Club Presidents, Secretaries, and VPs of Education and Public Relations should be aware of a few tools bundled into WordPress for Toastmasters for sharing information with members. They have the advantage of allowing you to share information in a web-native format or in the body of email messages rather than sending out PDFs and other file attachments.

Here’s what a sample newsletter might look like:

an email newsletter

If you email me a PDF, I am less likely to read the contents than if the message you want to deliver is in the body of the email itself. Opening the PDF is an extra step, and I think of PDFs as electronic representations of print documents — worth using if you expect people to print the contents; otherwise not. But that’s admittedly a matter of taste.

The tools I suggest you take advantage of are:

  • RSVP Mailer, which allows you to create and edit the contents of an email message using the WordPress editor. Rather than being published on the website, these documents can then be sent out to your membership list or another email list (via MailChimp integration, for example).
  • Members Only blog posts that can be only be viewed by members who are logged into the website. This is one way of publishing an archive of meeting minutes but keeping those posts separate from blog posts that are part of your PR and marketing efforts. (I’ve also used the Members Only category can also be used for private sharing of speech videos).
  • The option to copy existing blog post or web page content to the RSVP Mailer tool and use it as the starting point for an email message.

A complete explanation of how these tools work together is on the blog.

This email message was also created using RSVP Mailer, then handed off to MailChimp for distribution to the WordPress for Toastmasters email list.

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