Internal newsletters

The Staff Bulletin is the University's internal newsletter for staff and research students. A number of units around campus also produce newsletters for an internal audience.

They include academic units such as the School of Life Sciences and the Geography department, and support units such as IT Services.

A newsletter is

  • a way of communicating news/current events
  • often emailed or online, but can be printed.

A newsletter should

  • be attractive, readable and attention-grabbing
  • reflect the organisation it comes from and intended audiences.

A newsletter can be used to

  • forge a sense of identity/community
  • maintain links
  • raise awareness
  • publicise, e.g. events, ongoing work, achievements
  • bring people up to date
  • encourage dialogue and engagement.

Elements to consider when producing a newsletter for internal communications

  • Readership: Who is it? (Newsletters often try to reach a number of different readerships, which can be limiting in terms of content.)
  • Frequency: How often does it come out? Weekly? Fortnightly? Monthly? Annually?
  • Coverage: What stories/issues do you cover?
  • Editorial control: Who has it? (A written editorial policy or an editorial board can help to ensure a consistent editorial policy.)
  • Advertising: Do you have any? Would you like some?
  • Design: Who designed it? Who implements the design? (This varies from a member of staff - who may be limited by technical or design/layout knowledge and expertise - to a professional designer.)
  • Schedules: How much time do you have for production? When is your copy deadline?
  • Computer hardware and software: PC or Apple? Word, Quark, InDesign (the design-industry standard) or other?
  • Illustration: Photos, line drawings, cartoons, clip art, tables, graphs/charts. (Images add interest to a newsletter and can encourage potential readers to pick it up. It is important to plan images early, at the same time or even before the text. Stuart Robinson is the University photographer. Images for print need to be high resolution.)
  • Origination: If the newsletter is printed, do you provide the printer with CD, USB memory stick or email?
  • Paper: If you are producing a printed newsletter, what is the paper? (Coated/uncoated, weight in gsm, recycled, etc.) Why did you choose it? What messages (e.g. environmentally friendly) can it convey? (The Print and Reprographics Unit can source paper in bulk.)
  • Printing: Who prints it? How many colours is it printed in? (University policy is that all print buying should be organised through the Print and Reprographics Unit; print can be bought only from approved suppliers on the University's print framework.)
  • Print run: If you produce a printed newsletter, how many do you produce?
  • Distribution: Where and how is it distributed? (The main methods for a printed newsletter are a mailing list, distribution points around campus, or a mix of the two.)

Newsletter design and the University's visual identity

Contact Digital and Creative Media at an early stage of projects so they can advise you. They can supply you with templates, logos and colour specifications.

  • All internal newsletters are financed by the University and come from units that belong to the University 'stable', so they should reflect the University's visual identity.
  • Different units produce newsletters using different technologies and may not have the financial resources to pay a professional designer. Communication via (for example) a Word-based newsletter is preferable to no communication at all. However, the use of some elements of the visual identity is still possible.
  • To save you time and money, the team offer two templates for branded newsletters - one for use in Word and one for use in InDesign. They recommend that at a minimum you use the Word template, as this gives a professional 'look and feel', which is entirely on brand. If you are using a professional designer, asking them to use the InDesign template will significantly reduce your design costs as they will not have to design something from scratch.
  • Newsletters designed by staff (i.e. not by professional designers): at a minimum must include the University logo and use text (in the Arial font) that is ragged right.
  • Contact them for approval of any 'us' phrases, e.g. 'about us', 'know us', etc.

More information

If you need advice and guidance on producing an internal newsletter, call ext. 8609, or email

It is recommended that you contact the Publications and Branding team before commissioning any design work. Email

University policy is that all print buying should be channelled through the Print Unit. Contact Will Barker on ext. 7906, email

For guidance on content, check how to write University news.