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5 top tips for creating an engaging school newsletter

Published on 06/10/20

Almost half of UK schools send a weekly school newsletter out to their parents, and this is often distributed via email or as a downloadable PDF on their website.

But with some schools quoting that it takes hours, if not days, of administration time per month to collate content, format and distribute their newsletters, how can you ensure that your school community is engaging with the finished product after all that hard work?

We’ve put together 5 top tips to help ensure that your school newsletter is one that parents will want to read and come back to, week after week.

The 5 key things you need to consider when creating a school newsletter are:

  • Frequency
  • Design
  • Content
  • Creation
  • Distribution

Frequency

A short snappy newsletter with bite size content is more likely to be read than a lengthy newsletter with a term's worth of information.

Once you’ve decided on a regular newsletter pattern, such as weekly or monthly, make sure you stick to it. This will help your audience get used to receiving your correspondence and they may even start to look forward to the next edition!

Design

Consistent formatting is very important when it comes to school newsletter design.

A professional layout branded to your school colours and interspersed with imagery will have a higher chance of being read. Once you have chosen a design you like, and which is well received, set that as your template and use it for every newsletter going forwards.

Avoid choosing a text only newsletter or one with varying layouts, fonts and colours because this can look imposing and/or unprofessional, which can often put people off.

Finally, make sure that any digital newsletter design is responsive and mobile-friendly, as people may want to read your newsletter on the go, using a mobile or tablet device.

Content

Keep your content clear and focused, ensuring you highlight any important information you want to be read. If you have lots of important details to share, you can always break these sections up with some light-hearted or feel-good content, to keep your audience engaged.

Break your newsletter up into sections with clear headings so that the content is scannable and easy to digest. Most users will be scanning, not reading, to find information that is relevant and useful to them, so use bite size chunks and make use of website links, so they can read the full story online if they wish.

Utilise regular story features to help add consistency week on week, such as an introduction from the head or a snippet from a student. Anything to increase engagement and add an extra layer of personalisation.

Creation

The easiest and quickest way to create a school newsletter is to use existing content that you’re already collated. A digital newsletter builder is perfect for this, especially if synced to your school website, as you can pull in news stories, calendar dates and recent features, as well as share your latest social media moments or image galleries.

If you don’t have or want a digital newsletter builder, then consider making an editable offline template with sections that can be easily switched out for newer content when required.

Distribution

The main point of a school newsletter is to inform your parents of recent and forthcoming events. If you’re not distributing it properly, then no one will appreciate your efforts and your newsletter will remain unread.

The most popular methods for distribution are uploading it as a PDF or digital newsletter on your website or sending it out to parents via email integration.

In an eco-friendly world, we’d only ever advise printing as a last resort or for a couple of token copies that can be left in reception for passing visitors (when not in the midst of a pandemic!).

As a bonus top tip, here are some content ideas that you could look to include in your next digital school newsletter:

  • An introduction from the head – add that personal touch
  • Upcoming events (virtual and physical) - give people notice to plan ahead
  • ‘Good news’ stories – spread the positivity and celebrate successes
  • Entertainment – share fun facts, trivia or maybe a good joke
  • Anecdotes or a ‘recently overheard in the [playground / staffroom / classroom]’
  • Policy changes or any community updates
  • Recipes, book reviews or fun (easy) things to do at home
  • Competitions and quizzes
  • ‘A day in the life of....’
  • Highlights from your social feeds
  • Photos from recent activities – sports day, parents evening, plays and trips
  • Fundraising and PTA updates

If you'd like to know more about how the e4education digital newsletter builder can reduce administration time and increase engagement, get in touch for a free demo.

Source:
https://www.e4education.co.uk/parental-engagement-3

Katie Sixsmith

Katie is our Marketing & Communications Executive and joined e4education in November 2015. She has a 2.1 BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from the Open University and is currently studying for her Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing with the Oxford College of Marketing. 

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