Newsletters: Big Info in Small Spaces

July 6, 2018 | Mission Fed

Delivered digitally or even in print, newsletters are a great source of information for consumers, usually confined to a certain word count online or small physical small space on paper. We design Mission Notes, Mission Fed’s quarterly newsletter, to be an “executive summary” of the latest money-saving services and time-saving access for our customers, whom we call members. I have the honor of serving as the newsletter editor, and it’s one of my favorite projects for sharing information with Mission Fed and the community.

In fact, writing newsletters goes back to my childhood. Being a writer always came naturally to me. When I was little, even before I could read, I “typed” stories on a manual typewriter and “read” them to my dad, who was a patient and encouraging audience of one.

My next step in publishing was creating newsletters for my Liddle Kiddle dolls (you can still find these dolls on eBay), complete with news, weather, an events calendar, ads and a gossip column. I would also add features from the Barbie, Dawn or Hot Wheels community to include other points of view.

Several years later when I’d advanced to a larger format and more sophisticated colored pencil technique, I moved up in the world of publishing to launch “The Cincinnati Times Magazine.” When my grandmother offered me 25 cents a copy for my hand-drawn and crayoned “masterpieces.” I thought—if I can do what I love and get paid for it, life is going to be good.

This news magazine typically included an editorial on current events, letters to the editor, a short story, financial tips (I wanted Grandma to know that 25 cents wasn’t going to waste), crossword puzzles, fashion spreads and plenty of ads. The back page was reserved for one of my target audience’s favorite brands: Metamucil, Rose Milk Lotion or Listerine. I knew what Grandma liked.

A degree in Journalism, several decades and millions of published words later, I can see that newsletters have continuously been a great way for me to both learn and share information that could help other people or at least entertain them. I’ve written on topics from business to health to travel to entertainment—to financial products and services. Not surprisingly, I still apply those rules I learned early on to the articles I write today: What’s interesting to our readers? Why is this important? How does it work? Who needs this information? When is it available? Where and how can they access these services? And how much do they cost?

With Mission Notes, the challenge is always selecting what to include from all the good news we have to share. The limited size of our printed newsletter format is actually a good exercise in choosing highlights, and then referring readers to our website,, our 33 local branches or our Contact Center for more information. It’s a bit like writing a 35-character digital ad or 10 seconds of radio copy to tag onto traffic or weather announcements—every word matters, and its good discipline for saying a lot in a small space.

Our cover story changes subject each quarter, but typically features one of our core Mission Fed services, meaning Home Loans, Auto Loans, Credit Cards or Checking Accounts. We may also showcase a promotion such as our $1 Million Mission Fed Money Match, where members have a chance to win just for using our services and choosing Mission Fed for their loans. With summer home buying season in full swing, our 5/5 ARM with No Closing Costs was a logical choice for the cover of this issue.

Every newsletter includes an article from our President and CEO Debra Schwartz, who takes this opportunity to talk about what our credit union is focusing on for members and what enhancements we’re making to continue to earn their loyalty and trust. This time, she shares news about our new Escondido Auto Park Way Branch opening in August 2018.

We also invite a guest writer from our Senior Management Team to write an article on the topic of their choice. No matter which product or service they choose, it always relates back to member service. They know their services well, and they always find a fun new way to talk about them. Our guest writer this month is Sherry Special, SVP Consumer Lending and Branch Network, who wanted to write about helping members with purchasing a vehicle, whether they like the excitement of doing the shopping and negotiating themselves or whether they’d much rather hand that off to our auto buying partner, Autoland.

From there, the four pages fill up quickly with articles on Auto Loans, Credit Cards, Digital Services and Community Relations. We may also feature one of our service partners, such as LiveSmart Insurance Services. And we receive so many great online reviews and comments from our members that we love including a Mission Fed Moment or two. There’s always something new to talk about at Mission Fed.

Members, like all consumers, get bombarded by advertising and branding messages all day, every day. So when they see something from Mission Fed, I want them to know that they’re the reason we developed the services and the reason why we were founded in the first place. Mission Fed services aren’t an impulse buy like a candy bar in the grocery line—but my goal is that when members do need financial services, they’ll think of us first.

Even with all the writing I do for digital and print, there’s still something special about creating our member newsletter. Enjoy this issue of Mission Notes—and I hope you find something in it that might lead to your next Mission Fed Moment.

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Federal Credit Union is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Federal Credit Union.

Mission Fed

Mission Fed

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