Connect with your Community: Repurpose Your Utility Newsletter
Do you send out a newsletter to your customers/members? Whether it’s monthly, quarterly, or even just annually, repurpose your newsletter into web content for your website.
Your newsletter contains important information such as:
- New offerings/rebates/scholarships
- New info about your organization and your employees
- Feel-good stories of what’s happening in the community
- Info on annual meetings
- Safety information
Repurposing your newsletter into web content helps people stay connected with your organization and the community.
Repurpose your Manager’s Message to your members. Add your picture to the right-hand side of the article, along with your name at the bottom.
The message article can be grouped on the same page as the rest of the stories, or you can have a separate page for these messages. If so, add a static blurb at the top of the page. This section can explain who you are and what you hope to accomplish with your message each month. This adds a personal touch and helps to create a connection with your members.
Lead Text & Excerpt
Some stories contain a lead-in line before the start of the article to grab the readers’ attention. Use that first line as lead text or as the excerpt to grab the site visitors’ attention for what the story is about. If the article is a story relevant to your organization, create your own excerpt. This should be a one-line sentence that summarizes what the article is about. This excerpt can show up on the main news release page to go along with the featured image and title of the article.
Extract any images from your PDF. Align the images alternating between left and right spread throughout the article. Make sure to add in any relevant captions and alt text. Does the article contain multiple rows of images, such as student pictures of scholarship winners? Create a gallery with their name, school, and scholarship amount. You can adjust the number of columns showing as well.
The featured image will show up on the homepage and on the main news page. Use a photo that captures what the article is about. For a manager’s message, use rotating images of scenic photos from your service territory. These images should capture your site visitor’s attention. They also provide visual interest to what the content will be about.
Accessibility Items to Look For
There are certain accessibility items to look for when repurposing for web content:
- The name of your organization, along with any other acronyms, need to be spelled out fully the first time they are mentioned. The acronym should be written in parenthesis after the name. The acronym can be used for the rest of the article after that.
- Include headings and bulleted lists from the article
- Make sure images contain either captions that explain what the photo is about or alt text
- If there are links to other websites, make sure you use descriptive language instead of just the link. For example, “Visit the Department of Energy website”.
- If there’s any text that references to the PDF, for example, “Read more on page 8”, make sure to add in the relevant text. Such as “Read more on our Safety Tips article” and link that text to the article you are repurposing.
- Link all phone numbers and emails
These tips will keep your website accessible for all people and recognizably powerful.
Keep the PDF
Add in a separate archive page with a link to the PDF for your site visitors to still be able to have access to the full newsletter. Use a bulleted list or accordions for each year to keep the page looking neat and easy to search through.
These stories and articles will show up on the news homepage of your site and drive traffic to your website. It keeps your website fresh and up to date. This helps keep your members connected to your organization and the community.