All of these items need not be included
What a good newsletter in one issue of your newsletter, but should
appear regularly in order to give a well-
will do for your chapter: rounded presentation.
A well edited chapter newsletter can be Your newsletter might open with a brief
one of your most effective communications message from your Chapter President,
tools. A good newsletter reflects a chap- Vice President or, on occasion, the Dis-
ter whose members care about quality. trict Governor, and continue with an en-
An effective chapter newsletter will . . couragement to attend upcoming events.
. When previewing upcoming programs, do
• Stimulate attendance not merely list the speaker's name and
• Advertise your chapter title, but write a brief summary of the per-
• Give recognition to members son or a teaser about the program to stimu-
• Provide program information late reader interest. This is one reason
• Boost chapter morale why the editor must get advance informa-
• Aid in membership development
tion on speakers and activities from other
To be effective, your chapter newslet- committee chairmen and the chapter of-
ter must have an objective and should ficers.
achieve that objective. It should be well The newsletter should also welcome
planned and attractive. It must be published guests by name, address, and place of
regularly and reflect the AMBUCS™ stan- employment; introduce new members and
dard of excellence. include short biographies of chapter of-
ficers and other members. Your newslet-
ter should report chapter business,
What makes a newsletter including meetings of the Chapter Board
effective? of Directors, and district, region, and na-
There are many qualities that make a chap- tional activities. Member activities should
ter newsletter look good and provide in- also be included, such as birthdays, an-
teresting reading, but the presentation can niversaries, job changes, promotions, etc.
be divided into three general categories: A chapter newsletter is an important
content, readability, and visual impact part of the National President's Citation
or layout. Award, and should relate to the steps out-
lined in the Chapter President's Scorecard
toward the standard of chapter excellence.
Content Each chapter officer should keep copies
The most important requirement for an out- of the newsletter in his/her file for refer-
standing newsletter is to have a balanced ence and recognition. Be sure to use in-
presentation of material. This will include: formation from the Blue Chip Report, The
AMBUCS™ Leader , the AMBUCS™ Web
• Recognition of members' achievements
site, www.ambucs.org, and AMBUCS™
• Encouragement to attend activities
• Brief summary of past meetings MAGAZINE to keep members informed on
• List of guests in attendance goals and programs of the National As-
• Awareness of the activities and sociation.
programs at the district, region, Remember, your newsletter is not just
and national levels a history book and meetings schedule. If
• Short biographical sketches
it degenerates to that, it fails to commu-
• Resume of chapter business
nicate. Each issue should include ideas
and items which are of interest.
The actual assembly of a newsletter in-
volves typing the text and headlines, se-
Readability lecting and sizing the artwork, then
Be sure to carefully proofread your news- arranging them in visually appealing po-
letter for typing errors or mistakes in gram- sition on a master template. It is recom-
mar. Pay close attention to spelling and mended that you use a computer or
punctuation. wordprocessor to produce your newslet-
You are in the best position to judge ter, but a typewriter can also be used.
how the materials should be presented, A computer will allow you to produce a
whether it should be serious or not, de- more professional-looking publication as
pending upon the makeup of your chap- well as allow you access to clipart. It is
ter. Be sure your writing is clear and also recommended that you frequently
accurate. "Small" words do a better job use the AMBUCS™ logos (AMBUCS™,
than "big" words. AmTryke® therapeutic tricycle, AMBUCS™
Scholars-Scholarships for Therapists,
etc.). These logos are available on the
Visual impact and layout AMBUCS™ Web site, www.ambucs.org, as
Your newsletter should be designed to at- well as in the Communications section of
tract reader attention. Use the most promi- this CD.
nent position on the page to feature Computers are by far the easiest and
upcoming events. Break up text with boxes, most effective way to produce a news-
borders, creative lettering, and clip art or letter. There are many types of programs
photos. out there that will make your creation easy.
If your newsletter contains columns and Many of you will have access to Microsoft
headlines arranged in an attractive, logi- Word. This is a simple word processing
cal manner, you have a good beginning. program that will allow you to create col-
Now experiment! Try balancing the page umns, boxes, fonts and insert clipart.
in a variety of ways, rearranging articles There are more advanced programs that
and clip art to lead the reader through can also be used to create your news-
the page. Vary the size and shape of letter. The easiest thing to do is to use a
headlines and clip art to avoid monotony. method that you are most comfortable with
These are approaches that make a good and a program that you are familiar with.
newsletter a great newsletter. The main
point to remember is to make your ideas
look deliberate, not accidental. Be bold Artwork
in your design. Try something which may National logos are available through the
be new or different. AMBUCS™ Web site, www.ambucs.org, or
on this CD in the Communications sec-
tion. If you are in need of additional
AMBUCS™ logos, you can always con-
tact the AMBUCS™ Resource Center at
email@example.com. General images,
clipart, accompany many software pro-
grams or can be found for free on-line.
Conduct a simple search for clipart and
you will be surprised at what you can find!
In addition, you may want to increase your
library by purchasing clipart programs
from an office supply store.
The AMBUCS™ Resource Center can
provide national logos on disk or through
e-mail if you request them. You will need
to tell us the format needed.
The Template As was mentioned before, your template
should contain the newsletter's masthead,
After you have established your resources
since it will appear in the same position
for text and clipart, you must create a
issue after issue. The masthead is com-
template and masthead as a foundation
for later newsletters. A template is sim-
ply a working surface to paste the con- • Your newsletter's name and any logo
tents upon. In all practical sense, it will • Name of the chapter
be a piece of paper containing the mast- • Time and place of chapter meeting
• City and state
head and any other text or illustrations
• Newsletter Editor's name, address, and
that will consistently appear from issue phone number.
to issue (i.e. page numbers, chapter's • Publication date
name, Newsletter Editor's name, etc.). The main feature of a masthead is
The template also provides margins, es- the newsletter's name. The name should
tablishing where text and images can be show a relationship to the chapter or to
placed to insure uniform column widths AMBUCS™ in general. It may be humor-
and alignment of adjacent elements. If ous, but should not be downgrading to
using a typewriter or word processor you the chapter or its purpose. “Newsletter”
should reproduce enough templates to alone is not a very creative name, and
accommodate the number of issues you reflects a lack of concern for quality. Along
intend to publish in the year. with a distinctive name, the masthead is
the perfect place for a special logo, which
will give individuality to your chapter and
have a self-mailer which saves the cost
What about of an envelope and the labor of stuffing
reproduction? and sealing it. Make a sample of your self–
mailer, using the same weight paper as
Unless your newsletter contains photo-
the actual newsletter, and take it to the
graphs, or incorporates color, copies of
post office for approval. They will advise
500 or less can be adequately and
you any special postal requirements that
affordably reproduced by photocopying.
you may not have considered.
Look for a printer or office supply busi-
ness with state-of-the-art equipment. A
desktop model, or self-service, copier will
not give you the quality reproduction you What about Faxing or
require. Instead, assign the task to a high
speed, production copier capable of dark,
legible copies. These machines are ca- You may be surprised at how easy and
pable of reproducing large solids, mini- cost effective it is to fax or e-mail your
mizing the shadows that appear along the newsletter. If enough of your members
edges of pasted material, and providing have fax machines or e-mail capabilities,
duplex copies. Most can collate and staple it is a great way to send your newsletter.
multiple page newsletters. The advantages include no paper costs,
Should your newsletter contain pho- no copying cost, no folding and stuffing,
tographs and/or you intend to print with and no postage costs. The other big ad-
a color other than black, visit with a quick vantage is instant delivery. Check into it,
printer who can advise you on preparing you may find it’s a great way to keep your
your newsletter for offset printing, unless chapter informed.
you have the capabilities to print in good
color quality on your home printer.
In either case, you may wish to con-
sider color paper as an inexpensive way
What about you
to dress up an otherwise plain newslet- the Editor?
Your effort on the chapter newsletter will
reward you the same way membership in
What about mailing? your chapter does. You broaden your ex-
Be sure your newsletter is sent to mem- perience. You help others with community
bers well in advance of the next meeting. service experience. You share information,
Copies should also be sent to your dis- and have the fun of seeing your writing in
trict and region officers and AMBUCS™ print. And you stay on top of everything
Resource Center, as well as your local that's happening in the chapter.
Chamber of Commerce and local news A few chapters assign a different mem-
media. Try to exchange newsletters with ber as editor each week in order to give
as many other chapters as possible for all members the opportunity for experience.
both current information and ideas. Guests This method is not recommended because
should always be put on your mailing list the newsletter will tend to lack personal-
following their visit. ity, and never really develop into a quality
If you fold your newsletter in half or publication.
thirds, leaving enough space for an ad- A suggested alternative is to have a
dress and postage stamp on the back, you permanent editor with rotating contribut-
ing editors who each write about one as-
pect of the chapter's activities. This way
every member can participate, and there
is still continuity in the newsletter.
Be sure the newsletter editor's name
and address are sent to the AMBUCS™
Resource Center with the New Chapter
Officer Listing or separately. This is a great
way for your chapter to be kept informed
of what's happening in AMBUCS ™.
Is help available?
The AMBUCS™ Resource Center is al-
ways ready to help editors with any prob-
lems they may encounter. The AMBUCS™
Resource Center can provide newsletter
editors with additional logos, content
ideas, and guidance. Meanwhile, contact
AMBUCS™ Resource Center
PO Box 5127
High Point, NC 27262
Tel. (336) 869–2166 Fax (336) 887–8451
Next meeting time and place _______________________________________
Next program topic and speaker ____________________________________
Brief resume of next speaker ______________________________________
Last program recap _____________________________________________
Attendance Recap ______________________________________________
President’s message ____________________________________________
District and national news _________________________________________
Projects report _________________________________________________
Prospective members/guests ______________________________________
New members __________________________________________________
Member of the week _____________________________________________
Coming events _________________________________________________
(Board action, sick, members in the news, birthdays)