Did you know humans are now said to have a shorter attention span than a goldfish?! *Face-palm emoji, right?*
Getting and keeping the attention of your staff, families and residents can be hard; but don’t stray away from doing what is right simply because it’s hard.
It’s important that your audiences (staff, families and residents) know where and when they can expect to hear from you. Consistency and clarity is critical to keeping your audience’s attention.
Survey results from many of our clients show that newsletters, whether in printed form and mailed to the entire community, or e-versions shared with staff, parents and other key stakeholders, still reign supreme as one of the most awaited for — and read — communications.
Here are 3 tips for ensuring your newsletter (print or electronic) remains a trusted part of your district’s outreach efforts.
- Timing is everything. Whether you already have a newsletter or are thinking about starting one, it’s important to think about the frequency with which it will be sent. What is feasible for your district staff? How often do you have enough new and noteworthy material to share with your stakeholders? Once you determine the right frequency, keep it consistent.
Pro tip: Quarterly printed newsletters and weekly or biweekly e-newsletters (feel free to take a break during the summer months) work well for the majority of our clients.
- Make it fun. Newsletters are intended to share information, yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way.
- Use rhyming or alliteration in your headlines and photo captions to help draw readers in.
- Make your facts and figures easy to understand by using graphics and charts.
- Get personal by sharing stories and perspectives from staff and students to tell a story or communicate important information.
- Include pictures! Nothing brings a smile to the faces of parents and community members faster than photos of smiling kids, so snap away (just make sure all students have photo permissions on file)!
Pro tip: Shorter sections of content are easier to read and more engaging and bullet points with action-oriented words like the ones used above can communicate faster.
- Tell your story. Look up and out, there is a story happening each day with each student and staff member in your district. Districts can weave in key messages through the stories of growth, progress and impact already happening in your buildings. This not only helps build your district brand but also grows trust when you acknowledge and spotlight the positive work happening. The time and energy spent telling these stories will come back tenfold; it is hard work, and work worth doing.
The alternative is sending out a newsletter that is filled with important and factual information and no matter how beautifully displayed, it will inevitably feel lackluster and fall flat. As a result, it will be forgotten and frustrate you and your audience.
Pro tip: Just do it. Go into the buildings, ask questions, build relationships. The stories are there, there’s no creating necessary; you simply need to go and capture them!
Do you need more pro tips for how to make your newsletter stand out? Schedule a time to chat with us!