By Venkat Raman, District 57 Newsletter Editor
Building upon the successful club newsletter contest we held for the first time in 2020, we are kicking off the next one, for 2021. The idea is quite similar but several details are different this time around. So, please make sure to read this post completely if you are interested in entering your club in this year’s contest.
If you haven’t had a chance to attend the Newsletter Masterclass on April 20, 2020, or see its archive recording yet, please view it here. You can access the slide deck here. Several ideas and tips for launching your club email newsletter were presented therein. Please ignore any contest specific detail there as the parameters have changed this year.
The Bird’s Eye View:
Oct 31Nov 20, 2020: Interested clubs register their intentions to participate by this date, 11:59 pm. This is just registering the intent, so this deadline will be strictly observed.
- Nov 2020: Registered clubs make sure their publication processes, including submitting their newsletters to the district, are streamlined. Make sure you try submitting a minimum of one or two trial issues (or real ones!), if applicable, in this month so that future submissions can be expected to not go astray.
- Dec 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020: Participating clubs produce their newsletters and submit each issue to the district. No submission prior to Dec 1 counts for judging, and no issue submitted past 11:59 on May 31, 2021 counts either.
- June 2021: The panel of judges take a look at all the submissions and make their decisions.
- June 2021 Newsletter: Results of the contest are announced.
A participating club can win one of the following awards, with the corresponding incentive cash added to their District Bucks pool for this year.
- First Prize — $100 in District Bucks
- Second Prize — $75 in District Bucks
- Third Prize — $50 in District Bucks
To manage this process, the rules below are necessary and must be followed by all participants.
- In order to participate in the contest, a representative of the club must register the intent by filling the form at https://forms.gle/LHPijxdhhgxUJM5C8. This registration must be completed by October 31, 2020 11:59 pm.
- One newsletter entry per club. In the event of multiple registrations for the same club, the last one entered will prevail.
- The newsletter must be at least monthly in frequency. There must be one (or more) issue(s) for each calendar month. This means that the issue would be dated for the month or specific dates in the month and will be emailed in that month. For example, the first monthly newsletter issue to be considered would be identified as the December 2020 issue and would bear an email time stamp between Dec 1 and Dec 31, 2020. Likewise, the first weekly newsletter would be dated and sent in the range Dec 1-7, 2020.
- Only email newsletters are considered for this contest. A newsletter must be distributed as an email that would reach all members of your club.
- Content of each newsletter issue must be conveyed in one of the following methods:
- Directly in the email. It can be hypertext with links to other items on the web, but can be simple text as well. The content must clearly indicate the issue date.
- The newsletter can be a single PDF file, sent as an attachment. The PDF must identify the issue date. The email subject+body must also identify such.
- The newsletter can be made available through a single link in the email body to a public page on the web. Branding and issue date identification apply here as well, for both the email and the newsletter page on the web.
- Each issue of the newsletter must be submitted to the district as well as all the members using the process given below.
- By registering, you are giving unrestricted, non-exclusive permission to District 57 for using any of the content in your newsletter issues. Examples of district use include communication regarding the program, the results, or even showcasing for any purpose in the future. Please make sure your content is in alignment with this policy and you have the rights to extend such permission.
Tips, Guidelines, and Judging Criteria:
- The newsletter is expected to be club-centric. A well designed one will be for the members, about the members, and by a member of the club 🙂
- If you don’t already have a club newsletter, you can start one now. Design it and experiment with test issues in the month of November. The judging only starts in December.
- The judging criteria are the link between performers like you and the evaluators on the judging panel. In order that we all work toward the same goal, it is important for you to know what criteria are to be used in judging. Please review the judging criteria spreadsheet.
- All submissions must be through email to firstname.lastname@example.org. No exceptions. The judging panel is not responsible for misdirected emails.
- Each newsletter issue must be submitted simultaneously to the district as well as the members. For example, if you work with a mail service provider like Mailchimp, add the contest submission email address (email@example.com) to the list you use, so we see exactly how you send your newsletters. If you are directly sending the email, make sure you send it to the contest submission email address as blind copy (bcc:). [This will avoid us receiving any follow up discussion]
- Starting with December 2020, your newsletter must be published in each month until May 2021. You must adhere to your declared publication schedule. You declare this schedule when you register. If your publication schedule is not monthly or weekly, please make sure to indicate what it will be. As long as your first registration is received by October 31, you can amend your registration details in November, if needed, but they cannot be changed after November.
On the first look, it may appear that this contest has many rules and restrictions. But, if you look closely, you will see, I hope, that the initial setup takes a few steps, but for the six months following that, all you need to do is to produce quality newsletters. For your own clubs. That’s the real reward, right? The judging criteria should help you plan and design such publications.
If you have any question or comment regarding this set of rules for the 2021 contest, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to a lively contest!
Editor, D57 Newsletter