Neighborhood Newsletters

Many neighborhoods have newsletters to keep their communities informed about important events and other issues. If you are planning to have a newsletter for your neighborhood, you will need the following:

Newsletter producer (graphic designer and editor)

Assign Street captains to deliver it

Get advertising funds to pay for it

Start simple, and keep it to two to four pages depending on advertising funds. Also, we recommend only delivering once or twice a year as volunteers are sometimes difficult to find.

For advertising funds, approach local businesses in your area. Design a rate card to give to all potential advertisers. This rate card should list information about rates and how large the circulation is.

Listed below are some tips on advertising provided by the Westlawn Civic Association.

Westlawn Community Advertising Tips:

Do's and Don't for Newsletter Advertising

Repeat advertising in the Westlawn Civic Association newsletter has enabled us to cut printing costs and keep our association in the black despite dues-paying rates of roughly 5%.  Through trial and error, we have learned lessons on what works and what doesn't.

What Works:

· Encouraging repeat advertising by offering a 20% discount for advertisers who prepay for one year of newsletters (four issues).

· Encouraging larger ads by including a small discount as ad size doubles, with a full page as the best value.

· Soliciting advertisers who are looking for a low-cost way to periodically reach out to our neighborhood and associate their business with our neighborhood.  Gas stations and one-of-a-kind restaurants have used this approach successfully.

· Focusing on local private schools, religious groups, and community pools (spring issue only) that want to generate new members and attract the local community to public events in their organization.

· Encouraging advertisers to communicate via email, with about a month heads-up prior to printing a newsletter.

· Black-and-white ads with simple graphics look good when printed using a blurry photocopier.

What Doesn't Work:

· People who think that one ad will more than pay for itself with increased business.

· Advertisers who submit their ad at the last minute and haven't proofed their ad.

· Soliciting businesses that are using alternative means to advertise in the neighborhood, such as direct mail coupons.

· Trying to save a little money by do-it-yourself printing instead of using a printing company like Welsh Printing that produces a higher quality product with less hassle.

The best way to solicit advertising is by residents who frequent the business or organization that you are focusing on.
For more information please contact:

Dave Conway
President and Newsletter Editor, Westlawn Civic Association
kdconway@cox.net

Sample Newsletters:

Westlawn

Lake Barcroft

Parklawn

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