunities to share the same news as the traditional newsletter.  These alternate forms of communication have the positives of being less formal and easier to maintain, but do have the downfall of limiting professionalism.  If your campsite currently sends out quarterly newsletters, consider cutting to semi-annual and sending more updates via e-mail or Facebook.
  2. Delegate.  The duty of writing newsletters often falls to someone in an administrative leadership role, but this person is usually the least qualified.  Writing and formatting newsletters requires creativity and time, and it can be in the best interest of the campsite to transition this responsibility to someone with a particular passion for it.  Delegation is not about shirking responsibilities, it is about using limited resources well.
  3. Use a consistent template.  This will make the task much easier as time goes on.  Without the necessity of worrying about formatting details each time, whoever is writing the newsletters can simply add in relevant information and pictures.
  4. Do everything at once.  The information going into your newsletter is also needed on your website and other social media outlets.  So take care of all those updates at the same time.  Have one person be in charge of all of the campsite updates so that he or she can simply copy and paste information into multiple places.  This will be a great time saver.

Newsletter example:

Fall 2011 Newsletter from the Service Learning Department at Northwestern College in Orange City, IA.  This is an example of a simple, functional design.

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