|Considering a Newsletter for Your Unit?
|Department of Mississippi
American Legion Auxiliary
According to Mike Duggan, in an article written for the Spring 2007 NALPA newsletter, the cost of your newsletter, be it for a
Post or Unit or both, should be considered first. He outlines several items that we will present in abbreviated terms:
Postage: If you have less than 200 pieces to mail, a Postage permit will not apply to you. It will cost you a first class
rate--if your mail is less than 3 oz. per piece.
If you have more than 200 pieces, you may apply for a postage permit as a Non-Profit and mail at much lower rate. The
cost of the permit is $160 per year (currently), so the savings per 200 pieces could be near $44 per month.
Printing: Now you are looking at a cost of $.06 to $.07 per 8 1/2" x 11" page. Duggan suggests that you look for a printer
that you can work with, as the technology of color and pictures in printing can drive costs skyward! Try to keep photos in
grayscale (black and white) and use the suggested font of Time New Roman or Arial. Use all your space, but don't clutter.
Small Units may want to consider producing the copies at home, from a printer. This could be more economical, but
more time consuming.
Computer and Printer: Duggan says that over the years as an editor, he has accumulated a large amount of hardware.
His out of pocket expense has been substantial. As the editor of the newsletter for Unit/Post 56 in Tylertown, I, too, have
had considerable expense. But, my equipment serves me for other things, including the Department Web site and
newsletter and the work I do for other civic organizations. I have it, so I use it to its fullest! You do need to have a
computer that includes basic Microsoft Word software, although I prefer to use Microsoft Publisher. Publisher provides
templates and is easy to figure out with a little practice. For a printer, if you produce the newsletter yourself (less than 100
copies), a standard black and white printer would be sufficient, but it needs to be sturdy.
How many times should I publish?
The best way, according to Duggan, is once a month, followed by bi-monthly. The frequency is up to you, depending on
time and money. Monthly newsletter keep your members current and better informed of Unit/Post activities.
Am I alone in this?
In Tylertown, we formed a newsletter team from the Post and Unit. This group meets typically on Wednesdays, two weeks
prior to our next meeting, and collates the newsletter pages together, folds, and stuffs in envelopes. We have a mailing
list on my computer, in Microsoft Excel, that merges to a label template in Word that prints on labels. This is simple (after
practice) and cost effective. Labels are attached and off to the Post Office. Of course, my husband separates those
addresses of members who he sees at church and other places he typically haunts each day and hand delivers them,
cutting down on the postage cost.
But we are small. Do I need to go to this trouble?
No, if you are a small Unit, why not type a letter each month, telling everyone of events and activities coming up or other
pertinent information, and mail to them. A letter from the President is still an effective form of communication and keeps
everyone up-to-date on current news from the Unit.
Who, besides my members, should I send a copy to when we mail it?
According to Charles Miller in the Spring NALPA newsletter, you may want to consider sending a copy to your local
congressmen, particularly if you have included veterans issues that should be considered, as well as local officials. He
also suggests adding local press persons. They may turn something in your newsletter into a story, and it also alerts
them to upcoming events and activities. In my town, this is so true! Our editor typically prints something from our monthly
newsletter every time! Also, remember to send a copy to the Department officers--how else can we know what your are
doing? And, we may just show up sometime! Also, send a copy to friends of the Legion and Auxiliary in your area. Keep
them interested in what you are doing, especially if you want them to further support your efforts.
If you need more information, please contact your PR Chairman and/or Committee. We're here to help!
Angela Kilcrease, member, Dept. PR Committee (newsletter editor for Walthall County Post/Unit 56, Tylertown)