Newsletters: Outreach and Memory

I’ve been thinking a lot about organizational newsletters recently.  These thoughts were mainly spurred by having spent the better part of two days digitizing early copies of the Algoma Missionary News.  Like many newsletters the Algoma Missionary News contains information about new appointments, events, holidays, and staff/client interaction. 

More significantly, the Algoma Missionary also contains information from all around the Anglican Diocese of Algoma and was mailed throughout the region.  This newsletter was started in the mid 1870s and was one of the first cross-region communications. Even in the 1800s, newsletters acted as community outreach tools and allowed organizations to share upcoming events and past accomplishments. The early issues of the Algoma Missionary are now great records of early missionary work in the Algoma region.

Paper based mailed out newsletters are on the decline.  But, many heritage organizations utilize email campaigns and e-newsletters. These emails can be used to alert patrons of upcoming events, new donations, heritage risks, and organization accomplishments.  The use of email also makes these newsletters relatively inexpensive to create and send out.  Additionally, newsletters also have the ability to help fill out corporate histories.  Newsletters often contain staff names and event listings, which can help when building institutional memory.

Does your organization have a newsletter? Do you receive any heritage newsletters?