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Does your OLLI publish a newsletter?

Posted on March 4th, 2011 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Dee Aguilar, OLLI at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Asks OLLI:

Does your OLLI publish a newsletter? The OLLI at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, has an eight-page tabloid newsletter produced by members volunteering as editor and writers. This is a stellar publication, and members enjoy receiving it. You can see the last edition at http://cehs15.unl.edu/cms/uploads/1-327-Winter2010Insider.pdf. We would like to hear from other OLLIs about their newsletters:

1. What is the purpose of your newsletter?

2. How often is your newsletter published?

3. Who has the responsibility for the production of the newsletter (i.e. staff and/or members)?

4. What is the focus of the newsletter?

5. Is your newsletter and schedule a combined publication?

6. Who compromises the staff of the newsletter?

7. What are the steps to producing your newsletter?

9 Responses to “Does your OLLI publish a newsletter?”


  1. Our newsletter “The Osher Insider” is fledgling, completely online at
    http://news.richmond.edu/newsletter/osher/

    1. What is the purpose of your newsletter?
    focused on stories of Osher members about their Osher experiences; also spotlights university faculty and staff we want Osher members to know more about

    2. How often is your newsletter published? once each semester (3x each year)

    3. Who has the responsibility for the production of the newsletter (i.e. staff and/or members)?
    Osher members produce content and pictures; School of Continuing Studies staff (Osher office and marketing) handle uploading to UR/Osher web

    4. What is the focus of the newsletter? see #1 above

    5. Is your newsletter and schedule a combined publication? no, and since the newsletter lives on the web, there are links beside the newsletter to the online schedule

    6. Who compromises the staff of the newsletter?

    Osher members; there are two who are the co-exec. editors and five other members who assist with gathering and writing stories

    7. What are the steps to producing your newsletter? email blast to all Osher members to solicit stories; meeting of newsletter team to go over stories/story ideas, editing; uploading to web


  2. Yes, we produce a paper newsletter monthly and an e-newsletter (using Constant Contact)usually twice a month. One of the e-newsletters contains a pdf of the paper newsletter. Our members have the choice of paper only, paper and email, or just email. (Keeping track of who wants what isn’t easy, and in the perfect world we would only have to do the e-version.) Staff members write and produce the newsletter. The current chair does write a letter in it each month. The cover of our paper newsletter always highlights our monthly meeting speaker, we always have a section which provides info about our 13 SIGs, we list new members, updates about classes and trips, and other events on campus offered by different departments that our members might be interested in. There may be an insert for a trip and there might be an insert provided by one of our corporate sponsors. (At a certain giving level they get to do that insert.)

    Our schedule is a different publication.

    The steps: the OLLI director writes some of it and the OLLI Marketing coordinator writes some; the marketing person than uses InDesign to make it “look pretty”; and then we send it the University print shop. We also post it on our website and attach it to the e-newsletter.


  3. Our bi-weekly newsletter promotes upcoming courses, events and activities. In addition we have a feature that we call “The Faces of OLLI” in which we profile one of our students, instructors or members. We will also run articles on events and activities that occurred in the recent past – especially if we have good pictures.

    Once the term is well underway, we use the newsletter to promote classes that have not yet begun. Our newsletter and dedicated email blasts promote activities and events.

    It is produced by a subcommittee within our Communications Committee – that committee is comprised of volunteers. I (OLLI Director) send out email ticklers requesting new content from committee chairs. The production team works in pairs – one volunteer in the lead, the second as support. They eliminate past material, insert new material, edit and reedit. They pass a Word document to me. I insert pictures because the volunteers don’t yet feel comfortable resizing pictures. I insert a brand-related “OLLI Update” header and distribute via email to all of our members.

    We used to send hard copies to all of those without email addresses but that was getting really expensive. So we inserted a form on colored paper alerting folks that the current issue of the update was their last via post unless they called the office and specifically requested that we continue mailing. That same form indicated that we would be delighted to send them the update if they provided an email address.

    When I meet the OLLI folks and introduce myself I always say “I am the annoying one that sends you all those emails.” The unanimous (to this point) response has been “Oh, no! I love the OLLI Updates!”


  4. Hi Dee,

    I took the opportunity to view your newsletter and found it packed with appealing articles and useful information. The layout is very attractive.

    The purpose of our OLLI newsletter at UAHuntsville is to inform of upcoming events planned by the social, cultural, and events committees, and to report recent activities. Helpful information about curriculum and the organization come from articles written by the OLLI President, the Curriculum Committee Chair, and other committee chairs.

    The newsletter is also used as a fun tool to get people involved. We have an annual membership and photo contest, and each month a different committee is spotlighted to inform members about how we get things done and to encourage volunteerism. The ultimate focus of the newsletter is to keep the membership in the loop so everyone has an opportunity to connect with OLLI.

    The newsletter is published 10 times a year; combined months are July & August and November & December.

    I am the editor and have a co-editor; we are both member volunteers. I do the layout and write many of the articles, and the co-editor proofs and fills in during vacations. Currently, I am trying to build a staff to bring in some new ideas, take pictures, and help with attending and reporting events.

    Each month, on a predetermined due date, I open the articles that are emailed from various committees and individuals and begin the layout. I photo shop pictures that will accompany articles, or if photos aren’t available, I search for clip art. The newsletter is emailed in a pdf format to the co-editor and proofed. Once corrected, the newsletter is emailed to a UAHuntsville staff member to be printed by the university and mailed to members. You can see our current newsletter at www.osher.uah.edu and there is a link to the archives.

    I am very interested in learning more about your newsletter, how many people are on your newsletter staff, things you’ve tried that were successful, how your newsletter is produced, and how often.

    In the meantime, please pass on my compliments to your staff.

    Regards,

    Lorrie White
    Newsletter Editor at OLLI@UAH


  5. 1. What is the purpose of your newsletter? Inform OLLI members of events and activities; marketing tool for potential OLLI members; promotion of fundraising trips; highlights of UCI campus events.

    2. How often is your newsletter published? every month

    3. Who has the responsibility for the production of the newsletter (i.e. staff and/or members)? Newsletter Committee and Editor who is an OLLI member

    4. What is the focus of the newsletter? OLLI@UCIrvine events and activities; UCI Campus events; member news and recognition

    5. Is your newsletter and schedule a combined publication? No, if you mean schedule as in catalog

    6. Who compromises the staff of the newsletter? Volunteer committee members and editor

    7. What are the steps to producing your newsletter? Newsletter Cmte meets on 3rd Tuesday of each month to submit articles, discuss layout, and plan for next month’s newsletter. Final copy goes to Editor by Friday. Copy editors (OLLI members) check the copy for accuracy. Following Monday/Tuesday the OLLI office staff emails The Outlook to all OLLI members.

    You can see our newsletter by going to our blog, www.olliuci.wordpress.com and clicking on newsletters.


  6. Hi, Dee:
    In answer to your questions, I’m posting the responses our newsletter editor assembled.

    1. What is the purpose of your newsletter?
    Our newsletter (OLLI News) is a manifestation of the OLLI-USF Communications Sub-Committee mission statement: To develop a means of communication that fosters a sense of community in order to keep members interested, informed and involved in OLLI.

    2. How often is your newsletter published?
    Quarterly

    3. Who has the responsibility for the production of the newsletter (i.e. staff and/or members)?
    The newsletter is the responsibility of the Communications Sub-Committee. It is written and produced by OLLI volunteers. It is reviewed by the OLLI director and the marketing department of Continuing Education (our parent entity). The OLLI director emails the newsletter to OLLI members.

    4. What is the focus of the newsletter?
    We focus on members, member events and new developments in OLLI and use photographs liberally. Each issue features a faculty member profile, an OLLI member profile, Board of Advisors report and a section on committee news. The spring newsletter includes profiles and photos of those seeking election to the Board of Advisors.

    5. is your newsletter and schedule a combined publication?
    No.

    6. Who compromises the staff of the newsletter?
    Volunteer editor, writers, proofreaders, photographers and production personnel.

    7. What are the steps to producing your newsletter?
    a) The editor devises a schedule, in conjunction with the production staff and OLLI director, as well as a suggested list of articles, and submits them to the Communications Sub-Committee.
    b) Committee members review the list of articles and may suggest additional or alternative items to include.
    c) Writers are chosen from those who have expressed an interest in writing articles, whether or not they are committee members.
    d) Each proofreader is assigned to review an article and to communicate with the writer.
    e) Writers submit completed stories to the editor. She/he and the OLLI director review articles.
    f) The editor suggests newsletter layout, making changes in conjunction with the production staff.
    g) The production staff does their work, using the Publisher program.
    h) OLLI director and Continuing Education marketing review the newsletter for any last-minute “tweaking.”
    i) Marketing places newsletter and link on the official OLLI web site.
    j) The director emails members, with a link to the newsletter.
    k) A limited number of hard copies are printed, available at lectures and classes, for those for whom we have no email address.


  7. In response to your query points:

    1 Yes we do. If not, why would I be responding?
    1A Purpose is largely to inform people about what’s going on, special opportunities, opening of enrollment, upcoming courses, NEED FOR DONATIONS, special things tha have happened (e.g., one of our instructors getting 2 Grammy nominations). Also, to repeat (there can’t be too much repetition) OLLI policies.
    2. How often - in prionciple, quarterly, in practice, when I have the time.
    3. Responsibility for production, me
    4.Focus - see #1
    5. No. Newsletter might highlight upcoming courses,but not for enrollment. Newsletter is electronic, enrollment catalog sent by mail, and on our website.
    6.Staff:see 3, and by implication, 2
    7. Process: I somehow find a window of 1 hour, then write all the new events that are coming up, preview courses, tell of news affecting OLLI, remind of policies, and ASK FOR MONEY (with reasons for the ask). Then it is sent to our email llist, and placed on our web site.


  8. 1. What is the purpose of your newsletter? Our newsletter, Gray Matters, reports from committees and volunteer president, member mini surveys, publishes member submissions (photos, literary, and bios), In memory page (bios on recently deceased members).

    2. How often is your newsletter published? 4 times a year (prior to our three terms and at the end of academic year.)

    3. Who has the responsibility for the production of the newsletter (i.e. staff and/or members)? OLLI member who is a volunteer editor

    4. What is the focus of the newsletter? Inside news on how committees are running and what memebrs are up to.

    5. Is your newsletter and schedule a combined publication? No

    6. Who compromises the staff of the newsletter? Volunteer committee members and editor

    7. What are the steps to producing your newsletter? Editor sends email out to all committee chairmen two weeks before deadline asking for submissions. He complis, along with provides a THEME for eaach edition—art and poetry, comedy, history, etc. Has volunteer editors and writers. The publication is posted on our website and members are emailed a link. We also have paper copies printed for distribution to our members.


  9. The Director & I both work part-time. Managing a newsletter committee (or team as I plan on calling it) is not really a project we have much time to commit to. Can you tell me how you went about forming this team? And having them take ownership? And how much time you actually devote to directing/managing them?
    thank you,
    elena marciano
    emarciano@pacific.edu
    Univ. of the Pacific

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