This article was published in 2017, in Newsletter 135.
The Newsletter is our main campaigning tool: we produce six editions a year, with nearly 1,000 copies printed. Around half of these are sent to our members, and the other half to decision-makers and other contacts. Many members and non-members read it online – articles can get thousands of hits.
However, the Newsletter cannot happen without the help of a brilliant team of volunteers – and we need you to get involved! Please contact us if you can help in any way. Even if you can help us for an hour or two each two months, we’d love to hear from you. We promise to respect your time.
The editor leads the overall direction of the Newsletter. They develop and improve its structure and content and also act to motivate people to get involved. This role will involve about 10 hours per edition. The editor is also a Charity Trustee, which ensures that the Newsletter aligns with our charitable aims, and generally represents us well.
The content is its lifeblood. Any of our members can write articles – especially those involved in our campaigns. We aim for a good range of articles from serious campaigning to more light-hearted content – perhaps route reviews, or a report from abroad. Engaging content helps generate more interest in our work.
Copy editors and proof readers
Our team of copy editors and proof readers help with the crucial task of editing each article, catching any typos, ensuring it reads well, and suggesting changes. A key requirement is for all articles to be copy-edited before being sent to be laid out. This is all done online, and can easily be done in spare evenings.
Producing nearly 1,000 high-quality, colour copies costs money – so we aim to have enough advertising to cover the costs of producing the Newsletter. This means approaching organisations that align with our values. The ideal is to get regular bookings for 6 issues.
This key role co-ordinates the team to ensure we go to print on schedule. Things like ensuring articles are written on time, and that copy-editing is finalised before the designer starts.They liaise with the printers and delivery team and maybe organise a social every so often, to help the team gel! This important role is probably about 15 hours per edition.
This critical job involves turning the fully-edited content into our attractive publication. We already have an excellent template created in InDesign, to speed the whole thing up. A typical designer would be able to sort the content in a day or two. We aim for a pool of 3 designers – so just two weekends a year per person.
A picture tells a thousand words, so we have always aimed for a good visual appeal. Key to this is plenty of good photography. We aim for each page to have a good balance between text and images. Sometimes we can use photos from existing sources, or by the article author. Otherwise pictures need to be specially taken.
Stuffing, delivery and web conversion
The stuffing team meet to get the Newsletters in envelopes, addressed, and grouped into delivery rounds. Our deliverers deliver rounds of about 10-15 copies, grouped by area. This is valuable, as it saves us using charity funds on postage costs. A last, vital stage given Camcycle’s strong on-line readership is to convert it for the website.