The www can be your best friend for producing an orchid society newsletter. Your ambition and imagination are your only limits. Many editors produce beautiful and interesting newsletters using both local society content as well as content from websites.
ALWAYS be sure to credit any website
you have permission to use information from and provide the URL in your
º Many resources are available
here at www.aos.org:
Monthly Checklists -
it is what it says
º The Orchid Photo Page
photos for newsletters.
The Orchid House
Varied information, request
permission before reprinting.
Also, check the list of personal
The quizmaster will not score you! The pages are intended to be printed so that you do not have to sit in front of your computer to do them. Puzzle pages open in a new window without any navigation so that they will fit nicely on one or two sheets of paper (just close that window to get back to the website). Affiliated societies are welcome to use these puzzles in their newsletters.
T i p s
for Creating Society
A newsletter’s primary purpose is to inform a membership, anything else is a bonus. An upcoming event schedule should be the cornerstone of your newsletter. Try to list events for at least three months in advance so that members have ample opportunity to make plans to attend them. Be sure to state the date, time and location, any fees that may be required and a person to contact for additional information.
Whatever else you include in your newsletter is limited only by your imagination and energy. Some of the the things we often see are:
· Culture features or tips, monthly checklists
· Teasers from upcoming speakers’ programs
· Editor’s or President’s message
· List of, and contact info for board members
· Members classified ads
· Board and/or general meeting minutes
· Treasurer’s report
· Thank you’s and acknowledgements
· Previous month’s plant table, judging results
· Special event reports (parties, barbecues, trips, etc.)
· Dues notice
· New Members (and/or profiles)
· Member’s vacation reports of nursery visits
· Computer tips or columns
As you can see, everything, except the first two items, is generated by the society. The newsletter editor must be kept "in the loop" (better yet, on the board) so that all of the society information flows through him or her. If you make this policy, creating the newsletter should be as easy as plugging new information into an existing template. The editor should not have to solicit information from board members at the last minute to complete a newsletter, it then becomes a frustrating and thankless job.
Although the bulk of a newsletter is society-generated information, it is the
remaining part that is often the most difficult for editors to come up with.
The most frequent questions we hear are "where can I get content?" and "where can I find some clip art or graphics?" Content is actually easy to find, it is surprising that so many newsletters have little worthwhile content. The whole
AOS website is chock full of content, and you may use it (note: any content appearing at this website that bears author copyright requires author permission to use, please do not abuse author’s copyright). Look to Orchids AtoZ or the AOS culture sheets for your culture column. Our monthly checklists are always an appropriate addition to the society newsletter. The
AOS Forum is always bristling with talk and tips, drop in for a visit - you’re
sure to learn something you didn’t know. Search through Orchid Q&A for tips too.
Many other websites provide timely topics that are more specific than what you
will find here. Often a polite request to the webmaster will garner approval for use in a newsletter. Websites are always looking for ways to boost traffic and mention in a newsletter is one way to do that. Try to allow a few hours every month to visit orchid-related websites, this can be both relaxing and useful. If you find content you think is appropriate for your newsletter, write the webmaster a note telling them how much you enjoyed their website and are sure members of your society (even the non-computer ones) would too.
There is small selection of line and continuous-tone artwork available in our clipart library (at left). At least one website has an open policy that allows AOS Affiliated Societies to use photographs in its newsletters with the only stipulation being a copyright credit and mention of the website. Check the resources section at left for links to this and other useful orchid websites.
Producing Your Newsletter
There are many different options available for the actual production of a newsletter which can be as simple as having printed sheets copied, to delivering page layout files to a service bureau for output. Most methods will produce acceptable newsletters. The limiting factors are your skills and your society's budget. Plan on creating your newsletter as a one-color job. If you want to jazz it up you can consider a colored stock. Many clubs produce only electronic newsletters, converting documents to Adobe PDF format that allows for full color.
If you are producing a printed newsletter, talking with your local print shop or office supply will answer many of your questions. Once you tell them your goals and budget they will be able to suggest the best means to achieve them, whether it is providing computer files on
removable media or email file transfer. Generally the production of the files
for the newsletter itself are the same whether you do print or electronic
In a Hurry?
We have created a template that will save
you time, simply replace our text and graphics with your content! Six single
pages to be top-stapled, easily re-formatted for 11x17. Click
here for Our Template. Requires MS Word (or Word Perfect) - 445kb.
Maintain consistency with other orchid literature by using this
AOS Style Guide for reference.