School Newsletter

Don’t Bang Your Head Against the Wall: 3 Rules for Writing Effective School Newsletter Titles

Dr. Kara Stern
2 min read
Graphic laptop with smore mascot inside it. Mascot holds tips for effective newsletter titles.

Like an opening sentence, your school newsletter title is a way to extend a metaphorical hand to your readers.

Person extending a welcoming hand in greeting

But writing headlines can be a head-scratcher! If you struggle with finding the right headline, here’s a checklist that will help:

Rule #1: Identify the WHO. Who is this newsletter for?

Let’s look at an example:

Hmmm. Is this newsletter FOR 2nd grade scholars or ABOUT 2nd grade scholars? In either case, it certainly doesn’t give me the information I need to keep reading.

Rule #2: Specify the WHAT. What is this newsletter about?

Let’s return to “2nd Grade Scholars.” Where’s the WHAT? What about 2nd Grade scholars? Is this general information? A treatise on 2nd grade scholarship? Is it cast in a sarcastic light? (Your high schoolers are behaving like 2nd Grade scholars!) or a positive one?

There’s just no way to tell from the title.

Rule #3: Specify the WHY. Give me a reason to keep reading.

Communications are a transactional experience. You want someone to read what you’ve written. Ok, but… what do they get on their end? The pleasure of reading your words isn’t enough. So, from the get-go, you need to explain their gain.

“2nd Grade Scholars” is a title without a WHY.

GIF of woman saying What do you want from me?

Putting it all together

Clever isn’t important. Clear is what’s important. To be clear, you need to specify the WHO, the WHAT, and the WHY. Like this:

This Week in 2nd Grade: Important Info for Families”

Who: Parents & Caregivers of 2nd graders.
What: important info.
Why: So I know what’s going on with my kid.

It’s not snazzy, but it’s clear. Plus, if you’ve got space for a subtitle, you can clarify even further.

And if I’m a second grade parent, I’m gonna read that newsletter!

Get started with your own template here.

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Dr. Kara Stern

Dr. Kara Stern began her career as an ELA teacher, then shifted into administration as a middle school principal. Dr. Stern is a fervent advocate for equitable communication and family engagement. She spent five years as Executive Director at Math for America, where she designed the professional learning community that exists to this day. An unexpected move to Tel Aviv launched her into the world of EdTech where she became the Director of Education Content for Smore and then the Head of Education Solutions at SchoolStatus. Outside of work, she indulges her love for reading, devouring two novels weekly, with a particular fondness for heists and spy stories.

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