Senior center newsletters provide information on activities at the local center. Whether you choose to distribute your newsletter in print or via email, learn how to jazz up your senior center newsletter and create an engaging, informative piece for your readers.
Types of Senior Center Newsletters
Like corporate newsletters, senior center newsletters are communication devices intended to update readers on the latest news and information from the local senior center.
Print newsletters offer many advantages. They can be distributed through community channels, such as libraries, post offices, churches and at the senior center itself to announce opportunities and happenings at the center. Seniors interested in activities at the center can easily pick up and read a printed newsletter, or the local center may choose to mail copies to its patrons at home.
A print newsletter may also be saved as a PDF file, a type of electronic file that is easy to email or post to a website. Print newsletters can therefore serve double duty as both a printed update and an online update to enhance the senior center or community website.
Many senior centers seeking to save money are turning to e-mailed newsletters to keep patrons and the community informed. Some readers may even prefer to receive information electronically, especially those who are environmentally conscious and don't like to see paper wasted. Consider e-mailing senior center newsletters as a viable alternative, particularly if the center's budget is limited.
Creating a Great Senior Center Newsletter
Creating an engaging newsletter takes a bit of writing and graphic design skill, but with the many tools available online, you can have a professional looking newsletter in no time at all.
What To Include in a Newsletter
First and foremost, newsletters are communication tools. Several elements are common among all newsletters, whether for senior centers or company updates:
- Headline or title of the newsletter: Select a title that's interesting yet informative.
- Publication date: Include a date so people know the news is current.
- Masthead: The masthead of a newsletter contains staff names and titles as well as contact information. Include an e-mail address or telephone number so readers can submit updates.
- Articles: Articles, updates, and photos form the bulk of any newsletter. You may wish to include:
- Updates on activities at the center
- Special articles on retirement living, investments, finances, technology, health or wellness that appeal to the audience.
- Local community updates.
- Future events, such as upcoming workshops, classes and activities. Calendar formats are popular.
- Photos from past events, such as pictures from holiday parties, travel or tours.
- Announcements, such as births, deaths, and personal notes from readers.
FrequencyHow frequently you should create and distribute a senior center newsletter is entirely up to you. If your center is very active, you may wish to distribute a monthly or even weekly update, especially via e-mail. You can choose a weekly, monthly and bi-monthly newsletter schedule. Whatever you choose, try to stick with the schedule to build readership.
Designing an Effective Newsletter
Organization is the key to effective newsletter design. There are other considerations that help save money and make the newsletter easier for people to read.
Organize the Content
Organize the content so that the flow of the newsletter is similar from month-to-month. This helps readers find information they value. Keep current news and events on the front page. Select a primary story as a lead story, followed by smaller articles. You may wish to save the back page for updates on member activities, photos, birthday announcements or other announcements.Most newsletters are two-to-four pages long, although there is no hard and fast rule about length.
Font and Color ConsiderationsWhen designing your newsletter, choose fonts or text styles that are easy to read. A general rule of thumb is to pick sans serif fonts such as Arial or Verdana for headlines, and serif fonts such as Times New Roman, Bookman or Palatino for body copy. Pick up to three fonts for your newsletter, but no more; any more than that and the newsletter will look amateurish. Keep font sizes at or above 12 points to ensure easy readability.
Color adds impact to any printed or electronic piece, but it may cost more than your budget allows. If printing your newsletter, compare pricing for black and white versus color printing.
Free Newsletter Templates
If you're ready to embark on your senior center newsletter project, there are many places online where you can download free templates. Check the template requirements against your software programs to ensure you can use them once you download them. Some are only compatible with a certain type of software.
- Microsoft Office provides downloadable templates compatible with its major programs, such as Microsoft Publisher and Word.
- Templates Box also provides numerous free newsletter resources.
- Morgue File provides free photographs to illustrate your projects. Be sure to let the photographer know, if requested, how you used the photo. They appreciate getting copies of the newsletter to add to their portfolio.