Your local AAW club newsletters

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Jim McTavish, May 24, 2004.

  1. Jim McTavish

    Jim McTavish

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    Hi Everyone,

    At our local AAW meeting this past month, I was elected to the position of Secretary (in addition to the post of Treasurer). Currently our members receive a general meeting notice thru the postal service. I'd like to "upgrade" that to include a newsletter.

    Do you send one out monthly, or quarterly? If monthly, does postage take a big chunk out of the treasury? (right now we send the general notice to about half the people thru the USPS, and then everyone who has an email address gets a notice sent there). To send out 12 newsletters a year to each member, it would cost $4.44 per year per person. Is that an issue, or do the benefits outweigh the expense?

    Most importantly, what type of content do you include? I can see meeting notices, tools for sale... What else?

    Any other things I should know about from your experience?

    Thanks a lot for your help!
     
  2. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    The Dallas Area Woodturners send out a monthly newletter that has articles written by members, classifieds, articles groomed from the net (with permission) photos and general club news. We also include a letter from the president and a profile and description of the monthly demonstration.

    We only send about 15 via postal service. Anyone with an email address gets an email notification that it has been posted on the web. The postage and printing costs (laser printers) are taken out of the clubs budget via reimbursement back to the editor.

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
  3. Jim Becker

    Jim Becker

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    Bucks Woodturners sends a multipage monthly newsletter and at this point most are via email to save money. It's also accessble by members through login at the club's web site. Occasionally, other information of interest to club members is sent via email--I don't know if that material gets to members who are, shall we say...without a computer.
     
  4. Jake Debski

    Jake Debski

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    Jim,

    Go to wnywoodturners.com there you will find newsletters from two different clubs. Each is quite different. It may give you some ideas as to how to structure your letter.

    Jake
     
  5. The Spin Doctor

    The Spin Doctor

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    Newsletter

    I have been the editor for the Central Oklahoma Woodturners Association for about 4 years now. I have paid for the paper, ink and stamps during that time. It costs me about $75 per issue to about 70 members. We send a letter 6 times a year. I usually include photos from our instant gallery, upcoming events are listed in the calendar, and we usually have a presidents note which is a page long communication about various subjects in the club. Often I try to get a member to write a section on a topic of woodturning, history of the club etc. This month is the last letter I will be writing since a new editor takes over in June. We have not been able to get our newsletter on the internet due to the low number of computer literate members.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2004
  6. John Buso

    John Buso

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    Palm Beach County, Florida
    Palm Beach County Woodturners

    :) Check out www.pbcw.org for our news letter. The relatively few members that do not have email receive a copy in the mail.
     
  7. Andrew

    Andrew

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    Jim,

    I do the newsletter for one of my woodturning clubs. We send them out monthly at about a week or 10 days before the meeting. The newsletter seems to mainly just be a meeting notice and to keep interest in the club alive rather than anything else at this point. It keeps the membership aware that we're having a meeting soon and what it's going to be about as well as things to be thinking about business-wise sometimes.

    With the exception of 2 articles and the monthly "Presidents Corner" section, I've done all of the newsletter content myself for about a year. I've tried to include full-out articles that are sometimes in multiple parts, classifieds, product reviews, news, cartoons/jokes, little how-to's, and everything else I could think of in the time I've been doing this. At this point, however, I've pretty much given up everything but just the meeting notice and a short Presidents' message. I might just do it on postcards soon. For the most part, the work I've done has been appreciated and well commented on ..... but it's not gotten anyone to actually help me with it for content, etc. ;)

    I do all of the other stuff on the club website and I don't see that duplicating it in the newsletter is all that advantageous. I also post the newsletters on the website but that will soon change. They can visit the website with better pictures and much more content, links, updates, etc. than I can reasonably do with a newsletter. For those without web access; well, tough; to be blunt about it at this point. If they want a better print newsletter, they can help or do it themselves. Personally, I'm devoting far more time to the website rather than the newsletter.

    Before the beginning of this year, I was mailing out to about 60% of the club membership. The beginning of this year (and the updated club membership roster), I just emailed the newsletter to anyone listing an email address. Mailing out to the rest which now is about 5%. I figured I would ask forgiveness instead of asking permission this time. I've had 1 ask to email instead and had 1 ask to mail instead of the other so far. I print and copy at my own expense but use club funds for postage which should stretch further this year.

    Hope this helps,
     
  8. oldgriz

    oldgriz

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    Our club members (Apple Valley Woodturners) have the option of either receiving the newsletter via email as a MS Word Document or via snail mail... I believe that most of the members receive it via email... it is economically sound and does not break the bank...
    If they want to print a copy, it is there on the computer... works for us real nice..
     
  9. The Spin Doctor

    The Spin Doctor

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    I am unable to send our newsletter in Word format because it is so large with all the photos. I am hoping to get some help with some conversion software.
     
  10. juteck

    juteck

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    Electronic format

    I prepare our newsletter using MS Publisher, and each one is usually a 10-20 MB file, depending on the pictures that month. For electronic filing, I create PDF files, which end up usually less than 1 MB in size. You will need the Adobe Acrobat software (not Acrobat Reader) to do this -- to create the file, you simply select Acrobat Distiller as your printer -- very easy!

    As of now, every one of our members still receives a hardcopy newsletter in the mail on a monthly basis, usually within a week before the next meeting. I have an email distribution list, but have not separated it from the general mailing list -- we have different volunteers managing different lists, and it does take time to manage and coordinate these. Various members prefer the newsletters to be emailed, but instead of emailing an attached file, I send a notice telling them that the PDF file is available to download on our website. (Since we are using the free geocities.com site, we are limited on bandwidth --- it's not uncommon to get a message saying to come back and try downloading later......... we'll cross that milestone sometime later, I'm sure.)

    John Uteck
    North Carolina Woodturners
     

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