MagCloud offers a lot of options to help you communicate with members of your organization. Not only can you offer members the choice of a print or digital version through the MagCloud website, but you can also use our Ship to Group feature to mail a print copy to each one of them or use our Guest Pass feature to allow members-only access to unlisted publications via email.
Whether your group is focused on a shared interest or a shared alma mater, keeping members informed is an important part of maintaining any membership organization. At MagCloud we’ve seen membership communications take many forms, including newsletters, annual reports, member directories, and even calendars.
While the content of member communications varies greatly depending on the type of organization and the form of publication being created, here are a couple of design tips that are always good to keep in mind:
1. Keep your message clear. This doesn’t just pertain to what you are writing, but also to how you present your message on the page. Make sure that the information that is most important to your members is placed front and center, and anything additional is cleanly laid out in an organized and easy to follow fashion. Doing so will allow members to easily navigate through the publication and better ensure that they receive the messages you are hoping to deliver. This is particularly important when creating a member directory, which by nature contains a large amount of content. You don’t want to hinder the delivery of this content by having a disorderly layout that is difficult to find your way through.
The Moorestown Rowing Club’s annual publication offers a great example of a large amount of content that has been laid out in an orderly fashion. Using bold titles and a consistent two-spread layout they are able to present their team rosters in a way that is easy to navigate and understand.
2. Use colors, fonts and imagery that are familiar. Although you may not think of it this way, your organization is a brand, and it’s important to take advantage of brand recognition in the communications you send to your members. The easiest way to do this is through the colors, fonts and imagery you use, matching those in your publication with ones that are used elsewhere on your group’s website or blog. By maintaining a consistent look and feel, you’ll help ensure that members make the association with your organization instantly when the printed piece lands on their doorstep.
The American Glass Guild does a great job of establishing a brand with their MagCloud-published newsletter. They not only keep a consistent look and feel with each issue but also using colors, fonts and imagery in their publications that is similar to those found on their website.
3. Balance your content. As with the other publication types we’ve discussed in recent weeks, it’s good to keep your readers engaged in your content, regardless of what the intent of the publication is. A big part of this is visual – when a reader encounters a page full of text, they may feel somewhat daunted by the amount of content they are being presented with. Rather than just giving your readers a lot of text to consume, balance the layout of your member communications with supporting images and related infographics. Even just breaking up a page of text with some white space can help make your message easier on the eyes. The easier your message is to consume, the more likely it is that your members will receive it.
The Canadian Council on Social Development’s Perception magazine is a great example of a membership publication with a balanced layout. Each of the longer text pieces in the magazine are accompanied by images, call-out quotes, and colored text boxes of related information. Not only does this makes the pages of the publication more visually appealing than they if they were just filled with solid blocks of text, but the added content also makes them more interesting to read.
Has your club or organization used MagCloud to communicate with its members? Tell us how in the comments below.