Top 20 Tips for Publishing a Savvy Sorority Newsletter
Whether you are publishing an e-newsletter online, or on paper, the basics are the same. You want to make it lively, entertaining and a quick read! Chapter newsletters can be published monthly or quarterly. Pick and choose some of these ideas for your sorority publication.......
🎀 Top 20 Sorority Newsletter Tips 🎀
❥ Pick an attractive template. Start with an easy-to-read template. Newsletters have columns and boxes to break up the information into visually appealing segments. Bright and light is more appealing.
❥ Publish online. Consider publishing the whole thing online with a site such as Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. Saves on paper and solves your distribution problems.
❥ Focus on design. Design a catchy banner, use your logo, use your sorority colors and use different fonts for different sections. Make it really fun to look at and easy to read.
❥ Keep it simple. Less is more. Don't make a newsletter too long winded. Content should be broken down into interesting bite size articles.
❥ Look for variety. Don't just repeat everything that's been published on your chapter Facebook page or website. Your information (usually monthly or quarterly) needs to be fresh, concise and more insightful than a tweet or a blog post.
❥ Establish tradition. Include ongoing features and new features each month. There should be permanent columns that appear in every edition, plus some new information shared as well.
❥ Content Ideas. Potential ongoing features ~ message from the president (front page), current pledge class report, birthday list, the latest from national, campus greek report, panhellenic council corner, sorority house updates, sister of the month, classified section where sisters & alums can advertise, send messages or make requests, ads from local vendors (you can fundraise this way), study hours and academic honors, philanthropy update, social schedule, alumnae/advisor spotlight, sorority history fast facts ~ to name a few!
❥ Leadership submissions. Have each member of the exec board contribute articles and photos each month. Each class can also submit an activities report. The newsletter editor should then edited them to fit the format.
❥ Photos are fabulous. A picture is worth a thousand words! Pictures say it all and break up the text boxes. More photos and less words is usually a successful formula.
❥ Keep it positive. Don't let your newsletter become a "nag report." Avoid telling sisters what to do and not to do. Reminders once in awhile are ok. But don't scold every month, or your readers will tune out.
❥ The past and the future. Newsletters focus on two things ~ events that have already happened and events coming up. Make sure you cover both angles. Use the publication to praise past accomplishments of the chapter and individual sisters. Also publicize your future events, ask for volunteers, remind sisters of recruitment details, etc... Always keep your publication dates in mind when writing about upcoming plans.
❥ Add some extra sugar. Include something fun that your sisters will really like. If they love to bake cookies, pop in a fabulous cookie recipe. If they enjoy reading, have a monthly ‘book corner’ with new novel recommendations. Publish a sister-to-sister movie or music review!
❥ Include some quick bits. Small features are perfect for a newsletter. Write a "Did you know?" one liner about your sorority. Include a Quote of the Month inspirational thought. Publish a chapter Mystery of the Month to be answered the follow month.
❥ Member submissions. Ask for submissions from members. Place a confidential Q&A box in the chapter room. Each month retrieve the anonymous comments for possible publication. Don't share personal bitching, but if there are legitimate topics to cover, the newsletter would be a good place.
❥ Guest writers. Invite guest columnists to write for your newsletter once in awhile. For example, what about an article from a fraternity guy's point of view? Or, let an accomplished alumnae share her thoughts.
❥ Do interviews. Interview a VIP on campus, the president of the panhellenic council, the oldest living alum in your area, or the chairman of greek week. 5 to 10 questions is more than enough for an insightful and interesting feature.
❥ Use quality graphics. Avoid tacky clip art. You don't want your newsletter to look like a "bad" church bulletin (no offense to Sunday bulletins, but you know the look!) Keep your design more modern and chic.
❥ Polish the photos. Only publish clear, bright, cropped photos. Dark, blurry photos will drag your newsletter down. You can take a decent shot and crop it to focus on the vital part of the picture. Publishing attractive photos is key to the look and success of your newsletter.
❥ Proof read. Check grammar and spelling. Proofread and have a second pair of eyes look it over before publishing. It's awful to discover a big typo on the front page after it's been sent to hundreds of sisters.
❥ Brag sheet. Brag, brag, brag. Your newsletter should shout about all your sisterhood accomplishments ~ sports wins, homecoming queens, leadership accomplishments and GPA rankings. The newsletter also becomes an outstanding recruitment tool! Make sure PNMs have access to past publications during recruitment. Ask alums to be on your list as well. They will love to hear more about what the chapter is doing.