new newsletter

one of the difficult parts of youth ministry is figuring out how to effectively communicate all of the information that you have to parents.  i think this is even more difficult with middle schoolers (though i’m sure that that’s its own debate), as any paper you give becomes filled with holes or turned into a paper airplane and any announcement, if heard, is promptly forgotten.  anyway…enough complaining : )  last month i started doing a bi-monthly newsletter.  i’ve done newsletters in the past, but hadn’t had one since i started at First Friends, so i took the opportunity to redesign & try and come up with something more compelling than the normal newsletter.  take a look & let me know what you think (i admit it is a little out-of-date now…i’d been intending to post it here for awhile but never got to it).

picture-74

what other avenues do you use as primary communication options?

(ps. this is the smaller version for easier viewing.  our print copy looks a little crisper.)

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4 Responses to new newsletter

  1. mattwiggins says:

    Cool design. I know personally I’ve become very interested in print design recently and have started redesigning all of the stuff I’ve done which has come out of a Publisher template. It’s definitely a challenge that I enjoy and I have to wonder if this is me trying to make something more visually appealing in the hopes that it will communicate more effectively or just because I’m turning into a design nerd.

    I do have to question your choice of doing it in color though, I know our color copies get pretty expensive and we’re fairly limited on how many we can do.

    I think one of the best things we can do with our newsletters is to include what we’re teaching. My friend Richard started sending out what he’s doing every week in the church’s weekly newsletter and got a hugely positive response and some extra leaders from it. So, I have a monthly calendar that I give to the kids and send via email as a PDF to parents now and in our monthly church newsletter I talk only about what we’re learning now. That started last month so we’ll see how that goes.

    BTW, somehow you tricked my Facebook quicklink button in Firefox to have your face for the icon. Change it back.

  2. joeldaniel says:

    thanks for the comments, matt. regarding the color, we’re trying to do a real push to get people to receive them via email, so then we only have to print out a much smaller percentage of them in color. and with the email push it saves us both copy costs & postage costs, so it allows us to spend a bit more on the actual printed copies.

    i need to do a better job of communicating what i’m teaching. one thing i’ve been thinking about experimenting with is posting podcasts of the actual time. my friend, tim beck (http://fantasticdistraction.blogspot.com/), has some tools that are apparently relatively inexpensive & easy to use, so i’m planning on hitting him up for some advice on this & starting it in the next few months.

    and i have no idea about the facebook/firefox thing, so i can’t help you.

    jdh

  3. Phillip Boyle says:

    First off, both of you should know from scouts that the toughest thing to do is get teenagers to actually take things home to their parents.

    It’s still a problem I deal with every week. Anyway, I’ve found the most helpful thing has been displaying the information you want parents and kids to know in multiple places. Also reminding them until they’re annoyed works too.

    I make sure that anything of importance is on the troop webpage, I publish it in the bi-monthly troop newsletter, handouts are passed around (many times in some cases) and you just pound the info (if only literally) right into their scattered little brains. We’ve recently started automatic e-mail to those parents and scouts who are registered with the website and that seems to help too.

    I do like the Flipd website, it’s very nicely designed. My only…issue is the size of the text on the website. I know there’s only a little bit of space to begin with, but as a website designer (in training) I’m compelled to mention it. The text hurts my eyes to read.

    So the moral of my story is just be repetitive with all the information you want the kids to know. Also let yourself be contacted by parents via e-mail, phone, etc with any questions. There’s at least one parent in every bunch that would like an itinerary for every event (including Sunday and Wednesday services).

    Hope that helps!

  4. mattwiggins says:

    I hate to dissuade anyone from podcasting their stuff, but make sure the time you put into it is going to be worth it. From what I see, podcasts are a 20-39 phenomenon for the most part with anyone younger not caring and anyone older daunted by the technology. Granted, that’s a generalization, but it holds true to some degree.

    Personally, I’d go with the elevator pitches for the lessons in communication to parents and offer to send over the text you used if anyone wants to read more. Unless someone is REALLY interested they’re only going to, at best, skim the whole thing or, more likely, read the first two sentences. I send out an email to everyone on Tuesdays covering what was taught in the last week and another on Thursdays telling what events are coming up.

    Phil: can’t agree more, repetition is key!

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