Newsletter Editor Tips
Kathleen Fay, Fourth District PTA Communications Vice President. Send email
Tips that will help make your unit or council newsletter attractive and readable:
- Use a two- or three-column layout; it’s quicker and easier to read.
- Resist the temptation to use all of those fancy fonts on your computer. They only distract from your message. Use no more than two typestyles.
- Keep articles short and concise; three to five paragraphs, if possible.
- Leave some white space around the articles to keep the page from looking grey and crowded.
- Graphics add interest and help break up the page, but don’t over do it.
- When appropriate, use bullets to provide quick pieces of information.
- Use upper and lower case letters for headlines and articles; all capitals are hard to read.
- Use the active voice in your sentences: “Many families attended Math Night…” not “Math Night was attended by many families…”
Proofreading should be “3 deep”, including the PTA president, the principal, and one other proofreader.
For more information about producing a newsletter, go to the Communication section of the California State PTA Toolkit or visit the California State PTA web site at www.capta.org and click on Communications.
“A Nice Round of Applause For…”
- Seeing your name in print! One of the most effective “thank yous” is to see your name in print! Your unit or council newsletter is the best place to recognize your volunteers. Use it regularly to give “a nice round of applause” to your wonderful volunteers.
- Use an ad box such as this:
- Avoid ‘thank you’ articles. Few readers have the tenacity to make it through long and wordy ‘thank you’ articles.
- Provide a permanent “thank you space” in your newsletter. Using your unit or council theme, list thank yous in one regular column of your newsletter. For example, if you are using a gardening theme, have a column which runs in each issue of your newsletter entitled “Bouquets of Thanks!” Other titles you could use: “Thank You to Our PTA Stars,” “Hip Hip Hooray from PTA,” etc.
- Offer BIG congratulations to your award winners. Make sure your newsletter makes a big splash about your Honorary Service award winners. If your unit or council gets a state PTA award, make sure you give the proper accolades.