We at Great News Media (GNM) are pleased to provide our many partnering communities with vibrant, high-quality, monthly newsletters, delivered to households and community centres free of cost to community organizations—whether community association or residents’ association or both.
Our team edits, compiles, designs, prints, and coordinates delivery of community newsletters throughout the city’s four quadrants and surrounding areas. We strive to connect community associations, residents, and local businesses with insightful content and information pertinent to their neighbourhoods, and the greater Calgary area.
The following is an explanation of our submission process and guidelines. Please ensure that ALL of these elements are included in your community’s newsletter submission. The Great News Mediaeditorial department reserves the right to refuse submissions that do not meet these criteria.
Receive and Format Files
The newsletter editor is the GNP editorial department’s sole contact, and, as such, is responsible for submitting content each month. We will not accept content from your contributors in the community or on the board, so please ensure that you are submitting the entire newsletter’s contents, which have been submitted to you.
As you receive the content that you plan to submit, please note that we accept the following file formats only:
Word – Times New Roman font, 12 point.
Newsletter editors are expected to line edit submissions from the community’s contributors for grammatical and factual errors, as well as other editorial considerations that may vary from community to community.
Logos are not permitted to appear in editorial content, unless they are the community or resident associations’ branding.
JPG – 300 DPI or higher, and 2.87 x 3.62 inches or 6 x 7.5 inches.
All images and photos MUST be sent separate from the file it accompanies. Do not imbed pictures into Word documents. When receiving pictures, images or graphics of any kind, please do your utmost to ensure that they are of publishing quality. Images of lower quality may be refused. If you do not have permissions to use a copyrighted image do not submit it, as this can result in fines issued to Great News Publishing. If you’re unsure, consider using free content on sites like: creativecommons.com, unsplash.com or pexels.com.
When submitting pictures of children or a minor, please make sure that you have direct, express permission to submit the picture from the parents or guardian of that child or minor. Any pictures of children or minors received by Great News Publishing are assumed to have been sent with the permission of the parent or guardian. Great News Publishing is not responsible for any laws violated or failure to receive permission therein.
PDF – Prefer JPGs to PDFs when possible.
PDFs will not be accepted as articles or other text-heavy items because they cannot be properly formatted to be printed. Ensure that PDFs are not password protected, match the specs for JPGs, and are saved at the highest resolution possible.
File Naming Conventions
Files are required to be prioritized for your GNP editor to discern which are high and low priority in that month’s submission. Please sort and name the files in numeric order according to priority followed by a description of the file contents. When you have JPGs or other files that are associated with a particular article, name them numerically the same.
01 President’s Message.doc
01 President’s Message photo.jpg
02 Board of Directors’ Message.doc
03 Stampede BBQ.pdf ………………
13 Safety in your neighbourhood.doc
Do not send files that are not named to indicate what they contain. Files with names such as “098_000067” or “June_community_bob” may be overlooked, so it is important that they are named accordingly.
These file naming conventions will eliminate the need for your GNP editor to contact you to clarify what will be cut, which can often take multiple days, further delaying the production of your newsletter.
Using the previous month’s newsletter as a reference, go through page by page making notes in the Edit List as to what community content repeats, what is deleted, and what will need small edits. Please disregard all content that wasn’t submitted by the community. (If you do not have access to a hard copy of the newsletter please see your community’s latest digital copy at great-news.ca/newsletters)
|Page 3||Officers and Directors||repeat|
|Page 3||Editorial Deadline||edit|
|Page 4||BTCA memberships||edit|
|Page 5||President’s message||delete|
|Page 6||It’s Happening in BT||delete|
|Page 7||Community Hall Rental||repeat|
(Etc. until you have reached the end of the newsletter.)
Items under “Action” that require edits will need a brief explanation, please create “Edit list notes:” underneath the list.
Edit list notes:
Page 4: Update Lacey’s phone number to 403-555-1234.
Page 6: Please change the location of the picnic to 821 Bonaventure Ave. S.W.
The edit list notes are the place to address any layout requests, editorial concerns or general instructions. If you have questions, please include those in the submission email so that we can address them to begin with.
DO NOT resubmit files that have already run, rather, indicate “repeat” in the edit list. This eliminates redundancies and should always be avoided.
If there are small changes to an item, indicate this in the edit list and include in the edit notes. If, for whatever reason, we do not have the original files of a repeated item, we will request them.
Page count availability in each newsletter is dependant on the advertising revenue it generates for that particular month, so the amount of space available for editorial varies, and occasionally, we may not be able to include all the content that has been submitted. In these cases, we will cut the content from the bottom of the numerically labelled files. Please carefully consider what is and is not absolutely necessary to your newsletter and make sure it is prioritized accordingly. (For example, “13 Safety in your neighbourhood” is lowest priority and will be cut first, followed by item 12, 11, etc.)
Please encourage your contributors to write between 300 – 600 words. 300 words is approximately half of a page and 600 is a full page; including photos decreases the available space and word count. Writing succinctly is almost always the best method to get a message across, and we reserve the right to edit for content and length, if necessary. Please also note that submissions of 800 words or greater may be refused or edited for length.
Advertising vs. Editorial Content
Great News Publishing is proud to partner with community associations and support efforts to unify and advocate for residents. This partnership applies to the associations and the activities that directly fund and support them. Although there are many engaging and rewarding events, programs and businesses in the community, our purview is to publish events and programs that occur at the community centre/hall or are in partnership with the association.
For example, community-partnered soccer league ads are acceptable content, for-profit soccer league ads are not; seniors’ group programming offered at the CA is acceptable content, seniors’ group programming offered at the local church is not.
Editorial content is informative, educational, or entertaining, such as news, reports, editor’s comments, letters to the editor, photos of an event, a column ‘presented by’ a subject matter expert, city and zoning notices, entertainment such as games, comics and caricatures.
Editorial content is NOT promotional and does not promote any business or organizations services, products, or brands. It is not classifieds, ads or advertising in any form, or coupons.
Total points of call delivery (all households, apartments, businesses and farms) with Canada Post requires that we adhere to their ratio of 30% editorial to 70% advertorial content. By their definition, all items that are promotional in any respect qualify as advertising. If there is too much advertising content in a newsletter, it will be barred from delivery to total points of call. This means, it will either be delivered according to consumers’ choice, or will be held at the depot, and potentially disposed of by Canada Post, resulting in losses for both Great News Publishing and the community.
According to the editorial standards set by Canada Post, each community event advertised qualifies as advertorial content, we ask that you keep this in mind when submitting content, as each poster, event listing, or sponsor “Thank you” impacts this ratio. Great News Publishing reserves the right to limit content in order to maintain this ratio.
Please see the information below on how we can work together to achieve this goal:
Community/event sponsors can be compiled in a list that will be run at no cost; however, if the sponsors’ logos appear it will be paid advertising. These logos compete with the numerous other advertisers who have paid for the space in the newsletter. Advertising is what allows our communities to be able to enjoy their newsletters at absolutely no cost. Great News Publishing will calculate the cost based on the space taken by the logos. The ad will be billed in full and payment arranged by the community association that has submitted the content.
Not-for-profit and charitable organization: We ask that any content submitted on behalf of these organizations be submitted as text in a Word doc. We will publish these items as articles, space permitting.
Politicians’ articles are submitted monthly to Great News Publishing. Not all politicians choose to submit to us, and not all of them submit to us directly. We consider these reports to be informative to constituents but we will omit them in favour of community content. If you do not want politicians’ content to be featured in your newsletter please let your GNP editor know.
Politicians’ event: These are usually held in anticipation of an upcoming election. These event promotions are advertising and must be paid for by the politician if they want to promote the event in the newsletter.
Canada Post does not guarantee delivery dates, so GNP cannot quote delivery dates. Should you have an event coming up that you would like to promote in your newsletter, we recommend that you submit it at least one publication ahead of the event. (e.g. An April event should be promoted in March’s newsletters.) We recommend doing this even if you do not yet know details of the event. Include the relevant details that are decided and make reference to the community’s website or other resources where information is actively updated for residents to refer to.
Layout and Design Considerations
We encourage communities to give us direction in terms of how their newsletter will look, and our graphics department will follow instructions as diligently as they can—given that it is a creative process, somewhat open to each designer’s interpretation. There are, however, some limitations in terms of what we can and cannot accommodate given page count constraints and the file quality our presses require to print to our standards.
Cover photo submissions are always welcome and bring a unique feel to each community. Please ensure that your community’s cover photo is engaging, vibrant and high-quality—300 DPI or higher as with other photo submissions—and 6.3 x 8.2 inches minimum. If you do not have a picture to provide we have plenty of stock photos, so please feel free to suggest a theme and feel. If the photos submitted are too low-resolution to be used, Great News Publishing reserves the right to refuse the image and use a stock photo instead. The cover photo cannot be a poster.
Cover Text is a great way to entice readers to read your newsletter. Ideally, these are small phrases like, “Summer is here!” or an event title and date, “Annual General Meeting, March 1.”
Posters/Community Event Ads
Posters and event ads are a great means to promote those all-important events and fundraisers in each community, however, there is a limit on how many we can accommodate each month. Often posters are requested to run full-page and we will accommodate these requests where and when possible; however, please be mindful of GNP’s policy regarding placement of community content.
Poster placement depends on purchased advertisements. Our priority is to feature community content as prominently as possible, but preference is given to advertisers who have paid for placement.
Posters may appear as a full-page, or a quarter page. We reserve the right to make these design and editorial judgements, however, we encourage newsletter editors to make known which posters are preferred to run full-page and which they would prefer to run quarter-page. Posters should be designed to the same quality-standard, DPI and resolution as cover images.
If a full-page poster is repeated from one month to another, Great News Publishing reserves the right to convert the full-page poster into a quarter-page without permission of the community association, should the space be needed.
Examples of effective community posters/ads:
Things to Keep in Mind when Designing Posters
When designing your community’s poster, or advising your designer, keep in mind that it may be featured full and/or quarter page in the duration of time it is in the newsletter. To ensure the best quality for your poster:
- Keep your word count as low as possible.
- Utilize large and distinct fonts.
- Use punchy, relevant details to grab people’s attention.
- Direct the audience to a website or other resources for more information.
This will ensure that if the poster is featured in quarter page the details will not be lost because of the reduction in size. No logos may appear in community posters. If your community has sponsors that they would like to highlight and thank they may appear in a text list in the poster or submitted separately in a Word file. For more information on why logos may not appear in posters, please refer to the Advertising vs. Editorial Content section.
Filler Content and Other Contributions
Newsletters will often feature content which is aggregated from many sources monthly in the Calgary area, including public service announcements, events, workshops, articles written by residents, politician’s reports to constituents, puzzles, listings and other items. These items will only appear in a newsletter if there is additional space after ads and community content have been placed and prioritized.
Great News Publishing is committed to lending a voice to all community residents and providing a platform where they can share information, advice, tips, and things of entertainment, educational or academic interest. Because of the diverse culture of Calgary’s residents, the filler can be equally as diverse in nature. While we strive to ensure that content appearing in our newsletters is appropriate and family-friendly, the opinions expressed within any published article, report, or submission reflects those of the author and should not be considered to reflect those of Great News Publishing. The information contained in the newsletters is believed to be accurate, but is not warranted to be so.
Submitting your Content
Please submit editorial copy no later than 12:00 noon on your community’s deadline date (noon next business day for holidays and weekends). If you anticipate that you will miss the deadline, contact your respective GNP editor ahead of time and provide an expected date for the late submission. This allows us to keep an efficient production schedule and allows for printing schedules to be reconfigured.
Great News Publishing reserves the right to refuse late submissions.
Please be aware that late submissions may result in newsletters arriving in mailboxes further into the month, and often stalls production for other communities’ publications as well.
When you have your content ready for submission, send all files, attached in an email (multiple if necessary), to your respective editor. If there are multiple emails, please indicate which is the final email and include in all subject lines the full name of the community you are submitting from. Submit your newsletter’s content at once on your deadline only. Do not send files as you receive them, as this will lead to items being overlooked. Please refrain from using the acronym of your community association, as there are some repeats. (e.g. CHCA could refer to Cambrian Heights Community Association or Crescent Heights Community Association.)
When the final version of your community’s newsletter is designed and typeset, you will receive a final proof by email. You will have 24 hours to respond with edits, so please ensure we have the email that is most likely to reach your attention. If there is no response, we will assume the newsletter is satisfactory and send it to print. At this stage only minor revisions are permitted (changes should not affect the typeset layout and will only be allowed if space permits).
The team at Great News Publishing appreciates the hard work and many hours that newsletter editors, community volunteers and board members commit to their newsletters each month.
If you have any questions or concerns please direct them to your respective editor, or email them to [email protected].
General News and Community Content submissions:
(Please note your community’s full name in the subject line.)
Krystle McGrath – Editor
Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.