A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Assess Your Publication's Value and Impact

The next time your boss asks you, "So what has the publications done for us lately?", have some of the following measurements to hand over.

Sinickas, Angela D. Sinickas Communications (2000). Articles>Business Communication>Newsletters>Bandwidth


Combine Writing, Editing and Design in Your Employee Publication

After more than a decade of working in the corporate environment, I have finally accepted that readers need to be enticed by more than the promise of a good read: They need proof. They want a visual two-second test-drive before they decide whether or not to spend precious minutes on a particular page. This is not to say that corporate readers are not discerning or that sloppy copy reads any better when dressed up with elaborate design. The truth is that in any corporate publication, a great article won't be read if the layout is poor. Similarly, a stunning design falls flat if the content doesn't live up to it.

Dower, Sophia. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Articles>Writing>Editing>Newsletters


Creating Online Newsletters Without Pain and Aggravation   (PDF)

Online newsletters can be a surprisingly effective means of distributing information among engineers. The paper presents a tested low-anxiety method for creating newsletters to facilitate information transfer among engineers in a hi-tech environment.

Huntington, Don. STC Proceedings (2001). Design>Publishing>Online>Newsletters


Email Newsletters Pick Up Where Websites Leave Off

Users have highly emotional reactions to newsletters which feel much more personal than websites. In usability testing, success rates were high for subscribe and unsubscribe tasks, but users were frustrated by newsletters that demanded too much of their time.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2002). Design>Web Design>Email>Newsletters


forUse: the Newsletter of Usage-Centered Design

forUse is an electronic newsletter published by e-mail approximately 9 times a year. forUse covers new developments in usage-centered design. Regularly features include: tips and techniques on design, modeling, and management, questions and answers on technical issues in usage-centered design, plus news and upcoming events. Subscribers get early notice of new papers and publications, and the newsletter features complement material on the Web site.

Foruse.com. Journals>Usability>User Centered Design>Newsletters


Happy Birthday Communiqué

Provides a recap of how the online, wiki-based Carolina Communique evolved and won an Award of Excellence in the Newsletters: Web & Online category of the 2008 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence

Sapir, Rick. Carolina Communique (2008). Articles>Content Management>Newsletters>Wikis


How Employee Publications Missed a Chance to Matter

About 20 years ago, employee publication editors everywhere were under assault from consultants like me who were carping about our colleagues' reluctance to move beyond reporting on employee outings, hobbies and similar fluff. On, we urged, to the serious business of directly helping our organizations win!

Nelson, Barry. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Articles>Writing>Workplace>Newsletters


How to Be an In-House Newshound

The only thing harder than having too much news for your in-house newsletter is having too little. The problem is that great stories seldom fall into your lap. Most of the time, you have to go out and dig for them. Here are a few tried and tested suggestions to help you identify great story ideas within your organization.

Dower, Sophia. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Articles>Writing>Newsletters


The Intranet as a News Channel

While the use of a news section on the company intranet's home page is widespread, communicators need to ask themselves how effective this is as a way to avoid mixed messages and information overload. Does it reduce information overload, or increase it? And how can the news section be used to effectively cut through informational clutter?

Robertson, James. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Web Design>Intranets>Newsletters


Is the Employee Publication Dead?

Over the past decade, hundreds of employee magazines and newsletters have gone by the wayside as corporate communicators rushed to embrace digital communication. Today, many large organizations do not publish any regular print vehicles for employees. But did they eliminate their publications for the right reasons? And has the rush away from print strengthened or weakened organizations' connection with employees?

Shewchuk, Ron. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Workplace>Newsletters


Managing Chapter Newsletters: Shooting for Best of Show   (PDF)

Newsletter editor is one of the most challenging and visible positions in your chapter. Now that you've accepted the job what should you accomplish over the next year? Never mind that, what are you supposed to do?! And how do you make sure this 'part-time, volunteer' experience doesn't n take over your life?

Disch, Cheryl and Cheryl Lockett Zubak. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>TC>Community Building>Newsletters


A Newsletter Competition Where Everyone Wins   (PDF)

A competition where everyone wins--is it too good to be true? Not if the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Newsletter Competition Committee (STCNCC) has anything to say about it. This year we implemented the second phase of a three-year plan to increase participation and maximize constructive feedback in the annual STC Newsletter Competition. In this discussion session, the STCNCC would like to see judges and editors meet to discuss the effectiveness of the competition and the committee’s plan to improve it. Participants are invited to consider ways to improve the competition in the future.

Ames, Andrea L. and Cheryl Disch. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Collaboration>Community Building>Newsletters


Newsletter Design for Non-Designers   (PDF)

Newsletter design comprises everything from column width and typeface to clip art style and paper color--where do you start? You don’t need to be a graphic artist to design an appealing newsletter—but you need to know the basic principles and how to apply them consistently. Consciously or not, every time you read something, you make judgments about its design. Was it easy to read or skim? Did the artwork seem appropriate? Were the page numbers easy to locate? In this workshop we will review these and other design elements and how to make them work for your newsletter.

Disch, Cheryl and Cheryl Lockett Zubak. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>Document Design>Publishing>Newsletters


Newsletter Make-over Clinic

One of the most frequent problem areas I encounter in the publishing field is when editors, writers and, yes even business people are expected to turn out a good newsletter. If my car isn't running right, I take it to the mechanic. I don't expect the car wash to fix the motor any more than I expect the mechanic to give it a wash and wax. Rare are the instances where the writer or editor is also a good designer and/or typographer. Yet they're almost always restricted by the software they use, the availability of good clip art or images, and the time to think about the details. I'm going to restrict myself to just the initial visual and organizational points in this critique. We could spend days talking about minutiae and the array of options involved in a full scale makeover. What I'll do is share some quick and easy areas where a simple fix will make a big difference.

Showker, Fred. Design, Typography and Graphics (2002). Design>Document Design>Graphic Design>Newsletters


The Newsletter on Newsletters

For more than 35 years The Newsletter on Newsletters has offered news, views, trends and techniques for the newsletter professional.

Newsletter on Newsletters, The. Resources>Publishing>Newsletters>Blogs


Newsletters in the Communication System of Science   (PDF)

Newsletters play several important roles in the scientific community because they can be used to convey information (e.g., administrative information) that is not appropriate for more formal genres (e.g., journals) and because they can be a more timely form of communication than other media, such as books.

O'Hara, Frederick M., Jr. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>Scientific Communication>Publishing>Newsletters


Producing A Winning Newsletter   (PDF)

This workshop explores all the principles of newsletter creation--design, production, editing--with special emphasis on creating winning STC chapter newsletters.

McWilliams Johnson, Mary. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Publishing>Community Building>Newsletters


Publishing Newsletters on Paper or Online: A Profile of How Three Chapter Editors Did It

The switch to web delivery meant that we no longer had to restrict the newsletter to black and white, and we were no longer limited to four pages (a folio) or a multiple of four pages. An end to the cost constraints imposed by printing also allowed more creative formatting and the use of color.

Wilson, Scott. Usability Interface (2003). Articles>Publishing>Online>Newsletters


Rethinking Your Newsletter   (PDF)

This workshop gives you a structured way of thinking about your newsletter. We’ll go through the key questions you need to pose, both to yourself and to your colleagues. What goals do you have for the newsletter? Who is the audience? What personality do you want to project? What’s the name, and what’s in a name? Who will write the articles? Who will edit them? Who will design the newsletter? How will it be distributed? Which tasks will you do yourself; which will you delegate; how much time will it all take?

Grodsky, Susan J. STC Proceedings (1998). Articles>Publishing>Community Building>Newsletters


Revive Employee Publications with New Technologies

You would think that if the humble print employee newsletter hasn't been killed off in the Internet explosion of the past decade, then it must have more than just its reputation going for it. It must actually meet a fundamental business need to inform and engage a workforce.

Schmidt, Belinda. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Workplace>Newsletters


Small Scale, Big Impact: Creating an Employee Newsletter   (PDF)

Every few weeks we receive a flyer about a 'seminar' or a 'workshop' on newsletters -- now to write them, how to design them, how to produce them, how to improve them. Although we haven’t actually attended any of these seminars, they travel to many major cities, and the list of topics covered and the testimonials printed in the flyers are impressive. This phenomenon of the successful traveling newsletter seminar suggests that A) lots of people (hence organizations) are interested in creating or improving newsletters, and B) there’s lots to be learned about newsletters.

Anderson, Pamela A., Sally Nereson, and Dorothy J. Wiemann. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Document Design>Publishing>Newsletters


The Rockley Report

The Rockley Report is a quarterly journal with information about content management topics. The Rockley Report provides knowledge to help you make the case for, plan, and execute content management initiatives.

Rockley Group, The (2004). Journals>Knowledge Management>Content Management>Newsletters


Tips for Practical Newsletter Design

Good newsletters, both HTML and plain text, explain themselves clearly and are focused, well-written information sources.

Baker, Adam. Merges.net (2001). Articles>Document Design>Journalism>Newsletters


Turning A Company Newsletter into a Pleasure Trip   (PDF)

Advocates that given a chance, a tech-pubs team should adopt their company's newsletter. The questions that arise about this advocacy are: why should they do it? Will the benefits outweigh the additional workload? How should they balance their regular project-based activity with the voluntary responsibility? This paper answers these questions; charting out procedures and laying down guidelines to publish a successful newsletter, issue after issue.

Dandu, Vijayalakshmi and Shivani Seshadri. STC Proceedings (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Publishing>Newsletters


Use Presentation Copy--Headlines, Decks and More--To Reach Flippers and Skimmers

I'm often amazed at how much energy writers put into perfecting the analogy in the 32nd paragraph of their piece when those same folks toss off a headline in the 17 seconds before happy hour on a Friday night. The sad truth is, most of your readers will never see the 32nd paragraph of your brilliant copy. But many more of them will read the headline.

Wylie, Ann. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Writing>Newsletters



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