• There is one communication tool that you can
use to assure regular, repeat, consistent
exposure for your organization’s name,
message and information: the promotional
• Used effectively, the newsletter can keep
employees up to speed with what’s going on
and help market your organization to the
outside public. For your next assignment, you
are required to make a newsletter. We’ll
discuss how to create a newsletter that
addresses different audiences, how it should
be designed, what information it should
contain and how to send it and market it.
• An employee or internal newsletter is good
for large organizations (50 or more
employees/members). It can help the
organization maintain control of
communication within their organization and
improve morale by making employees feel like
they’re part of the organization.
Internal newsletters can be used to:
• Celebrate the accomplishments of the
• Devote space to employee profiles and
announcements of internal awards
• Communicate management’s official message
about difficult situations
• The main purpose of the external newsletter
is to help establish your image and build your
credibility with your audience (customers,
prospective clients, alumni, etc). The
newsletter provides a way for you to
communicate with them on a regular basis.
This way, they are reminded that you’re out
there without you being in their face by
making unnecessary phone calls or e-mails.
• When making an external newsletter, the key
is to include information that will be
newsworthy to your audience. Therefore, the
information you include in an external
newsletter will likely differ from an internal
• Newsletters should be sent at regular
intervals, otherwise people may forget about
your organization or feel detached from it. On
the other hand, sending a newsletter too
frequently can be overkill. People are busy
and don’t have time to read a newsletter
every week. Therefore, organizations should
probably aim for a quarterly newsletter (four
times a year). For our assignment, you will be
required to make only one issue.
• Likewise, a balance needs to be struck with
the newsletter’s length. Two to eight pages is
probably ideal. Less than two is insubstantial.
More than eight is too much reading. For our
assignment, you will be required to publish at
least two pages.
Your newsletter should be sent to anyone with whom you
want to inform about your organization and establish a
regular relationship. These people may include:
Employees or members
Consultants, gurus or other prominent people in your
• Media that covers your organization or field
• If you’re doing a newsletter on your sorority,
for example, you should send it to current
members, prospective members, alumni,
faculty advisors or administrators you work
with, the national office and the editor of any
publications it may have, and perhaps the
presidents of other sororities and fraternities
on campus. And be sure to save some copies
for open houses and other events when the
• The design should be attractive, easy to read
and consistent from issue to issue in order to
build recognition and awareness. After time,
readers will come to welcome your newsletter
and even seek it out in a pile of mail in their
inbox. But you’ll get that result only if your
newsletter has a distinctive, recognizable and
• You need to make several decisions as you begin
the design process for your newsletter. Do you
want a two- or three- column layout for your
newsletter? Do you want rules (lines) between the
stories? Do you plan to use a white or colored
paper or background? What font (type style and
size) is appropriate for your audience? What size
will your headings be? How wide should your
margins be – both around the outside of the
newsletter and between stories and photos?
• Another important design element is that you
need to develop a nameplate (banner)
highlighting the name of the publication. You
need to determine the look, content and feel
of your newsletter long before you even
publish the first issue. In addition to the basic
format, you also need to decide approximate
length of copy, the type of visuals (photos,
line drawings, graphs, etc.) needed and the
types of articles that will be featured.
The banner on the front page of a newsletter
that identifies the publication is its nameplate.
The nameplate usually contains the name of the
newsletter, possibly graphics or a logo, and
perhaps a subtitle, motto, and publication
information including Volume and Issue or Date.
For advice on choosing a name for your
The body of the newsletter is the bulk of the
text excluding the headlines and decorative
text elements. It's the articles that make up
the newsletter content.
3. Table of Contents
Usually appearing on the front page, the table
of contents briefly lists articles and special
sections of the newsletter and the page
number for those items. If your newsletter is
two pages or less, you probably don’t need a
The masthead is that section of a newsletter
design, typically found on the second page
(but could be on any page) that lists the name
of the publisher and other pertinent data.
May include staff names, contributors,
subscription information, addresses, logo, etc.
5. Heads, Titles
• Headline - After the nameplate, the headline
identifying each article in a newsletter is the most
prominent text element.
• Kicker - Often seen in newsletter design, the kicker is a
short phrase set above the headline. The kicker can
serve as an introduction or section heading to identify
a regular column.
• Deck - The newsletter deck is one or more lines of text
found between the headline and the body of the
article. The deck elaborates or expands on the
headline and topic of the accompanying text.
• Subhead - Subheads appear within the body of
articles to divide the article into smaller sections.
• Running Head - More familiarly known as a
header, a running headline is repeating text often the title of the publication - that appears,
usually at the top, of each page or every other
page in a newsletter design. The page number is
sometimes incorporated with the running
headline. Remember: use a banner only on the
front page and a running header on other pages.
6. Page Numbers
Page numbers can appear at the top, bottom,
or sides of pages. Usually page one is not
numbered in a newsletter.
The byline indicates the name of the author of
an article in a newsletter. The byline
commonly appears between the headline and
start of the article, prefaced by the word "By"
although it could also appear at the end of the
article. Bylines are optional and not
8. Continuation Lines
When articles span two or more pages, a newsletter uses
continuation lines to help readers find the rest of the
Continuation Heads - When articles jump from one page to
another, continuation heads identify the continued portion of the
articles. The continuation headlines, along with jumplines,
provide continuity and cue the reader as to where to pick up
Jumplines - Jumplines, also called continuation lines, typically
appear at the end of a column, as in continued on page 45.
Jumplines at the top of a column indicate where the article is
continued from, as in continued from page 16.
9. End Signs
A dingbat or printer's ornament used to mark
the end of a story in a newsletter is an end
sign. It signals the reader that they have
reached the end of the article. These are
Used to attract attention, especially in long
articles, a pull-quote is a small selection of
text "pulled out and quoted" in a larger
typeface. These are optional.
11. Photos / Illustrations
A newsletter design layout may contain photographs,
drawings, charts, graphs, or clip art.
– Mug Shots - The most typical people photograph found in
newsletter design is the mug shot — a more or less straight
into the camera head and shoulders picture.
– Caption - The caption is a phrase, sentence, or paragraph
describing the contents of an illustration such as a
photograph or chart. The caption is usually placed directly
above, below, or to the side of the picture it describes.
12. Mailing Panel
Newsletters created as self-mailers (no
envelope) need a mailing panel. This is the
portion of the newsletter design that contains
the return address, mailing address of the
recipient, and postage. The mailing panel
typically appears on one-half or one-third of
the back page so that it faces out when
folded. This is unnecessary if the newsletter is
being e-mailed or posted online.
• The body is the heart of your newsletter and
what will determine whether people read it.
Your newsletter should contain a variety of
interesting information and visuals. In order to
avoid copyright infringement, you must create
everything in your newsletter – that means no
stealing photos or articles from the Internet.
However, you may use content if you receive
permission to use it. It still needs to be properly
Among items you may include in your newsletter are:
News: Articles that cover the 5Ws about newsworthy events
Tips or How-to Articles
Previews and Reports: News about events or things coming up
People: new members or hires, awards, profiles, human interest
Milestones: Accomplishments, awards, anniversaries, etc.
Photos with captions
Interviews: Q&A with a member or official
Columns: Such as a president’s or chairperson’s column
Community affairs: fundraisers, scholarship programs, social
responsibility programs, volunteer efforts, environmental programs
Gimmicks: contests, quizzes, trivia, cartoons
• You can produce your newsletter using
Microsoft Office, which provides a variety of
free templates for newsletters. In addition to
the templates that come with MS Office, you
can download additional free templates
online. When your newsletter is complete,
you must save it as a .PDF file so that it can be
• Once you determine who your readers are, you
must compile an e-mail list. The organization
you create the newsletter for should be able to
provide this. Often times, they will just have
one e-mail address that forwards messages to
their entire organization. After I have reviewed
your newsletter and you have made revisions,
you will e-mail your newsletter to your readers.
So, hold off on emailing everyone, until I say