Newsletters in the age of coronavirus

The Newspack team has assembled an email newsletter playbook to help news organizations deepen their relationship with their audience at a time of unprecedented demand for local news. And it plans to release a new WordPress plugin later this month to speed email newsletter publishing.

Why now?

Rarely have local news organizations covered a story that commands such sustained attention. A story that is simultaneously global, national and local. That is deeply personal, affecting every individual. And is so all encompassing, touching on public health, science, government, politics, jobs, the economy, education, family, the arts, sports — every facet of life.

This is a story that will be with us for the foreseeable future. It’s one that we can use to build the kind of enduring trust with readers upon which the future of local journalism must be founded. And email newsletters are one of the best ways to do it.

The playbook is drawn from materials assembled by some of the best experts in the field: Dan Oshinsky, a noted newsletter consultant, News Revenue Hub, a not-for-profit that advises on newsletter development, and folks at Harvard and Columbia who created definitive guides for taking newsletters to the next level.

Our newsletter plugin, meanwhile, will allow you to compose your newsletter using Gutenberg patterns and blocks and send it to any of the lists you maintain without ever having to go into your email service provider.

You can check out the playbook here:

Check back soon for a preview of the plugin.

Newspack, founded last year with funding from the Google News Initiative, The Lenfest Institute, the Knight Foundation and Civil Media, seeks to address the needs of local journalists by building an affordable and informed platform for the publication, distribution and monetization of news content. That’s our big play.

In the meantime, we think we can make a difference in the short-term by helping organizations deepen the relationship they’re already developing with readers who are hungry for their coronavirus coverage. We hope you find it helpful.