Sunday, 10 October 2010

CambridgePPF wins prize for best newsletter

Carolin Göhler (CambridgePPF) and Paula Ridley CBE (Civic Voice)

Civic Voice has been awarding top prizes for best website and newsletter as part of their first Annual Conference (held in Peterborough on 9 October 2010).

The company Forster  sponsored the award - a communications agency supporting clients from the commercial and non-for-profit sector.

Following the re-launch of the society just one year ago, CambridgePPF scooped the award for the best newsletter with their revamped members' journal - "The Ring" - which has been given a new look, improved layout, great images, "what's on" pages and wide content.

The first Civic Voice Awards for best website and newsletter provided stiff competition with nearly 20 entries in each category. After a vote among civic volunteers to provide two shortlists, Brighton saw off Ripon and Wakefield for the website award. Brighton was commended for the easy on the eye design, regular news updates, clear navigation, concise writing and its use of social media.

In a closely fought contest Cambridge took the honours over Birmingham and Wakefield in the competition for best newsletter. It was praised for the variety of interesting articles, strong masthead and the use of personal stories. Both Brighton and Cambridge also provided easy ways for people to get involved and encouraged feedback.

Effective communication is vital to the future of all civic societies and follwoing the award ceremony Forster provided ten top tips on good communications - for details please see below.

CambridgePPF is grateful for design support received from Kiss Communications as well as for all the help from staff members and volunteers making an interesting read and promoting the diverse work of the society.

CambridgePPF's  membership journal is published twice a year and covers the charity's activities from planning and shaping the city, management of historic buildings and green spaces as well as environmental education work. A sample can be viewed here.

Why not become a member and support the work of CambridgePPF?


Civic Voice -  good communication based on Forster's ten tips on communication:

Campaigning Tips

This briefing provides ten top tips for effective newsletters and websites.

1. Keep your design and structure simple – people have expected ideas about where to find things on a web page or in a newsletter. Don’t try and be different – stick to the conventions

2. Put yourself in the user’s shoes – many of us make the mistake of using websites and newsletters to tell people about what we want to tell them – not what they want to hear

3. Make sure it’s up to date – old news and events that have already passed will make your site or newsletter look out of date and irrelevant quickly. Plus having regular new content keeps it interesting, so people will come back

4. What’s the most important thing you want to say? Whether it’s your latest news, your membership joining page or your latest campaign, make sure the thing you most want people to read about is on the homepage or prominent in your newsletter

5. Clear navigation – don’t over complicate things, pick a few simple rules for how you group and link information and then stick to them. Keep these rules simple and obvious, just because you know the intricate internal structure of your civic society doesn’t mean a first time reader or visitor to your site will

6. Be concise – no-one wants, or has time, to read pages of copy. And if people want to find out more, make sure they can get in touch

7. Invite interaction – give people the opportunity to really get involved – by allowing comments and feedback, asking people to submit ideas, articles or pictures, as well as the opportunity to join your group or sign up for the newsletter online

8. Make links with social media – by starting a Facebook Group, making regular tweets on Twitter or sharing images through Flickr for example, you can engage more people and reach out to different audiences

9. Consult, consult, consult. A website or newsletter is never finished - there is always something you can improve, some way of making it work better for your users, so make sure you regularly ask for feedback and regularly test your site on willing volunteers and unfortunate family members

10. Don’t be afraid. Online communications is an evolving animal and so there are always new ways to interact. You don’t have to do them all at once, but by finding out more – and getting advice from experts – you can get your messages out to more and more people.

October 2010

Civic Voice is grateful to communications agency Forster for developing this briefing.
Civic Voice is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England number 7142946
Charity registration number 1134476


Cambridge Past, Present & Future — a local charity with over 1,500 members working to keep Cambridge and its surroundings special by positively influencing planning developments, delivering environmental education and managing the green spaces and historic buildings in its care — for the benefit of all.

Registered Charity No. 204121. Non-profit making company limited by guarantee, registered in England No. 239835.



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