These are my top ten rules, but I'd love to hear your suggestions:
- Let's hear tenant voices: quote them wherever possible. Ask tenants to contribute articles, write in letters or talk about their neighbourhood.
- Pictures, pictures, pictures! Ideally, of tenants - people like to see people. Make sure the photos show a diverse range of customers so no one feels excluded.
- The copy should be sharp and sparkling: get rid of unneeded words and let your organisation's personality shine through.
- Balance the words and images: great swathes of texts are off-putting. Break the copy up with bullet points, cross-heads and pull out boxes.
- Keep it short: anything over eight pages is tooooo loooong.
- Be brave: if your organisation has made a mistake or performed poorly, admit it, say how you will put it right and then let customers know when you've done it.
- Use regular features as landmarks throughout the newsletter so ctenants know to look out for them.
- Pinch good ideas from wherever you can. If it works, use it.
- Involve tenants - and ask them what they want and give them the opportunity to comment on the newsletter.
- Strive to make every edition better than the last.
And a few last pointers on design:
- Pay a professional to do it: it'll be worth every penny
- Make it colourful, but ensure the balance is easy on the eye
- Minimum point size 12 for the copy - anything less is tiring to read.
What are your rules for tenants' newsletters?