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Keeping in Touch—Monthly Newsletter

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CONTRIBUTOR

Pat Cheney

Organization: University of Georgia Redcoat Band Alumni Association

Email:  patcheney@juno.com

Newsletter Editor

INTRODUCTION TO ISSUE

Things I do when preparing and sending out the Redcoat Band Alumni Association’s monthly newsletter.

THE CHALLENGES

  • When do you send out a newsletter?
  • How do you find interesting information to include in the newsletter?
  • How to organize the newsletter?

THE OPTIONS CONSIDERED

  • Send out the newsletter at various times during the month to see what works best.
  • Send out a “request for information” email to Redcoat alumni to get interesting information for the newsletter.
  • Search UGA and Redcoat Band websites, publications, and social media pages for information.
  • Organize the information into four categories.

THE OPTION TAKEN AND REASONS WHY

After several years of sending the newsletter out at various times of the month, we decided to send it out at the beginning of the month a day or two after the monthly board meeting.  This gives the board a chance to talk about the newsletter as a group and decide if anything needs to be added, corrected, or changed.

A week before the newsletter is scheduled to go out, a “request for information” email is sent to the board members and committee chairpersons.  (The “request for information” email is not sent out to all alumni, but any Redcoat alumni can submit by email an article for the newsletter.)  The information that is submitted comes from University of Georgia and Redcoat Band websites, publications, and social media pages; other musical organization’s websites; personal experiences; etc.  I also check newsletters from the year before to see what kind of information was included in them.  NOTE: Pictures make the newsletter more interesting.  I use as many as possible.

Once the information is received, it is separated into four categories and entered it into the newsletter:    1. “What’s New” includes information about Redcoat Alumni Band events. Redcoat Band events and School of Music events.  It also contains information about non-UGA events that deal with music (examples-NAoAB, Sousa March Mania sponsored by the Marine Corp, etc.).  This section includes ways to help the Redcoat Band and fellow Redcoats.   2. “Pep Band Information” has information about all the upcoming Pep Band events and previous Pep Band events.  3. “Musician’s Information” contains information about Redcoat Alumni and current Redcoats who have received special recognition or awards from other groups.  4. “Auxiliaries Information” contains information about what the alumni and current auxiliary groups are doing.  

THE RESULTS

Since there are “Topics of Interest” included in the newsletter each month, the variety has proven to bring the alumni together all year … not just for Homecoming (our reunion). This is a tool that has brought all the generations together.

THE COST INVOLVED

The yearly cost for Constant Contact

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS OPTION TO OTHERS

  • Yes, I would highly recommend these information gathering options to others alumni organizations to stay connected with band alumni.  The team has helped us get the monthly newsletter out at the same time each month and they have helped make the newsletter more interesting.

LESSONS LEARNED

With a complete Board (in addition to myself) searching as many websites, publications, social media pages, etc. as possible, a wide range of interesting topics (all relegated to the music or graduates of the Redcoat Band) make a monthly newsletter possible. 

With the wide variety of topics covered the year round, the email list continues to grow, which is a giant benefit to band alumni from every generation. 

WHY THIS TOPIC IS OF INTEREST FOR A VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE

  • It is important to have a way to stay connected with all band alumni each month and is vital to growing your email list.
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