3.10 Newsletter

3.10.1 Aims

The aim of the newsletter is to provide the membership with regular updates of news and events relevant to the Society. Short pieces on new methods or public health practice will also be included if deemed of interest to members. Its purpose is to keep the SSM membership engaged with the Society as well as to provide information and advertise events.

3.10.2 Intended audience

The intended audience is primarily current SSM members

Editor(s)

Job description:

Newsletter editors are responsible for coordinating the production of a regular society newsletter. This includes producing, eliciting, typesetting and editing content for the newsletter. All editors must have proven authoring skills. They must be members of the Society, sit on the Communications Sub-committee and report to the Communications Officer. Newsletter editors will serve a term of 3 years. At least one editor will also be an early career researcher. One editor will be appointed by the Communications Officer to represent the newsletter on the main Committee. The lead editor for each issue will rotate around the editorial team.

Reporting:

Drafts of newsletters should be circulated to the Communications sub-committee at least one week prior to distribution to allow time for feedback. Newsletter editors will provide an activity report to the Communications Sub-committee at each meeting.

3.10.3 Content:

Contribution is mainly from the SSM members. It is open to anybody as long as the content is relevant to the Society, social medicine or international/global health. The current newsletter is published quarterly and as it is  now published electronically, the format and length can be more flexible.

The content depends on the editors, and on what submissions are received.  The SSM newsletter editorial members meet, including tele/video conference, prior to each issue to discuss themes and possible contributors. Each editorial member takes on responsibility for ensuring specific items are ready for an issue.  Recent issues have included:

  • a note from the President (cover page)
  • a note from the Honorary secretary;
  • content provided by SSM Sections (e.g. ECR corner, including reports from holders of free SSM places);
  • features such as a public health showcase highlighting examples of good public health practice around the UK or overview of a particular methodology;
  • membership issues, including listing new members who have joined the Society; and
  • miscellaneous items, such as Dates for diary, Notes from Editors, and Housekeeping, and advertising other organisations’ events (conferences, courses, etc) if considered of interest to SSM members.

In general, contribution 500 words or less are preferred (enough to cover one side of A4 size paper); the copy date for contributing articles is the 15thof the month prior to the publication date (e.g. 15thMarch for April issue). Art work/photographs are also encouraged.

3.10.4 Preparation

The editor in charge formats each issue within the boundaries of the general SSM ‘look’ that has been decided by the main Committee, such as inserting the SSM logo on the cover to ensure the identity of the SSM.  Currently MS Publisher is used to compile each issue.  Editors can choose different software but it is recommended that they choose one that is user-friendly. The draft is circulated to the other editors for proof reading.

3.10.5 Distribution

The editor in charge sends a pdf file (converted from the Ms Publisher file) to the SSM honorary secretary and/or president for a final proof read. The membership secretary distributes each newsletter electronically to the members at the end of the month along with the news email and also sends a newsletter (pdf) to the webmaster for the SSM website.