The Memorial University SPotlight

By Liz Ohle

In the Fall of 2011, our SP program at the Memorial University of Newfoundland decided to publish a newsletter as a way of communicating with SPs and also promoting our program to our clients.  We wanted to help others know about the diversity of activities involving SPs and to tell SPs about processes and procedures that make things run smoothly.

We knew we wanted a publishing strategy that would be sustainable, so we asked one of our SPs, the award winning local author Susan Chalker Brown, to become our primary writer and editor.  The investment to hire her has already paid off.  She and I brainstorm for each of the seasonal issues and then she interviews, writes, arranges photos, etc.   The layout happens through the media and graphics department of The Faculty of Medicine.   We print enough copies of SPotlight to distribute to departments within the medical school and university who use our services and then SPs receive the newsletter digitally.

Before we started, we outlined our goals and asked for input from other SP programs that publish newsletters.  All of the guidance, and ‘lessons learned’ were very helpful as we designed our own newsletter.  We had several concerns about SPs becoming overly focused on comparing their own work opportunities with other SP’s but this has not been a problem.  We have seen SPs greeting each other after reading their stories in SPotlight.

We have our first edition under our belt and the content of the second one was started before the first one was off the press.  The feedback we received was instantaneous.  Departments who use SPs in various projects are eager to have their activities featured.  SPs are excited to learn about each other and also about other SP projects.   Overall this has been a very positive addition to our department.

Thoughts and inspiration from those who have a newsletter would be welcome.   If you have a newsletter that is available on-line, I would appreciate if you could send me the link.  If your newsletter isn’t available on-line it would be helpful to know what content you include.

If you contemplated but decided against developing a newsletter it would be useful to hear your thoughts about that as well.

Find a copy of Memorial University’s SPotlight here: http://www.box.com/s/9fs87ok9459azc6yhrqp

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