Archive for May, 2011

Writing a company profile

May 20th, 2011

The interesting thing about profiles, in the context of newsletters, is that they should be reflected everywhere in your newsletter. In some ways this is called ‘branding.” See my article, “Tips For Writing a Company Profile” for in depth advice about profiles. But, here, I’m interested in the way what’s in your profile shapes what’s in your newsletter.

For example, if you are a 3-generation family business, and the fact that you are family is important to what you do, and why your customers like you, do you include some information in your newsletter about your family, even just a photo?

If the creativity of your young staff is an essential in your success–and part of your appeal–how do you make it clear to your readers that you are youthful and ahead of the game? With your font choices? Layout?

If you have a story to tell, make sure you get the news out in your newsletter, and not only in words!

  • Share/Bookmark

Guidelines for writing an editorial in your newsletter

May 17th, 2011

Sometimes a set of short guidelines are all you need.

Know your purpose: What do you want to accomplish with this editorial? stir things up? acknowledge outstanding performance? prepare for big changes? Your answers are critical to shaping your writing.

Know your audience: Who are you writing for? Your topic, tone, word choice, phrasing, all must be appropriate to your readers–if you want to engage them.

Get clear about content: Are there topics you need to stay away from? What does your PR department advise?

Know your word count: Start with a number in mind–much easier than having to cut back, or scrape together some more words after you think you are finished.

Choose the right style: Lengthy sentences? abbreviations? slang? three-syllable words? See “know your audience” above.

Review and proof: Especially, read your editorial aloud, and have someone else check for errors.

  • Share/Bookmark

Basic e-newsletter writing guidelines

May 13th, 2011

I decided it’s time to review the basics about email newsletters, or ezines, or e-news–whatever term you prefer. Those of you who’ve been following this blog know I’m a big fan of newsletters in any shape or form.

But I’m seduced by email newsletters (no, not emails with attachments!!) but the ones that arrive fully-formed in your inbox, with an intriguing subject line and attractive formatting.

Let’s start with the basics: Why use e-news? It’s simple!

1. E-mail newsletters are so inexpensive! They don’t cost much! Paper, printing, postage–out the window.

2. E-newsletters are so easy to produce ( as long as you use a service provider).

3. Ezines (as enews is sometimes called) are a terrific way to engage your readers/members/customers.

More next time.

  • Share/Bookmark

Learn about writing newsletters from negative comments

May 10th, 2011

Ready for a vacation, I googled “I hate newsletters” and, as always, found something to write about. When a site for IT pros changed its newsletter format, five writers complained bitterly. One wrote “New newsletter format–I HATE IT!”

Keep this in mind, when you fiddle about with a good thing. Let your readers know in advance that change is coming.

And, equally important, pay attention! Here’s the closing comment from that same IT Pro site: “I’m amazed this post hasn’t generated more responses. I guess we are alone here, guys.”

And, as we all know, anyone who feels alone is likely to leave. So monitor those comments, and ALWAYS RESPOND!

  • Share/Bookmark

How to write an annual report like a newsletter

May 3rd, 2011

I say, Bravo Mayo Clinic for their new annual report. What a terrific combination of reader’s choice, online, interactive, and print. The requirements are there, especially the financial statements. But, the usual boring letter from the CEO appears to be missing–or hidden! And there are so many ways to interact, not by flipping digital pages (usually confusing) but just by clicking on a link.

You can email to share. And–smart idea–there’s even a link for making a donation, and another to make an appointment.

If you just have to have hard copy, you can click “print” or “download PDF.”

What a smart bunch of people!

  • Share/Bookmark