One of the hats I wear as the Deputy Village Clerk is the editor and coordinator for the Village newsletter. It's a quarterly publication usually around 12-20 pages long capturing topics from the Mayor, the Village Administrator, each of our departments, the Itasca Community Library, and the Itasca Park District. The Lion's Club, too, often promotes their special events through the newsletter.
One of the charges I had was to create an effective timeline for inter-departmental article submissions, editor review, layout design, and print submission. As many communities often do for their newsletters, we at Itasca contract out various services, particularly the layout and the printing. As the editor and coordinator, it's my job to receive the broad messaging from Administration and then guide other departments to fit into those themes. Once articles are submitted to me, it's then my job to determine where in the layout of the newsletter will each article make the most impact.
You can see the latest newsletter here, or just check out the front page:
Our newsletter is delivered to over 9,000 residents and we receive positive feedback. It's looked and felt the same now for a while, and since I'm generally the type of person who wants to reinvent traditional media, this was an exercise for me in understanding the importance of consistency. Still, though, I've had other opportunities here to branch out with my creativity for the Itasca Wellness Committee's newsletter. Here's what our latest issue looks like:
For this project I had complete design control and as you can see there are significant changes from our Village newsletter -- less traditional layout, bolder branding, and a lot more visually appealing (in my humble opinion). I think there's always value in experimenting with new ideas; innovation only has a chance if there's ample room to be creative and to fail.
Back to the Village newsletter, an opportunity that I'm excited to have for the upcoming edition is strategically thinking about how to make the content of the newsletter cross into our social media and vice versa. Mapping out communication channels and delivering consistent and important messaging is a powerful tool for community leadership and civic engagement. Creating a more effective means of coordinating messages across departments and agencies in the community is one of my goals with this project.