The Section encourages each Committee to draft and distribute a newsletter addressing the Committee's work, subject matter, and achievements of its members. Successful Committee newsletters take many forms, addressing "hot topics" and offering diverse perspectives on substantive issues, as well as providing information on Committee programs and publications, and other information relevant to Committee members. Committees typically post their newsletters on the Committee’s homepage and distribute that link to Committee members through the Committee’s Listserv list. A newsletter can enhance the Committee's credibility, provide publishing opportunities for members, and is a good long-term tactic for developing more, and more engaged, Committee members. Committee newsletters have also served important roles in advancing policy discussions and initiatives important to a Committee's work.
Committee newsletters deliver a Committee’s message on a regular basis and at a low cost. A challenge in drafting a Committee newsletter is generating valuable content to motivate recipients to open, read, and respond. Don’t simply re-cap the latest news and programs, but try to provide information of interest to working international lawyers. A Committee newsletter can help develop the world’s finest international lawyers, equipped to anticipate and solve real-world problems, whether commercial or policy-oriented.
Successful Committee newsletters share certain "best practices":
- Consistent delivery: Committee leaders should decide the frequency with which they deliver the newsletter, create a reasonable drafting and editing schedule, and distribute the newsletter in a way consistent with that schedule.
- Responsibility: a specific person, preferably a Committee Vice Chair, should have overall responsibility for newsletter development and distribution, BUT the more that is delegated to an active working group (e.g. recruitment of contributors, editing of submittals, composition of an issue, etc.), the more are the opportunities to engage Committee membership in the newsletter endeavor.
- Consistent Back-Office Work: The Committee newsletter editor should keep to a reasonable publishing schedule, including setting dates for (a) collecting article ideas; (b) obtaining reprint permission, if necessary; (c) submitting rough drafts of articles; (d) formatting the newsletter’s content; and (e) proofing the final product. In our Section's international context, the opportunity to achieve the polish of sophisticated legal editing and translation through collaboration among Committee members from varied jurisdictions is much appreciated by all of authors, editors and readers.
- Useful Information: A newsletter’s content should provide relevant information to working international lawyers, including (a) identifying and addressing emerging legal issues; (b) reviewing legal news and trends; and (c) studying how other, similar issues, have been reviewed and addressed by successful international lawyers. Making and keeping a newsletter "newsworthy" is a significant member benefit and adds credibility to the newsletter.
- Personality. Add a little dose of personality (what makes your newsletter's writing unique--your style, tone, humor, emotion, vocabulary, attitude and more) that helps build reader rapport and adds uniqueness to the newsletter.
- Contact Information. Include relevant contact information for the Committee’s leadership team, Committee website, and the newsletter's editor.
- Archives. Post current and past issues of the newsletters on the committee web site in PDF (Adobe Acrobat), as well as links to those postings in the Section's repository of Committee newsletters.
- Pictures. Never miss an opportunity to collect images of Committee members engaged in Committee activities!