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How to Use Interviews to Refresh your Newsletter

Let's be honest. Most of us are intrigued by the people we see/work with every day and like to know more about them - it's just that we don't have enough time.

If you're looking for a way to make your community or company newsletter zing, consider conducting a personal interview with a resident or a long-time employee as a way to help people get to know each other. Conducting an interview might sound like a great idea but you might not know how to go about it. Here are some tips to get you started.
  1. Select your Interviewee
    Each month, try selecting a person of special interest to interview. For example:
    • The organization's longest serving volunteer
    • The youngest board member
    • The teacher who always brings cookies to every staff meeting
  2. Use an attention-grabbing headline
    Try including interesting titles like:
    • The person behind the "voice" of the company (for an interview about the receptionist)
    • 20 years and counting - Bill Richards talks about his life and times at Washington High (for an administrator or teacher)
    • Why I moved to Heron Lakes and Never Left (for an interview with a long-time resident)
  3. Use pictures to make it visually interesting
    To make your life easier, ask your interviewee if they have a picture they'd like you to use. Otherwise a digital camera should do the trick. Got someone who's camera shy? Ask them to give you one of their baby pictures, an avatar or a doodle that they feel represents themselves! You want a visual to accompany your story, so make sure you get some thing, even if it just a stick figure (make sure you caption the image appropriately so people know it's not a stock photo!
  4. Ask interesting questions
    Make sure to not just ask them generic questions like where they're originally from and what they're interests are. Try to give your readers an insight into your interviewee's personality as well. Take lots of photos of whatever is relevant if you can.
    Questions to ask:
    • Tell me about a book that changed your life?
    • What's the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
    • What's one of your pet peeves?
    • What do you like best about ___ (your organization, school, company)?
    • If you could change one thing about ___ what would that be?
    • What are the three items you can't live without (take pictures of these if possible!

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