Sending Us Copy

Using Hastings Community News to help to get your message across

If you are a voluntary or community organisation in Hastings and you have joined HVA, you can send us up to 150 words of free copy to include in our monthly newsletter. Please have a read through our guidelines for submitting copy (below) which includes useful tips to make the most of this service.

If your group is not a member of HVA the first thing you need to do is fill out an application form for free annual membership. A membership application form and further details can be found here.

If you are part of a statutory sector organisation, you cannot become a member of HVA but we would still be happy to include some plain text copy, if you are offering our membership some useful information that helps their work as groups and organisations.

Guidelines for Submitting Copy

We want your communications work to be as effective as possible, so we have produced this guidance to help you get the best results from the Hastings Community News target audience.

Hastings Community News is targetted at people who are interested in the work of voluntary and community groups. It narrowcasts rather than broadcasts information so general awareness raising and recruiting for individual causes won’t be as successful as more gerneral publications like local newspapers. This is because most readers are a little bit like you; either already busy with their own organisations (as volunteers or paid employees) or work in the statutory sector and simply want what they do to be more relevant to voluntary or community groups.

However, just like you, they will tend to be interested in what has happened if it has an application for them in what they do. We love to get news stories about what groups have done or are going to do,  but the most interesting parts are things like how it was achieved, difficulties overcome, the time it took, helpful contacts encountered and what you learned along the way. These are the things which make your story useful for the future work of other organisations.

For most news items we are looking for no more than 3 to 4 paragraphs or about 150 words. Please use the first couple of sentences to include information on who did (or will do) what, when it happened and where the event took place or will take place. You can follow this up with why it happened and perhaps a quote - which always helps to bring a story to life. As a general rule try and keep to no more than 10 – 15 words in a sentence and two sentences to a paragraph.

We take all the embellisments out of any copy you send us and it is then sent to our designer to lay the text our in our 'house style' and fonts for the final newsletter. So please don't go to the trouble of including extra emboldening, capitalization of headings, centering, tables, extra exclamation marks, dashes, symbols, multiple fonts and typefaces of many colors, since all this has to be removed before we send all the text to our designer.

We always like to get high resolution digital photos, because these help bring articles to life and help us to break up pages of text. Once again, please don't try to inclued the photos and logos in Word documents for us but send them as separate picture or logo files.

More than two thirds of our newsletters are now sent by email, so it makes sense to use this opportunity to provide dynamic links to relevant pages on your website. If you do this, please don’t then forget that 300 copies of Hastings Community News still go out in paper format, so enough detail (including phone numbers and correspondence addresses) still need to be available for people who don’t have internet access.

It is never a good idea to just to send us PDFs of posters or leaflets, with the over optimistic hope that we will convert all this stuff back in to a text articles for you. As a rule, if you feel something is important enough to be included in the newsletter, we will consider it equally important that you find the time to send it to us as managable text.

Please send your finished article, including something in the subject line like 'copy for Hastings Community News' to:

john@hvauk.org

Getting people to view your own documents

If you feel its important for people to see your PDF or your layout rather than ours, then you need to upload the those files to your own website and include details of the dynamic link in the text that you send to us. It is worth learning how to do this since sending out links (as opposed to entire documents) always make emails smaller, and increase the chances that something is included in e-bulletins/blogs and will also help draw people to your own website.

If you want more you have to pay

If you feel quite strongly that people need to view your own files in other ways than as a simple link in the 150 words you submit to us, then you may like to pay for an insert in our newsletter. More details of this can be found on our page about paid advertising.