Guest Author - Kristin Peoples
Newsletters are a great way to share family news. It is also one of the most economical ways to communicate with family members who live out town and overseas. Most people think of Christmas letters and that is a great start as a template. The only drawback is that Christmas letters can leave off important information because it only comes out once per year.
First you must decide how often you will mail your family newsletter. Is it for a certain occasion like a family reunion or anniversary party? These types of newsletters will begin early describing the planning process for the event. They will also be used to give updates and information needed to have a successful turnout.
You may also decide to have a monthly newsletter. This type of newsletter will give more detailed information about the family. It will also make it less likely to forget an important activity to share with the family. A yearly newsletter may make it difficult to decide what activities get added. You don't want to have a 50 page newsletter so you have to be selective.
With the age of email, text messaging, and instant messaging you will find a lot of arguments about using a newsletter to convey your thoughts. Think of the ages of your family members. Do you have family members who do not have a computer or cell phone? They will be happy to hear from you because they get overlooked because they do not have the latest technology.
How to Put It Together
You can use a full sheet of paper and make columns. It will make it easier to read and fold in an envelope. You can add clip art and photographs of the family. Solicit pictures from the family to scan into your newsletter to make it even more valuable. Your family will enjoy seeing how the family is changing. Even though they can't be together every day, they will feel comforted by the fact that they are at least able to view their pictures and find out what they are doing. You can deliver the newsletter via email or via regular mail depending on what's preferred for the family. Make sure you have everyone's information so that you do not miss anyone. The call from the forgotten family member will be uncomfortable because their feelings will be hurt.
Name Your Newsletter
You can choose to have your family name as the title of your newsletter. Adding your name and calling it "Chronicles, Times, or News" will call attention to it. You can even solicit from family members their suggestions on what it should be called so that everyone feels like they have a part in it. You can also have willing family members write their portion of the newsletter to help gain buy in and allow you to not feel as though you are doing it all yourself. Making it a family affair will help bring the family closer together.