Is a squadron newsletter worthwhile?

Curious to hear what y’all think about this one…

One of our CIs plans to get a squadron newsletter up and running to be published every 3 months, detailing past and upcoming events, squadron activities etc., and they’re being a bit pushy about it.

But a lot of us think that in all honesty, a squadron newsletter in today’s environment is pointless because;

  1. Social media is already used to publicise past and upcoming events
  2. We already talk about what we do and what’s coming with ourselves and family members etc.
  3. Realistically, who would actually read it? We’re certainly not distributing in schools because that’s just inciting bullying

Why not send an electronic newsletter to parents?

Keeps the CI happy.
Essentially free to distribute


That could work, but if they’re already on social media channels e.g Facebook pages, they’ll likely already have an outlet for information, as well as the cadets themselves

If anything, add a blog page to your website.

Your public SM should be enough to keep those interested updated on specific events, although longer term and detailed projects/progress can be lost.

It’s a lot of effort either way for little gain, but I would see a blog/news page a better method than a standalone newsletter, with greater benefit for that effort and easy distribution.

If you want to draw internal attention to it, a mail merge to parents and a cadet portal announcement with the link covers that. You could put it out on your SM too.


If only we had a website to start with :upside_down_face: but we have an Instagram page that’s been dead for…a while, so that’s worth looking at, perhaps.

That’s more or less what we’re all thinking at the moment; we wouldn’t realistically get much out of it, but there’s better ways of doing it.

I’m not entirely familiar with this one - elaborate pls?

@DJRice still pushing

Honestly, an Instagram and a public Facebook is an easy first step. They can be linked so when you post on one it also posts to the other. Only thing is you need to adapt any tags (like your wing or commandant or whoever you want to show off to or thank) because they might not identical.

Facebook is useful because posts can be shared into the local news and what’s on groups for public attention.

Way to maximise is to have it public, indexed, and shareable - “hey Mr business owner, here’s what we’re up to but we need a little help for the next phase…” Or something. If this CI really wants it, it’s wasted effort to keep it private.

Mail merge would be an automated way of emailing all NoK (copy/paste email addresses works too). In SMS, you can create notifications that are pushed to Cadet and Volunteer Portal.

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Ah, cool. I’ll see if I can speak with my squadron

We thought the same as staff it’s lots of work and what’s the reward. But the cadets overwhelming voted to keep it and up running as part of their project work (bonus for DofE as well)

If you have someone who is willing to run it and willing to compromise on elements such as being electronic rather than printed to reduce the cost - what’s the harm in additionally Media? It’s obviously something they are passionate about so compromise on your side as wel

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How tech savvy is this CI? I would be saying “if you want this, then we need these things first (a- as a base level PR strategy and b- to make the most of what you want to do), so if you get those set up and active then we can talk about developing our external Comms strategy further”.

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Back in the day squadron newsletters were all we had, but now there are so many more options as previously mentioned. Facebook, Twitter, Instagob to name just 3. They are more in keeping with the modern cadet. I saw through the transition from paper to electronic communications and I cannot see a way back. It could be an idea on a small scale on squadron, but would be a massive effort for little or no return beyond that.


Might be worth chucking a page together that you can refresh with info and share the link :man_shrugging:

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In my mind these things are short lived and 3 publications down the line and it will stop. Mainly because you need more than one person behind it to make it work. A busy Squadron, running lots of activities, will find a newsletter goes out of date the day it’s published. This causes issues with the parents as they crave information but will get grumpy when the newsletter they use is not accurate.

Don’t wish to appear negative but this is the reality.

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I’m old fashioned but would prefer a newsletter to a myraid of social media posts and emails.

From the kids school we get a mass of emails and Google classroom notifications. I usually miss half the information. But every Friday we get the newsletter which contains the key information. Much easier to digest and deal with updating the calendar.

Likewise, I found the old CRO/WRO system to be a much simpler and clearer way of making sure I was up to date with what changes were happening/course deadlines were approaching than the current mix of emails (getting lost in the CoC) and IBNs that you miss if you don’t log into SharePoint at the correct moment.

But as I say, I know I’m old fashioned and need to move with the times. (Even if instant digital communication has generally had a negative impact on communication and productivity).

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Back in “the day” when we did projects in anger there was once every couple of a years some eager cadets who wanted to use their IT skills and make a newsletter or similar. all the right intent and enthusiasm was there, a piece on “getting to know the staff” with an interview of Flt Lt X, or FS Y, upcoming events and how to achieve Z badge
trouble is project night was once a month and never long enough to produce a full copy so would take several evenings to get started on issue 1 - then it would fail by issue three as projects changed or due to fading enthusiasm due to the lengthy process and lack of immediate success