1) Define Your Audience — Who are you publishing for? Clients (customers) – present, past and prospective? Employees? Your audience will define your content.
2) Set Objectives — Create a solid foundation for your newsletter by writing down what you want to achieve.
3) Plan Content — What interests your audience? Build your newsletter around whatever that is. Plan content at least half a year at a time. You can make changes along the way.
4) Establish a Budget — Newsletters can be cost effective, but they’re not FREE. When you set a budget, consider start-up as well as ongoing, per-issue costs.
5) Decide On a Schedule — Like any new habit it takes time to establish a pattern for a newsletter. But DO establish a pattern. Your reward will be consistent readership.
6) Select a Name — Your “baby” needs a name. Choose something simple and relevant.
7) Develop a Design — Determine format and length. Then select a simple design – and stick with it.
8) Assign the Task of Writing — Designate a good writer, editor and proofreader – people who’ll respect your deadlines and tone.
9) Build Your Audience With Promotion — There are lots of ways to build internal or external readership. Use them.
10)Keep It Going — Plan ahead. Maintain your schedule. Be disciplined.
Don’t be afraid to call in help if you need it. Once you start the newsletter habit, it’s important to stick with it.
Claire Cunningham, president of Clairvoyant Communications, Inc., has 20+ years’ experience developing and implementing successful marketing and communications programs. Sign up for Claire’s monthly newsletter, Communique, at http://www.clairvoyantcommunications.com Claire can be reached at 763-479-3499 (Fax: 763-479-2809, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)