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2014 Newsletter Competition

Communication is one of the keys to success. The National Newsletter Competition encourages all Detachments/ Departments and Divisions of the Marine Corps League to be successful in sharing their news with others. Keep in mind that the Newsletter may be the only information some members receive. It should give members a reason to attend meetings and remain as active as possible in the Marine Corps League.
The Newsletter Judging Criteria does more than establish standards for judging. It makes an outline of what an editor should utilize to publish a newsletter that is both interesting and informative, that encourages readers to read through the publication, and that conveys a sense of pride.
Newsletters can serve as a valuable tool to communicate with all members of a Detachment or Department. It is the most convenient way of keeping in touch with members, Marines and other Detachments. Newsletters can also be effective recruiting or public relations tools. It should serve as a means by which the League can reach out to its members, the general public and potential members as well as for the officers of the Detachment to make the members aware of goals and achievements of the Detachment and encourage participation.
The newsletter Judging Criteria can be broken down as follows:
• Is the name of the Detachment/Department/Division, its number and the name of the newsletter clearly and pleasingly displayed? Are the Commandant and the Editor’s names plainly and clearly displayed, along with their contact information, be it by phone or email or both? It should not be difficult for a reader to contact the persons responsible so that they can pass on corrections, questions and information. Additionally, the date, issue and/or volume information should be clearly noted.
• Does the newsletter contain a Commandant’s Corner (or editor’s column)? This section should read like an editorial. The emphasis should be on Detachment/Department goals and/or encouragement as well as praise for a job well done. Quality over quantity should be the focus here.
• National, Division and/or Department issues which the editor should be passing on to the membership should appear in the newsletter.
• Are articles about the Marine Corps and/or military History, General Information and Community activities included? Part of being a Marine is pride in who we are and where we come from. Historical anecdotes, information on current military activities, or information for all Veterans should be included.
• Public Service items such as Toys for Tots, Young Marines, VAVS, Youth Physical Fitness and Community Service are given credit in this segment. Photos with identifying descriptions are encouraged.
• Awards to members and awards to community figures provide an excellent opportunity to draw attention to the work of the Detachment/Department. Include photos whenever possible.
• A Calendar of Events is important. A simple agenda, located in the same place in the newsletter each month and even set off in a box, will be most useful. A listing of future meetings including, when, where, at what time as well as directions to the meeting place should be included somewhere in the newsletter. What is missing often in the newsletters is who to contact for further information, sign up, ticket purchases, reservations, etc. The contact person’s name, phone number and/or email address is crucial and often ignored.
• Good, clear photos are highly prized; even black and white. Identifying who is in the picture and what is the event are important and should enhance the overall reading enjoyment of the publication.
• Overall Appearance is where the Judge can sit back and look at the complete presentation and have some flexibility in assigning points. Not all Detachments/Departments can produce a 25 page color newsletter month after month! The Newsletter Committee wishes to encourage wide participation for this Competition. BLACK AND WHITE, PUBLISHED OR EMAILED NEWSLETTERS ARE ALL WELCOMED. The editors of the online newsletter merely need to create 3 hard copies to submit to the competition. This seems to be a new direction for many detachments and we do NOT wish to exclude anyone.
The Newsletter Committee recommends that any Detachment/Department that has won the competition for THREE OR MORE CONSECUTIVE YEARS should refrain from entering for a year or two to widen participation.

Elizabeth S. McCleaster/Chairman
National Newsletter Committee

Details for the 2014 Newsletter Competition Criteria are as follows:
There will be four classes of eligibility:
Class I (Platoon size detachments): up to 50 members
Class II (Company size detachments): between 51 and 100 members;
Class III (Battalion size detachments): 101 or more members;
Class IV (Division size i.e. departments): all
Your class will be determined by the detachment strength report published by National Headquarters as of July 1, 2014.
Considering the number of newsletters the Committee could receive if each detachment sent one newsletter for each month, we are asking that each participating Detachment/Department select three of their newsletters published between July 1st, 2013 and June 1st, 2014 and submit them for judging.
Please send your three newsletters to:

MCL National Newsletter Committee
c/o Elizabeth S. McCleaster, Chairwoman
36 Hillcrest Avenue, 1st Floor
Erdenheim, PA 19038
Please do not send copies of your newsletters each month. Send all three together with the attached information sheet (Enclosure 2). Newsletters must be received no later than June 15th, 2014.
Awards will be presented as follows: First, Second and Third Place and an Honorable Mention in any Categories. All entrants will receive Certificates of Participation.
The committee will complete judging/evaluations and awards will be presented at the 2014 National Marine Corps League Convention.
If you are interested in the 2014 Newsletter Competition you can download the signup forms below, but the 2013 competition is now over.

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