Newsletter Editor Resources – Getting Started

Getting Started

1.      Recruiting for editors and other volunteers

  • Many of the chapters advertise for newsletter editors and distribution volunteers through their chapter newsletters.  Others find that personal contact with prospective candidates is more effective, but finding that “prospective candidate” tends to be a problem.  It is harder to say “No” face-to-face than by phone.  Also, don’t wait until the position needs to be filled.  Find a back-up that can learn the software and/or your distribution process BEFORE your newsletter editor or distribution volunteers resign, and/or get sick, etc. Invite potential candidate(s) to assist the current editor and make it a fun, engaging experience.
  • Make sure you have support, guides and training in place (or know where to obtain training) to help recruit volunteers.  It always helps to have documentation to show a candidate what they will be required to do.  A narrative of your process is a good tool to have.  This website is also a good recruitment tool.  Most questions about the process are answered here.
  • The current newsletter editor should have sample newsletters to show prospective candidates so they will have an idea of what is expected.  Mention that there is always room for creativity following a discussion with the president or board members ahead of time.  Chapter newsletters will be posted on this website to showcase a variety of styles.

2.      Finding a printing company and every year or so evaluate their cost and performance

  • Chapters have lists of companies with whom they have worked with over the years, but it never hurts to take a look at other companies to compare costs and services.  It never hurts to have a list of services that your current company provides or have other companies evaluated against.  Look for a company that can provide labeling, mailing, and delivery in addition to printing.  You never know when you might need these services; especially if someone cannot perform duties needed for a smooth distribution process.  One chapter uses CHI Centers for printing and folding at a reduced cost.  CHI Centers support handicap individuals so the costs are very low.  It might be useful to include such organizations in your cost comparisons.
    • Services that might be needed (NOTE:  Many services require additional fees from the printer except emailing of newsletter to your printer):
      •   Addressing from a file.  Printing companies usually have this capability at a cost; you send them a file and have them print the addresses on your newsletter.
      • Delivery to a member.  Sometimes a volunteer may not be able to pick up the newsletters for labeling and/or mailing because of something that happens at the last minute.  This is a good service to have in such a case.
      • Email of newsletter from your editor to the printer.  Most chapters currently email their newsletters to the printer, but some hand-deliver the hard copy of the newsletter.  In case of bad weather or other circumstances, it is always nice to have the capability of emailing in the file.  Check to make sure the printer has this capability even if you don’t currently use this service.
      • Know the costs of all services your printer provides.  Keep the cost sheet handy in case you need to use any of their services.