When your youth group does something noteworthy, a newsletter is one of the best ways to get the word around. Your challenge, though, is to compose a newsletter that's creative and interesting so that people will actually want to read it. You don't want to spend money and time putting a newsletter together that only a few people read, so present the material in ways that are both informative and entertaining.
Newsletter Challenge Contests
Encourage people to read your newsletter by providing an incentive. In each issue, present a challenge question that has to do with youth in general, or your youth group specifically. For example, a challenge question might be, "When was our youth group established?" Provide instructions for submitting answers, and indicate what the prizes will be for those who guess correctly. Set aside a separate space near the question section to highlight the prior issue's winners.
Youth and Parent Spotlighters
Choose a parent or guardian and youth to spotlight in each issue. You can select "spotlighters" randomly, have a drawing for each issue's featured members, or you might choose to recognize a child and parent who have helped their community in some way (such as organizing a Thanksgiving food drive for local families in need). Your readership will likely grow because the featured members will show others that they're profiled in the newsletter.
Most people love to get something for free, so if your newsletter has information on how to obtain giveaways, it's sure to get attention from readers. The giveaways don't need to be costly, and might include $5 gift cards to fast food restaurants like McDonald's or places like The Dollar Tree. Offer these small rewards as a thank you for performing a helpful service, such as volunteering to tutor a young child for an hour a week. Provide a form in the newsletter where youth group members can sign up to perform one of these services, and distribute the giveaways to those who volunteer.
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Tandeace Hairston's articles appear in relationship and family publications. She's been named "Best Writer" by the National Association of Black Journalists, is founder and president of HeartShape Relationship Advocacy, Inc. and is publishing her first book on healthy relationships in 2012. Hairston holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Temple University and a Master of Arts in Christian counseling from Jacksonville Theological Seminary.