Club Newsletters

I receive many newsletters from driving clubs throughout the country.  Their design and content ranges from very homespun to sophisticated graphic design.  All are interesting.

A recent newsletter from a club I belong to made me think of Goldilocks and the 3 bears.  It was over 20 pages long!  And it was produced to be sent via the internet.  Another club I belong to produced a newsletter that was a scant 4 pages packed with postage stamp sized photos and minimal content.  Comparing the two, one seemed too big (too big for Earthlink to deliver it to my inbox), the other too small.  So what is just right? Somewhere in between, I think, but of course it depends on the activities of the club and its mission.

Being an editor of a club newsletter is a thankless job.  Most cry out for content from members, and end up generating the content themselves. I know, I’ve done i t.

Many clubs are now sending their newsletters via email attachments or putting them on their club websites and notifying their membership via email.  It does save significantly on printing and postage costs, but there are a few drawbacks.

1. If the club has a lot of elderly members, many aren’t keen on reading online, if they have computers at all.
2. Short is better for an online newsletter.
3. One column is better for an online newsletter to keep scrolling up and down to a minimum.
4. Lots of graphics and photos add tremendously to the size meaning it will take more time to download.
5. Readership may be limited to one or two. When I received a print copy of our  20+ page newsletter and set it on the table in the living room, my husband read it (for the first time ever) and so did my neighbor who even took it home to read.

Obviously, I am a fan of the internet or I wouldn’t be writing this blog. But my attention span is limited, and I don’t really like to read anything of length on the computer screen.  I’m more likely to print out an article I’m editing than to edit it directly on the screen.

Club newsletters are a very important part of the chain of communication within a club, especially if the membership spans several states.  Too big, two small, or just right – I’ll still look forward to receiving them either way and enjoy reading them all.


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