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Procedure – modify as you see fit, but this works for me:

Email the board about ten days - two weeks before the deadline to remind them to send reports. Give a deadline, and make it "drop dead".

It is best to produce the newsletter in MS Word, since most of your proofers will have that. Publisher or other programs would be nicer, but you’ll lose your proofers. After the deadline, paste all reports received into one big Word file, separated by a few blank lines. At this point you can scan for consistency, and do some global search and replaces. For example, PBK NCA and PBKNCA changed to ΦBKNCA if you wish to use a Greek font, remove double spaces, phone number format (search by area code), convert all to Times font, 10 point (usually), etc. This is a good time to proof-read as well. First reading is usually best.

There is not a “newsletter template”; it works best to remove the text from a previous newsletter of the appropriate month as a starting point. It is better to use the column feature of Word rather than textboxes, unless articles are continued on a non-adjacent page. The “In this Issue” section is best in a textbox. Article headings, event coupons, Board list, Asilomar coupons are outlined using Format | Borders & Shading | Box. (Note about columns. If the columns won't align properly, select the text that you want to be two column, change it to one column and then back again to two - ah Microsoft)

Copy the text from the big Word file into newsletter one report at a time; it is sometimes necessary to edit down some reports to fit (editor’s prerogative!). Try to allow some “white space” in the newsletter – line between paragraphs and sections, use pictures to breakup the text. Event pictures, unless supplied by the Program VP, are usually found by a Google search for the event location. Convert these to B&W and reduce to approximate size in PrintShop or PhotoShop. Final size reduction can be done in Word.

The last page (address page) usually states “Return Service Requested”, and may have a comment on some item of importance in the newsletter. At Asilomar time, put the coupon here. Return address should be that of the membership vp.

After compiling the newsletter, send the Word doc to as many proofreaders as you can. Have the reviewers use the “Track Changes” feature of Word (Tell them to turn it on by double clicking the faint gray TRK at the very bottom of Word versions >2007. Word 2007 and 2010 Go to Review, Track Changes). Go through the changes, accepting or rejecting as desired. Using Word’s Tools | Compare and Merge Documents, merge the proofs into a new document. Use the track changes feature again to reconcile the various changes.

Create a PDF of the final copy and send to the printer. Normally, have about 5-10 extra copies printed. The printer takes about a week; mailing can take another week or two, depending in where it goes.

Newsletter editor should also take (or asign someone to take) pictures of the speakers at Asilomar and of the awardees at the annual meeting for the newsletter and web.

 

Printer

I, Ray Hendess, use All American Printing in Petaluma (707 7632 2500, Deni Stringham <deni@allamericanprinting.com>) for all printing including the directory. They work from emailed PDFs. 

Generally, get 50 extra Directories. Extra newsletters are not necessary.

Recruiting new members

In the past, we have sent the November newsletter to all our members plus all on the national list (about 31, 000). This has gotten too expensive. In 2007 we sent the newsletter to just our members (cost $1,900 for 2300), and a #10 envelope with a single page letter and remit to the national list (cost $15,200 for 28,600 ). In 2008, we sent the newsletter to only our members ($2,100 for 2800) and an email to 5000 national members (those who had a good email address). The jury is still out on the effectiveness of the email (but it was free).

Directory

Once every three years, (2005, 2008, 2011, etc), you are responsible to produce the Directory of Members. This is best done around August when most people have (finally) joined. The alphabetical listing of members, lists by initiation name, school, and city are outputted from the Access membership database as PDFs. These are then combined with the first and last pages and other pages which are word docs. Convert all to PDFs, put into one PDF in the appropriate order if you have Adobe Professional) and send to the printer.

It is best to have the Membership VP send you the entire database, so you can proof the names. After proofing as below and creating the files for the Directory, send the proofed and corrected database back to the membership vp for their use. Open the PBKNCA table and scan over the Prefix, Fname, Init, Lname, Suffix, and Designation fields to be sure the following have been reconciled and are consistent: Mr. Mrs. Ms. Dr. Ph.D. M.D. Sr. Jr., etc. Run “PBKNCAFormUpdateFullNameFromParts” query or open the PBKNCA form to automatically update the full name (do not update the Full Name field manually; do all updates in the separate fields). Scan addresses and especially emails for typo errors. Run “PBKForm Chapter - Update Chapter Code Description” query to insure all chapters are consistent. Check phone number format for consistency. Run the directory reports from the “Mailing Lists and Reports” button, and look over the results, go back to the database, make corrections and run again, ad nauseam. Some members have requested not to be listed in the Directory – be sure this is honored. They are still sent directories, however. The directory is sent to all paid current year members. Errors are inevitable. Give an email and snail address in the directory, and publish corrections in the November newsletter.

It is a good idea to send a merged email containing the member's data for correction before publishing the newsletter. This data should then be corrected in the database, and the directory re-run from the database.

Forms

Copies of currently used forms, letters and a current newsletter as Word docs and pdf’s are available on a private page of the web www.pbknca.org/PBKNCAForms. Note case is important to get to this page.

Email

We use bulk emailing to the membership. Currently, the webmaster, me, takes care of this; but that can’t last forever. Since 2012 we have been using Vertical Response, a web-based emailer that provides 10,000 free emailings per month to non profits.

Member dues payment forms and Paypal are available at http://www.pbknca.org/join, this address should be published in the newsletters. The form is for people who want to use snail main, Paypal payments go directly to the treasurer. The membership chair and the Communications Officer receive duplicate copies of the Paypal information.

There are queries in the PBK database (Membership VP) for transferring emails from the membership database to the email database and back. Also queries for massaging a list received from national to allow sending emails to national members who are not members of NCA. In 2008, we sent 5000 mails offering a free copy of the November newsletter (which contains a remit envelope). Three hundred requests were received; they were added to the November mailing.

There is also a list of about 1200 (of 2500) NCA members who can be emailed to announce events not in the newsletter, or to make corrections.

I will create a separate documentation for the emailing.

Ray Hendess, 2013-02-09