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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Tips for starting a Squadron Newsletter
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Author Topic: Tips for starting a Squadron Newsletter  (Read 5505 times)
1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2015, 12:25:33 PM »

I've been playing with MailChimp over the last few days, and I think this may be a good solution for us. I can do the newsletter through email, but it could also be easily reproduced in print, pdf, or put to the web if needed. Main distribution could be email, but if say we were doing a recruiting drive and wanted to print a few copies, it could easily be done.

The main problems I have with FB, are that:

  • Correct, FB restricts each post to only 20% of followers, unless you "boost" your post and pay for more views.
  • Good for putting up quick news clips or links to areas of the website, but not a professional presentation
  • Many high school age individuals are migrating away from it, and over to Instagram. As a photographer, I can't market to HS kids on FB because many of them are no longer there. Many don't want to be on the same social network that their parents/grandparents think is cool.
  • Many of our Seniors aren't on FB yet. I'm not saying they're not tech savvy.......but they're not tech savvy. We have a FB Group for our Squadron, but I think only 3 or 4 of our 20 Seniors are a part of it.

Wouldn't make sense for my main distribution to be a Social Media site that the Cadets no longer think is cool, and the Seniors haven't figured out yet.

I think email will be the best option. I can make it a one pager, and send it out a little more frequently. I was playing with templates yesterday, when our Asst. PAO forwarded me an article he wrote and pictures from a Color Guard clinic the Cadets attended. Had I already had a completed template, it would have taken no effort to copy and paste his story and photos into the template and send it out same day.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 12:28:59 PM by S/M Thompson » Logged
1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,338

« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2015, 12:42:57 PM »

  • Correct, FB restricts each post to only 20% of followers,
It also restricts use by those under the age of 13.  CAP's youngest cadets are 12.
I don't see how people miss that.

  • Many of our Seniors aren't on FB yet. I'm not saying they're not tech savvy.......but they're not tech savvy. We have a FB Group for our Squadron, but I think only 3 or 4 of our 20 Seniors are a part of it.

Or because they are "life savvy" and want no part of that nonsense.[/list]

I do agree, however, that kids are wandering away from FB to instagram, most likely because it's simply "easier" -
no texting needed whatsoever.

Unfortunately email if basically a non-starter for anyone under 21.  You're kidding yourself if you think cadets are going to
read anything from "that old dude at the airport".  They can't share it, like it, or Twitter it.  What's the point?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 12:46:16 PM by Eclipse » Logged


1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2015, 01:03:39 PM »

True, the only medium that will ensure everyone sees it, would be to physically hand it to everyone, but then there's no guarantee that they'll take it home and share it with their parents.

We could condense the entire newsletter down to a weekly Instagram pic, lots of cool filters, grain and artsy blur. Instead of writing an article about new Cadets doing their first O-Flights, we could just post a black and white pic of the wheel of a Cessna with some sun flare in the background.....oh and one small item in color, like a dandelion or something :P
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1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
A.Member
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,617

« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2015, 01:11:40 PM »

Unfortunately email if basically a non-starter for anyone under 21.  You're kidding yourself if you think cadets are going to
read anything from "that old dude at the airport".  They can't share it, like it, or Twitter it.  What's the point?
21 is too low..let's just say that I'm a bit older than that and I find most to be noise.  As a matter of fact, I'd say most of our Wing members find it to be noise as evidenced by the fact that we only have roughly half our members subscribed to our e-mail Announcements distribution list.  Is it really effective communication? 

In my view, effective communications requires a layered approach.  Communications need to take place in a variety of media - e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.  In all cases, they must be timely and succinct.  No one is going to read quarterly newsletters.  If it's not timely, it's not news and quarterly is nearly a lifetime ago for many. 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 01:17:12 PM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,338

« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2015, 01:28:54 PM »

True, the only medium that will ensure everyone sees it, would be to physically hand it to everyone, but then there's no guarantee that they'll take it home and share it with their parents.

Agreed.  A great way to waste trees and money.

Do you see why we're all suggesting "not" in this scenario?

Anything long format is dead, for better or worse.  If it's not summed up in a photo or two sentences, it get passed over or ignored.
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MovingOnToOtherThings
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,300

« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2015, 02:37:42 PM »

In doing my squadron newsletter I had to take a different approach. I was use to creating larger newsletters for my facilities for several hundred people. This has been tailored for CAP and to be no more than 1 page. So far so good, out of a squadron of 50 i usually have 35-40 views.

It is not required, does not qualify as safety training, but has been well received.

This was the first release and has changed slightly. It was approved by Commander before starting.

From the PAO side we take alot of pictures as stated earlied and the parents appreciate what we do.
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Always seeking to learn.
RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,974

« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2015, 04:31:45 PM »

  • Correct, FB restricts each post to only 20% of followers,
It also restricts use by those under the age of 13.  CAP's youngest cadets are 12.
I don't see how people miss that.

I don't think you understand.  Facebook does not show a Facebook page post to about 80% of the people that "like" the page.  They used to be seen by everyone, but now you have to pay Facebook to get your posts viewed by a higher percentage of the people that have "liked" your page. 

If you understood that and were simply using that quote as a start-off to point out that Facebook is also not technically available for use by all our members, you are correct.  [/list]
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,338

« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2015, 04:43:36 PM »

I got that, just a jumping point to further reinforce why Facebook, which seems like such a good idea, isn't.
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A.Member
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,617

« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2015, 06:58:16 PM »

  • Correct, FB restricts each post to only 20% of followers,
It also restricts use by those under the age of 13.  CAP's youngest cadets are 12.
I don't see how people miss that.

I don't think you understand.  Facebook does not show a Facebook page post to about 80% of the people that "like" the page.  They used to be seen by everyone, but now you have to pay Facebook to get your posts viewed by a higher percentage of the people that have "liked" your page. 

If you understood that and were simply using that quote as a start-off to point out that Facebook is also not technically available for use by all our members, you are correct.  [/list]
This is not 100% complete. 

People can still visit public pages directly and view posts.  What they are not always necessarily receiving are News Feeds.  However, they can click "Page Feeds" to view their feeds.  They can also continue to visit pages and click "Get Notifications".   It's not great but it's not as dire as you make it out to be either....and that only pertains to Facebook users anyway. 

So, FB pages can still serve as a news feed for public viewing even for those that aren't on FB.
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"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,338

« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2015, 07:09:35 PM »

So, FB pages can still serve as a news feed for public viewing even for those that aren't on FB.

Can, and does are two different things.

People not invested in participating are not going there as lurkers in numbers worth mentioning.
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RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,974

« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2015, 07:25:18 PM »

So, FB pages can still serve as a news feed for public viewing even for those that aren't on FB.

Sure, they can, but the fact is that they don't.  Just like squadron members can visit the squadron web page, but most are not going to.  Just a fact of internet life these days. 
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,338

« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2015, 11:25:18 PM »

Here's an example of a good, modern newsletter.  It's formatted with the assumption it
will be read on mobile devices, the content is dynamic, and lends itself easily to using Analytics.

https://docs.google.com/a/googleapps.com/document/d/1emmubSgD1Y3OBhjKNd1LIME2VW2FMBAuzP4OPHbZdIY/edit
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A.Member
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,617

« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2015, 12:19:30 PM »

So, FB pages can still serve as a news feed for public viewing even for those that aren't on FB.

Sure, they can, but the fact is that they don't.  Just like squadron members can visit the squadron web page, but most are not going to.  Just a fact of internet life these days.
Agree, there are some that won't.  However, there are still a fair number that do. 

Many active FB users know how to manage Page Feeds and News Feeds so the issue you mention isn't as significant as you make it out to be; this is not a new or "secret" issue.   

That said, as I mentioned earlier, there is no one solution to meet all scenarios.  Effective engagement requires a layered approach to communications across several platforms.  Ex. RSS subsciption feeds for page updates on Google Sites, FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  They all play a role in modern communications
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 12:58:27 PM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,974

« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2015, 08:17:33 PM »

[Many active FB users know how to manage Page Feeds and News Feeds so the issue you mention isn't as significant as you make it out to be; this is not a new or "secret" issue.   
Correction -- a small minority of active FB users.... 

The statistics don't lie -- Facebook has rigged the system such that anyone that wants to really know what is appearing on a page that they like has to intentionally go directly to that page on a regular basis to view what is on it.  Sure, there are few tricks that may get a particular page to show up in your feed more often, but you're still not going to see everything.  In other words, Facebook is about as useful as a web site for distributing news.  Both require that intentional actions be taken by the viewer to go see what is on them.

The fact is that most don't.  FB page insights don't lie.  Google Analytics on your web page doesn't lie. 
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JeffDG
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,157

« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2015, 08:33:49 PM »

[Many active FB users know how to manage Page Feeds and News Feeds so the issue you mention isn't as significant as you make it out to be; this is not a new or "secret" issue.   
Correction -- a small minority of active FB users.... 

The statistics don't lie -- Facebook has rigged the system such that anyone that wants to really know what is appearing on a page that they like has to intentionally go directly to that page on a regular basis to view what is on it.  Sure, there are few tricks that may get a particular page to show up in your feed more often, but you're still not going to see everything.  In other words, Facebook is about as useful as a web site for distributing news.  Both require that intentional actions be taken by the viewer to go see what is on them.

The fact is that most don't.  FB page insights don't lie.  Google Analytics on your web page doesn't lie.
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RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,974

« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2015, 09:01:24 AM »

Exactly
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Storm Chaser
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,680

« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2015, 09:46:42 AM »

Here's an example of a good, modern newsletter.  It's formatted with the assumption it
will be read on mobile devices, the content is dynamic, and lends itself easily to using Analytics.

https://docs.google.com/a/googleapps.com/document/d/1emmubSgD1Y3OBhjKNd1LIME2VW2FMBAuzP4OPHbZdIY/edit

I don't know. It's not bad, but the formatting and layout doesn't look great on my iPhone, especially that banner at the top. It's too long for a mobile display and the resolution is poor for most displays with high pixel density.

And before you make a comment about iPhone (yes, we know how you feel about Apple products), remember that many people have them, so mobile sites should display well on them, as well as other popular devices.  ;)
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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,508
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2018, 04:04:58 PM »

Unlocked by request. Keep it relevant.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
ColDAN
Newbie

Posts: 1
Unit: NER-MA-032

« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2018, 09:04:50 PM »

Keep in current, as of the publication date. and relevant to those who receive it

Keep a regular publication date (every month or quarter)  If you cannot keep a scheduled date, then do not do the newsletter

If you have do not have enough articles , just print a smaller newsletter that month

Have all the squadron officers (with positions) contribute (Squadron commander every issue along with cadet commands) other officers on a regular basis

suggest advertising from a local source to pay for printing
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Tips for starting a Squadron Newsletter
 


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