How to Make Sure Your Newsletters Are Sent Out on Time

by Jane Sherwin - Date: 2010-10-29 - Word Count: 695 Share This!

There are three key elements to making sure your newsletter is delivered on time: People, planning, and production.


Any newsletter begins with the people producing it. Whether you are a one-man band or a team of four, it's essential that you understand your strengths and weaknesses. If it's just you, take a look at yourself: Do you love to write but hate deadlines? Then you're going to need to pay extra attention to how you manage your time. If you are going to need a photographer, find one earlier rather than later!

Is everyone on your team really good at designing or production, but weak on writing or organizing? Better think about pulling in some writing help. If you are just starting a newsletter for your organization, consider pulling together a team with a range of talent to meet your needs. Also pay attention to how people work together: if there are personality clashes, these can slow down production and may put your deadline at risk.

In addition to your team and its strengths, keep in mind that senior management, or public relations, will want to have a final say in your newsletter's content. You'll need to build in time for their sign-offs.


Even the simplest one-page newsletter calls for a production plan and of course this is even more true for larger publications with many pages and elaborate graphics and photos.

The best way to develop a plan for your newsletter is to start with your delivery date. People count on seeing your newsletter at a particular time, the time you have promised. If your newsletter is monthly, aim to deliver it at the start of each month. Even a quarterly newsletter should be within a week of the quarter's beginning. This conveys that you are on top of things and to be counted on.

Once you have your delivery date, work back from that. List all the tasks that have to be accomplished, such as:

* Written content for several articles: Build in time for one or two revisions, depending on the skills of your writers.
* Photographs of current events
* Interviews for a client profile
* Graphics and layout
* Editing and proof-reading
* Any management approvals needed
* Printing: How much time does your printer need to produce your copies?
* Mailing (unless you are using e-mail). For example, if printed material is meant to be in readers' mailboxes by the last day of the month, your mailing date should be 2-3 days before then.

As part of your plan, an editorial calendar is also very helpful. This is simply a list, by publication date, of the topics you plan to cover, such as an announcement of new employees, an upcoming corporate meeting, or a CEO opinion piece on the state of the economy. Of course your calendar will vary over time, but it will help you keep track of content.


Here is where the rubber meets the road. Despite all your best efforts, life steps in at times and calls for you to adjust planning to reality. Your photographer comes down with the flu. You suddenly have a new vice president with a serious need to check every detail.

This is why a strong plan is essential. Make a detailed list of all tasks, whether on a white board if a team is involved, or simply on a sheet of paper, and cross them off as they are completed. This way everyone can see where you have been and what still needs to be done. A documented plan is a stress-reducer for the team, even if it's just you.

Also, be sure to stay in touch with everyone involved. Are your writers writing? Is your graphic designer at work on layout? When will your vice president be available to sign off?

Finally, everything is done and delivered. Take a deep breath, take a break, and get ready for the next issue. The more you do it, the easier it is to get your newsletter out on time!

Copyright (c) 2010 Jane Sherwin. You may reprint this entire article and you must include the copyright info and the following statement: "Jane Sherwin is a writer who helps hospitals and other healthcare facilities communicate their strengths and connect with their readers."

Learn more about Jane at Subscribe to Jane's free monthly e-newsletter at for practical tips on communicating effectively with customers, clients, employees and the public.n
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