Writing Guidelines

Publishing a newsletter is a great way to recruit new volunteers and members as well as keep residents informed of neighborhood/city issues, meetings, events and group activities.

Neighborhood Conservation Program staff will assist in the design, layout, printing and mailing of newsletters for member organizations. Neighborhoods that wish to design and layout their own newsletter are welcome to do so, providing the city with a final copy for printing and mailing. Using other neighborhood newsletters as examples is a good way to get started. Just ask the neighborhood planner for examples, 913-895-6270.

Preparing a newsletter:

  1. Form a committee and designate an editor.
  2. Decide what will be in the issue:
    • Notices of meetings and group events;
    • Report on the group's activities;
    • Issues that affect the neighborhood;
    • Community interest/history articles;
    • Recognition of volunteer efforts.
  3. Write or have others contribute articles.
  4. Edit articles for content, style and space. Ask others to help proofread.
  5. Design/layout the newsletter.

Tips for words and graphics:

Masthead: The title on the front page of every newsletter.

  • Keep the name of the newsletter short and catchy.
  • Use a logo or symbol.

Font:

  • Headlines: Sans serif fonts (Arial, Helvetica)
  • Articles: Serif fonts; size 10 or 12.
  • Use the same font throughout the newsletter.
  • Use italics, bolding and all caps sparingly.

Headline: A short title to each article.

  • Are like sentences without periods
  • Capitalize only the first letter of each sentence
  • Print headlines in the same color as the article.

Articles: The stories and text that explain the different events, issues and plans.

  • Avoid complicated words and lengthy sentences.
  • Always proofread your article for spelling and grammatical errors.

Layout Basics:

  • Use two to three columns per 8 «" x 11" page.
  • Limit each page to no more than three to four articles.
  • Use a moderate amount of white space; keep white space at the edges, not the center.
  • Use graphics, clip art, or photographs to break up the text and give your newsletter a more polished appearance.
  • Keep your newsletter short! This will keep costs down and garner more readers.
  • Consider using a consistent layout to make your newsletter familiar to readers.