Guest Blog: 6 Tips for Creating an Award-Winning Newsletter

By Kathleen Watson, CFE and Brenda Young, CFE

(Editor's Note: Watson and Young have helped to produce the Toronto Chapter’s newsletter since 2009. The chapter will be presented with the 2014 Chapter Newsletter of the Year award at the 25th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference in San Antonio.)

Kathleen Watson, CFE (L) and Brenda Young, CFE (R)

Kathleen Watson, CFE (L) and Brenda Young, CFE (R)

When the idea of creating and publishing a monthly newsletter was presented at one of our board meetings, it was met with mixed thoughts. Some felt the newsletter could promote the Toronto Chapter and provide valuable information to our members and community. Others felt the novelty would wear off quickly and saw a challenge in maintaining topics of interest and locating subject matter.

With both points of view in mind, we were motivated to create a newsletter that promoted the ACFE, supported the Toronto Chapter, and provided insightful articles and information to members and others.

The following are six things that helped us create what we believe is a great newsletter:

1.       Be consistent. Ensure your publication is done on time, every time.

2.       Create a professional looking product. You don’t need to have professional publishing software. We created our newsletter out of a simple Word® document that changed considerably over time until we had a design that we felt said “Toronto” on every page.

3.       Make sure the content is fresh and relevant. Include news about your chapter and chapter meetings, news from other chapters and related organizations, and fraud-related headlines from your region.

4.       Take every opportunity to locate writers. Approach your co-workers and speakers from chapter meetings. A great way for those members who missed a meeting is to see an article in the newsletter referencing the topic from the dinner meeting. Maintain a library of articles to draw upon for those times when finding content is a challenge.

5.       Proofread. Proofread again. Enough said.

6.       Publish. Don’t just email the newsletter to your chapter members, but also post it to the chapter website and share it with other chapters.

 The task of creating and publishing a newsletter has been both challenging and rewarding, and we would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to submit photos, articles and share their ideas (and criticisms). Their contributions and feedback have assisted immensely, and we are very grateful.