For as long as I’ve been doing PR work for school districts, people have asked me whether they should publish on paper or digitally. And that question comes up more frequently now, of course. All you have to do is watch the newspaper business in this nation to understand how important it is to evolve. The nation is rapidly going digital, and if you’re not keeping up, you’re falling behind.
Nevertheless, I still meet many people in the course of my life who buy their local newspaper at the same deli or newsstand that’s served them for the last 30 years, people who don’t know very much about the Internet, and still more people (even colleagues) who say that if it’s not on paper, they’re not going to see it. Yikes!
So if you’re a school official still struggling with the paper vs. digital divide, you might be able to satisfy all your constituents — parents, students, community members, senior citizens — by offering them news from your school district both ways. It’s Web 2.0, folks, and so many free content creation websites exist that you can create a digital newsletter in very little time, shoot it out to the public via email, and still print (but maybe a smaller print run?) a traditional newsletter.
I recently gave a few such Web 2.0 tools a test run, and found one I like from Letterpop, a newsletter creation website that provides you with tons of potential templates, allows you to load photos, write captions, produce a multi-page newsletter. When you’re done, you can simply publish the newsletter and provide constituents with the URL. Voila.
At the moment, I’m using Letterpop to create an online tip sheet that I’m using as a speaker at the National School Public Relations Assocation conference in July. The tip sheet needs to be one page and my topic is: “School PR and Social Media.” So I’m definitely not giving everyone a paper handout (although the conference organizers are). As an alternative, I’m providing everyone with an online tip sheet, complete with built-in links.
Here’s what my tip sheet looks like so far. When it’s done, I’ll provide a link.