Monday 1 February 2016

The personal touch: The Sellywood Bugle story

Sellywood Bugle first edition online, September 2001
Initially the obvious purpose of a newsletter is to share news, but does a newsletter serve any other purpose?

Today is the first day of #29daysofwriting, and being the first of the month, I've been putting together our work newsletter - with authors once again asking, 'is this OK or too personal'?

The first newsletter I edited was the Sellywood Bugle - it was a newsletter for a care home  for older people, and quite radical at the time as it was accessible via the internet.  Even though I only persuaded a couple of residents to write regularly online for themselves, the newsletter was available in paper version and via the Care home webpages, managed as part of a weekly hour 'IT workshop' following the art & craft workshop.  From the start, it was an attempt to represent the voices of residents better, both in the home and to a broader audience of carers and families of residents.

In fact it's main purpose was to represent the residents' voice - while also 'sharing news', the news itself was secondary; It was a personal way to keep a connection between people who cared for the residents, and the residents themselves.

All newsletters serve an important purpose beyond sharing of facts and figures, events and happenings - they convey a personal connection, represent a shared identity and purpose.

If you have a story worth telling for a newsletter, let the main measure of 'newsworthiness' be 'how well does it make that personal connection'.

Useful link: