5 Ways to Improve Your Newsletter

If your chapter didn’t receive a 2016 Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award, don’t give up! In many cases a few fairly simple tweaks can help improve your newsletter. Here’s some guidance from this year’s contest judges.

  • Include your chapter’s mission statement or a few sentences about what your chapter does. If someone not familiar with MOAA picked up your newsletter, would they know what MOAA is or understand who you are and what your chapter does? On the first page of your newsletter, consider adding an “About Us” section. For example, it could say: “The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is a nonprofit veterans’ association dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and ensuring our nation keeps its commitments to currently serving, retired, and former members of the uniformed services and their families and survivors. The XYZ Chapter is one of more than 400-plus local organizations affiliated with national MOAA. We support the national organization through X,Y, and Z and are active in our community doing X, Y, and Z.”
  • Include membership eligibility information and how to join or, at least list the URL for your chapter’s website where they can learn more about joining.
  • Include articles about your chapter’s community-service projects, legislative activities, fundraising efforts, etc. This is very important. Remember, your newsletter’s purpose ideally is two-fold: communicate with your current members andrecruit new members. Articles about how your chapter supports the local community can serve as great recruiting tools. Chapters do important work in their communities, but so many don’t showcase these efforts in their own communications.
  • If your newsletter is more than a few pages long, include a table of contents on the first page to help readers navigate to sections they’re interested in.
  • Avoid “jumping” articles from one page to another, if possible. In many instances, breaking an article up on several pages can be confusing for a reader. If an article is that long, consider shortening it, which often is beneficial and makes it easier to read anyway. 

Find additional tips, plus advice for improving your chapter’s e-newsletter and website, here.