THE LIBERTARIAN PARTYS SUCCESS 99 * 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100 Washington DC 20037 * (202) 333-0008 * www.LP.orgBetter Newsletters Seven tips for more effective LP newslettersW hat is the purpose of a Libertarian 1) Publish on a regular schedule. Party newsletter? A regularly published newsletters sends a Heres the answer: LP newsletters message of reliability and confidence to yourexist to help and promote the success of the members. A newsletter that arrives every monthLibertarian Party. - or every quarter - tells people: This is not a This is so important that I will repeat it: fly-by-night operation. This is not amateur hour.LP newsletters exist to help and promote the This is a.serious, -professional organization, that.success of the Libertarian Party. can accomplish its goals. In many ways, a newsletter is one of the After aU, who is going to believe that anmost important products that a state or local organization that cant even publish acounty party produces. A good newsletter is newsletter on a regular schedule is going to bevital to your success. A good newsletter is the able to topple the Republicans and Democratsonly tool you have to build a sense of from power - and return limited government tocommunity - a sense of shared purpose - a your state and this nation?sense of progress - with everyone of your A sporadically published newsletter sends amembers! bleak message of incompetence to your members The people in your party who youve never and prospects. Thats a message you dont wantmet can meet you through your newsletter. A to send.good newsletter is an ongoing conversation withall your members. 2) Report the news. A newsletter is one of your most important Whats the first four letters of the wordmarketing tools ... marketing your party to "newsletter?" N-E-W-S!both your _members. and y!osj)ec_ts. Everyissueofyour newsletter should have Why do you need to market yourself to actual news about actual political events that youryour members? Because you want them to stay party of individual Libertarians have engaged in.members. You want them to feel like they Your newsletter should stress the positivebelong to an organization made up of decent political activities and accomplishments of yourpeople, that is growing and succeeding, that state party.believes what they believe, and that is effective. Your newsletter should avoid boringYou want to convey the same message to philosophical debates, internal disputes,prospects - so they will decide to join the party. whining about lack of progress, etc. And dont But how does a newsletter accomplish this air your dirty laundry in public: LP newslettersgoals? are not forums to insult other Libertarians. Here are seven ways to produce a better, Instead, bombard your readers with news,more effective LP newsletter: news, news about Libertarian political activities.
3) Feature GOOD news in every issue. little fonts, and tiny little margins. Heres the simplest test of a good Resist that urge. One-hundred words thatnewsletter: Every time you look at the front are actually read are better than one-thousandpage, do you see a story that makes you glad words that arent. Be nice to your readers: Avoidyoure in the Libertarian Party? tiny print, avoid crummy xeroxes, and avoid dot Is there a story about Q. Libertarian it: matrix printers.public office who cut taxes, or repealed a Leave generous amounts of "white space"government regulation? and use photographs - dont fill up every page Is there a story about a Libertarian who with blocks of dense, gray text.just got elected or appointed to office? Is there a story about a successful lobbying 6) Write professionally.effort? Is there a story about a successful Report news in a journalistic style.membership recruitment drive, or a successful That means using the classic "invertedvoter registration drive? pyramid" style - putting the most important Or is there even a story about an ongoing, information first. That means using the classicactive political project - not good news yet - "Why, what, when, where, why, and how"but that is working to achieve something good? questions that journalists ask. In other words: Is there a story that makes What do you want to avoid? Avoidpeople think: Yes, this is an organization that obscenity, shrill extremism; and rambling,Im proud to belong to! This is an organization stream-of-consciousness writing.that is accomplishing it political goals! If your newsletter does not have those kinds 7) Make it attractive and professional.of stories, then either your editor is not doing If youre not a professional graphichis job, or your affiliate party is not doing its designer, imitate the design of professionaljob by producing those kinds of success stories. publications like newspapers and magazines. Copy something you like. Study publica-4) Focus on YOUR state or local party. tions that are attractive and easy to read. Figure In the entire world, there is on one - out the techniques they use. Imitate them.count em, ONE!- publication that focuses on Good design is not copyrighted. Borrowyour state or county Libertarian Party. from any publication - including other LP Yes, your affiliate may occasionally be newsletters - to make your newsletter better.mentioned in LP News, or maybe even a localnewspaper, but if you want to read about the Summary: Libertarian newsletters can bepolitical activities of your state party on a a positive force for growth, outreach, explainingreqular-basis, there- i-s-no-otherpublication. -Its Libertarian icieas;- and progress - or aneqativeyour newsletter ... or nothing. force for divisiveness, strife, confusion, and Thats why, the primary focus of your state despair.newsletter should be on your state or local party Remember: Every article, every choice ofactivities. Not on national LP activities. Not on subject matter, every choice of words, in yourpolitical philosophy. No on non-political topics. newsletter sends a message to members andNot on the editors pet issues. Not on your prospects about the culture, organization,neighboring states. On your affiliate party. people, and goals of your state Libertarian Party. Choose them carefully.5) Make it easy to read. We are competing in the marketplace of We Libertarians love words! When designing ideas. The better newsletters we Libertarianspublications, many Libertarians take it on as a produce, the more effectively we will . ,...-..,personal challenge to fit in as many words as communicate our ideas, and the more successfulthey humanly can. Tiny little words, in tiny we will be.