5 Fun Things to Include in a Family Newsletter By Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

A family newsletter is a fun way to keep in touch with your family members in between reunions. Whether you do a quarterly or monthly publication, a newsletter can be produced with minimal effort using free templates from Microsoft Word https://create.microsoft.com/en-us/word-templates or Canva https://www.canva.com. Convert the newsletter to a PDF document and send the PDF as an email attachment or share it via a private website or Facebook group.

If you are struggling with content ideas, here are five fun things to include in your next communication.

  1. Theme – To make each newsletter unique, try having a theme. The first one you send could be a “Getting to Know You” issue. Introduce yourself and why you created the newsletter. Perhaps you can include a brief history of the family and/or the family reunions. Ask recipients to send you their news, and ideas for themes or topics for future newsletters. Future themes can be built around holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Halloween, etc. or special events such as honoring the military service in your family or highlighting a female ancestor or relative for Women’s History Month.
  • Important Dates/Calendar of Events. Have a special section (text box) that lists important family events like Birthdays, Anniversaries, and of course your Reunion deadline dates (Reunion Day(s), RSVP, hotel reservation cut-off date, etc.).
  • Reunion Teaser. Your newsletter is the perfect tool for generating buzz for an upcoming gathering. Include the schedule, information about the city or venue, and highlight planned activities or special recognitions.
  • Mystery Photographs. If you have been working on a photo scanning project, you are likely to have a collection of unidentified photographs. See Reunions Magazine Volume 31 Number 2 Virtual Edition June 2022 for tips https://issuu.com/reunionsmag/docs/reunions_v31n2_mag_june2022.  Use these “mystery” photographs to encourage family interactions by including one or two in the newsletter. Ask the recipients if they can help identify who is in the photograph(s). Or you can make it a game of “Who is that?” and include a nostalgic image of someone in the family (perhaps a high school or college yearbook photo) and ask family members to send their guesses to you. Provide the answer in the next issue of the newsletter.