When you’re managing a team, or even more than one team, you aren’t just taking care of 10 or 20 children. You’re also taking care of any other staff, the children’s parents, volunteers and the community. All of these different subsets of people need to stay informed and up-to-date on all team and league goings on – both for your benefit and theirs.
In the case of parents especially, your best bet for keeping everyone on the same page is an e-newsletter. This email-friendly form of communication keeps all of your ducks in a row and makes your finished product easily sharable to anyone who needs or wants to be in the know.
However, crafting an email does require some skills, like typing well and graphic design knowledge. If you’re lacking in either area, here are a few pointers to get you started.
1. Look for online generators and templates.
Here’s something to ease your mind – when it comes to informing parents, you don’t have to worry so much about visual medium marketing. Your newsletter can, and should, look nice, but it doesn’t have to look like a graphics pro made it.
Online newsletter generators exist, and for good reason. If you don’t have the raw skill or knowledge to design one on your own, look to one of these websites for pre-made, professional looking newsletters.
2. Focus on your flow.
Just like an essay, the information in your e-newsletter should have a certain flow to it. The most important bulletins go at the top, then designate a space for volunteer opportunities, game schedules, snack list designations, etc. This keeps things easy to read and makes quick-checking simple.
In that same vein, make sure you always have an editor on hand that isn’t yourself. Even if it’s just asking a spouse or friend to look things over, ask someone to make sure the newsletter flows and is free of spelling errors.
3. Make it encouraging.
The bulk of your e-newsletter should be informative and focused on the sport, but don’t forget your human side in there too. Set aside an area for team member birthdays, important congratulations and game minutes that detail great plays and player abilities. This makes your newsletter more friendly and also encourages players to stay informed along with their parents.
4. Keep information public-general.
Most newsletters are set up on a sign-up basis, meaning anyone can subscribe to one. If team members are going to be reading, skip including information about the surprise “end of season” party. In general, avoid mentioning super personal information – emails can be hacked and lists can be compromised.
5. Always include a contact option.
Even if you can’t have an email relay set up to enable replies, make sure parents can get in touch with you quickly to review, question or correct any newsletter information. Some parents names are probably stored in your phone because they’re super involved with the league, but for others the e-newsletter will be their main source of info and connection between coaches and managers.