On the Bluff newsletter

In Celebration of Collaboration

It’s been four years since the Village of Lake Bluff, the Lake Bluff Park District and the Lake Bluff Elementary School District 65 approached me to ask if a print newsletter shared by the three organizations might even be possible. Of course, I said – and what a great idea!

A few weeks later, we settled on a design, production schedule and cost for On the Bluff. We determined that an eight-page layout with a shared cover and back page and two interior pages for each entity would meet everyone’s needs. Design, print and mailing savings have been significant for all three organizations.

The design is serious and understated, with slightly oversized pages that allow for more content and give the publication a richer feel. You won’t find cutesy here. The entities also understand that consistency is extremely important to readability, and allow me to use the same fonts and design styles throughout the piece. Sending On the Bluff as a nonprofit Every Door Direct Mailing allows the newsletter to be delivered full size with no additional charge – and that makes this designer’s heart sing.  Another plus? The newsletter publication is printed and mailed locally, which allows funds to stay in the area.

The proof is in the survey results.

If you’re wondering how effective this endeavor has been, preliminary results of a recent survey by the three governments show On the Bluff to be a welcome addition by the community. So far, 64% of the respondents said they consider it to be the most-used current source for school district information.

As there are fewer print newsletters these days, they can carry even more of a bang. But you need to carefully craft the content and create the look for your audience. Remember when newsletters included recipes and travel tips? This doesn’t work anymore, unless of course you’re in the food or travel industry…maybe. Today’s readers only have time for messages that have something to do with their lives.

Teaming up with other organizations or companies and working together cooperatively isn’t limited to governmental bodies. What about bringing sales and tech people together for shared communication? Inviting vendors to contribute to your publication? If you have partners — internal or external — it may make sense to collaborate and address your common audience. If you like the idea, let’s talk.

Here are three recent issues:

On the Bluff-Spring2018

On-the-Bluff_Autumn2017

On-the-Bluff_Spring2017

Click here for more on creative partnerships in Lake Bluff

One thought on “In Celebration of Collaboration

  1. Thank you for this interesting & useful article! I agree print newsletters can have more impact in this digital age. Smart partnerships, like your case study, are a clever way to dilute the added cost.

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