Newsletters are one of the most common communication and marketing tools used by schools. Perhaps because of their importance they've tended to change only slowly over time, with a number of schools still using printed ones, while many use common digital formats such as PDFs or even Word.
The problem with these tools are that they aren't very good for marketing today. From a user perspective they're not easy to search inside and they don't easily manage the latest types of content that schools are producing, especially videos. From a school marketing viewpoint, paper copies might not even make it home (!), while digital alternatives use data allowances and may not open on some devices and they don't feedback information about who has read which publications or articles.
So, we asked schools to suggest alternatives - and here are some you might want to try! All can be shared through weblinks, allowing you to use messaging services or texts to send them out - and usage can be tracked over time.
1) Microsoft Sway
Sway tends to be 'sold' as a presentation tool, but schools are finding it a great way to create newsletter replacements with video and interactivity - and for schools that are working with Microsoft products it's free. Four schools offered to share their 'Sways'..
2) Adobe Creative Cloud Express (formerly 'Spark')
This solution has a free version but it may be worth upgrading to the premium option. It's a good choice for schools that use other Adobe products (another option is adding video to PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Pro)
3) Bespoke solutions
There are a number of commercial solutions developed specifically for schools. I've been recommended SchoolZine and met them at the BETT Show in 2020 - their example newsletter is here - https://example.schoolzineplus.com/news?nid=1
Designers Creative World got in touch to share their bespoke service - putting video and more into publications - you can see an example here - http://creativeworld.co.uk/client/creativeworld-education/
We'd love to add to this list, so please email us if you have more examples!