Abstract

My purpose for this research was to examine the use of best practice guidelines for e newsletters published by university alumni associations and to recommend additional best practice guidelines for alumni e newsletters. For this study I reviewed 20 current alumni association e newsletters. I based my research on the following questions: 1. Which best practices described in the literature about e newsletters are evidenced in university e newsletters? 2. Which practices, if any, are not common in the literature but are evidenced in university e newsletters? 3. Which additional practices evidenced in the alumni e newsletters should be considered best practices for publishing alumni e newsletters? I examined the use of best practice guidelines in university e-newsletters published by the alumni associations of large universities in the United States, and I recorded and evaluated other practices used in alumni e newsletters to determine their suitability as best practices. Very little scholarly research existed about e newsletters, so I compiled a list of best practices not only from journals but also from trade publications and advice columns. I reviewed 20 e newsletters and made a list of features that did not appear on the original best practices list in order to create a list of additional practices. After my initial review of the e newsletters, I compared each e newsletter to my list of additional practices to determine how many of the e newsletters used each noted practice. I evaluated the items on the original list of best practices as well as the list of additional practices for positive contributions to the e newsletter. I endorsed 16 best practices that appeared in three or more best practice articles. I strongly agreed with the best practice to keep the publication brief, and this recommendation was taken into account when endorsing or rejecting other best practices. I endorsed best practices for distribution of the e newsletter included providing the e newsletter name and date on the e mail subject line and using the university name or e newsletter name on the e mail from line. I endorsed best practices for content such as including articles about a variety of topics with an emphasis on news articles. I also endorsed five specific formatting practices to enhance scannability. I also recommended additional practices which were in evidence in the e newsletters but were not listed in best practice articles. I recommended sending the e newsletter with a brief and straightforward subject line and naming the e newsletter something other than "newsletter." I also recommended including articles about university research and profiles of alumni. I recommended eight specific links for inclusion. I suggested specific additional research that could be conducted using reader feedback. I also suggested research about new communication technology and effective use of current technology.

Advisor

Roland Nord

First Committee Member

Gretchen Prebix

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Veltsos

Date of Degree

2011

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

College

Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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