Developing a Local ACNA Newsletter by kxb86934

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									Audi Car Club North America                                                                Chapter 7
Chapter Development Manual                                                          Local Newsletters

Developing a Local Newsletter
As a new or existing Chapter of ACNA, a paper newsletter of some sort is often a valuable tool. It
gives members and prospective members a “hard copy” newsletter that they can hang on the
refrigerator or keep on their desk to remind them of information regarding Chapter meetings, special
events and driving events. The newsletter can be as simple or as complex as the Chapter wants it to
be. The newsletter needs to contain a variety of information, so that the members can pla n their
time accordingly and be informed of news items or other items relative to the Chapter, Club or the
Audi Marque:

   •   Monthly meeting times, places and dates
   •   Local Chapter Officers with contact information including phone numbers and email addresses
   •   Any advertising of local sponsors that may be appropriate
   •   Pictures from recent events
   •   Articles that can be original to the editor or members or that are borrowed (with permission)
         from other pertinent sources, including the Internet, other magazines or other news sources
   •   Entry forms or other documents that need to be distributed to members
   •   Ballots for local Chapter elections
   •   Return address for newsletters that are undeliverable
   •   News about Audi Club of North America in general
   •   Articles about the history of the Audi Marque

There are many formats for newsletters. Programs such as Page Maker, Quark and Publisher are just
three examples of templates or places to start with the graphic layout of document. Poll your
membership and find those members who are savvy with the use of programs such as these. That’s
the least expensive way to get the newsletter started. If there is no one in your Chapter like this, you
might inquire about prices from local desktop publishing firms in your area to see if using one of them
is economically feasible.

Speaking of economics, there are a number of ways to cover the costs of newsletter production.
Many times, a local Audi dealer will be interested in helping you defer some of the costs in return for
advertising or mention in the publication. After market accessories shops, body shops, tire suppliers
or other interested businesses may well be interested in doing the same. Additionally, recognized
Chapters may file a “Request for Funding” to the National Office and can be reimbursed for some or
all of the costs of newsletter production, assuming that they justify the costs and that those costs are
not exorbitant. Typical costs involved in producing a Chapter newsletter include (but are not limited
to) the following:

   •   Any costs to layout and produce the original, such as desktop publishers, etc.
   •   Printing and paper costs to actually produce the copies required for distribution
   •   Mailing of the copies to members, including postage, handling and mailing labels

Remember, sometimes bulk mailing can significantly reduce your costs. Also remember that there
are numerous restrictions on bulk mail qualification and any Chapter considering bulk mailing should
contact USPS regarding those restrictions. Restrictions include size of finished product, number of
recipients and area of distribution. Check with the Postal Service regarding those items. Additionally,
there are outfits in most major cities that will handle bulk mailing or any type of mailing for you,
should you choose. Audi dealers frequently have the capability of providing postal metering services
Audi Car Club North America                                                               Chapter 7
Chapter Development Manual                                                         Local Newsletters

and sometimes actually have some money built into their budgets to cover things such as this, so
check with them. Again, this varies from location to location.

And when it comes to mailing labels, there are a myriad of programs that can handle data merging
and printing. Mailing information (as well as general information about members) can be obtained on
a regular basis from the National Office. Simply call, identify who you are and where you’re from and
they’ll begin sending you regularly updated information on your Chapter membership which can be
used to provide the necessary data for your mailing labels.

As far as the look of the newsletter, each Chapter is allowed a lot of leeway in that regard. We’d like
to see the Chapter logo somewhere on the cover in addition to a newsletter name. It’s easier to refer
to the newsletter in conversation. It’s also important to identify each newsletter by date or by
Volume, so that you can tell one from the other. Remember, the Post Office requires that there be a
functional return address on each piece you mail out. It’s also important to have someone at that
return address who can note and record all changes of addresses and similar items that are pertinent
to deliver of the newsletter. Any updated information that you can pass on to the National Office is
also appreciated.

Remember, too, that for individual events, last minute reminders and other items, you can shoot out
emails to a list of members, post cards or similar small mailed pieces or phone them up to pass along
information. The same programs mentioned above have templates for the creation of post cards,
reminders and other types of small mailed information items. Your monthly updates from the
National Office will provide you with email addresses of those in your Chapter so equipped.
Remember, information contained in those monthly reports is not to be sold, given away or otherwise
abused. Privacy of ACNA members is of the utmost importance.

Finally, if anyone wants to get started and feels they don’t know enough, feel free to contact any
other Chapter newsletter editors for information regarding their newsletter, how they got started or
how they physically produce what they do. Remember, too, that many medium to large dealers may
have a newsletter that they produce “in house” to their customers, sales force and employees. Some
newsletters are posted on websites as PDF files and can be downloaded and reviewed for content,
style and other features. Really, the important thing to do with a newsletter is to create a sense of
community within your Chapter. Your Chapter newsletter can reflect the lifestyle of the people in it
and can give them information about technology and performance as it relates to their Audi. Make a
newsletter work for your Chapter as a valuable and handy tool for information dissemination and
Chapter interaction. At first, it’s pretty hard work, but as you develop a template, it becomes more
an issue of filling the boxes. Good luck!

								
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