Nondiscrimination Statement for ISU Publications (Justice Statement)
During 1998 the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) conducted a compliance review at Iowa State University under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. As a result of that review, university policy now requires that all brochures, handbooks, applications and publications for admissions, employment and general information publications contain a detailed nondiscrimination statement, as well as an office to contact with inquiries.
This policy requires that the following nondiscrimination statement be used on Cooperative Extension publications. It does not apply to the nondiscrimination statement used on Cooperative Extension letterhead.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Many materials can be made available in alternative formats for ADA clients. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964."
Creating a Newsletter
- Decide why you want a newsletter.
- List and prioritize the departments and features.
- List all the possible groupings and features you might want to include.
- Decide which you will feature every time and which should be put on the front page, back page, inside, etc.
- Determine how you will handle issues when there is an unusually large amount of news. Add more pages? Stick to the same number but only use most important news? Save feature information for another issue?
- Determine how you will gather information for each section and organize.
- Select the paper, page size, and fold pattern.
- Choose a name for your newsletter.
- Create the nameplate.
- It is the single most important piece of artwork in entire newsletter.
- Contains name of newsletter, the subtitle, date and a logo (optional--volume and issue number).
- Makes a strong and immediate statement of the newsletter's personality.
- It is the focal point on the front page.
- Readers should immediately recognize the newsletter as 4-H, family, agriculture or other types of extension news as soon as it arrives in the mail. - Think about recruiting an artist to design it.
- Establish templates for your first, last, and inside pages. Your Word software supplies newsletter templates that you can use.
- This is the pattern for your newsletter.
- Define your columns, the space between them, your margins, and the location of standard items that appear in every issue. Idea: Establish separate templates for your first and last pages since those two often are laid out differently from inside pages.
- Include the Iowa State Extension logo, the name of the county, the signature and title of the staff person issuing the newsletter, and the nondiscrimination clause.
- Generally, keep inside pages the same format.
- Templates give a general foundation to follow and maintain.
- Save your template(s) in your software and you can use it over and over again.
- Decide upon a calendar format for extension events.
- Select typefaces. A general rule is to not use more than two typestyles or three sizes in a newsletter--especially not on one page.
- Serif types (Times, Palatino. Bookman, Century Schoolbook) are the best choices for body copy. Generally they are easier to read.
- Sans serif styles (Helvetica, Avant Garde) make good contrast to serif type. They provide eye relief in headlines.
- Multiple typefaces give your newsletter a "ransom note" look.
- Prepare a rough layout of your first issue.
- Assemble your first issue. When the text of an article is too long for the allotted space:
- "Park" the overflow on an extra page.
- Print out all the pages.
- Determine the amount that has to be edited out. These are options for editing: Cut the last several lines (usually not an option). Subtract words and phrases throughout entire article to retain essential information. When an article is too short, fill the "hole" with an additional news story: a graphic, a pullout quote from the article or editorial filler (facts, trivia, did you know, inspirational quotes, etc.). Or put the white space at the bottom of the page for balance and other effects.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread!
- Use short sentences.
- Short words are best.
- Short words, when familiar, are best of all.
- Use action verbs and avoid cluttered writing.
- Avoid passive verb tense and unnecessary prepositions.
Layout and Design
- Avoid label headlines.
- White space increases readability.
- Don't bury the important stuff.
- Keep similar kinds of information together.
- Get the attention you need.
- Each page should contain at least one item that attracts attention and draws your readers into the page.
- All techniques will work, but remember: Anything used regularly or in too much quantity quickly loses its attention-getting ability.
- Use a wide range of techniques rather than the same one over and over.
Says "THIS IS IMPORTANT." Use sparingly so it is noticed.
Never use more than one box on a page and not on every page. In general, use simple lines. Consider decorative boxes when you want to convey a unique flavor or tone for the event/information in the box.
This is a simple and quick technique, but the least imaginative. TEXT IN ALL CAPS IS HARD TO READ, so use it only for short lines of text, if at all.
In a multipage publication, a border on a single page is effective for getting attention for what lies within its boundary.
Clip art should relate to an article. Clip art may be seasonal, but not religious. Clip art can be overused.
Use for emphasis. Avoid italicizing for a whole paragraph or article. It is the most difficult to read and tires eyes easily.
Don't underline text. It is too hard to read.
It is easier to read than all-caps and is the generally preferred form of text-emphasis. Its power is strongest when used sparingly.
This is the single most effective (and least practiced) means of getting attention. It is not a waste of space. An article that uses attractive white space can set something apart from the rest of the text.
When used in accent amounts, it attracts attention. Too much color is overwhelming.
Improve your newsletter by looking at newsletters you like. Decide what gives a newsletter its "personality." What adjectives describe a publication--outrageous, quiet, graphic, informative, fun, crisp? What features contribute to that personality? Crisp--balanced white space, headline type that contrasts sharply with body type? Fun--outlandish graphics, informal typefaces, colorful screen tints, decorative borders?
Ascertain the grid format, check article placement, and examine type treatments. What feel does the typeface communicate? Which type seems especially easy to read? Which one conveys the level of formality you prefer?
Look at the details. Often pages that would be otherwise flat-looking or boring are saved by small details. Does the publication have a graphic border? Does it use drop caps? Do tiny icons give the reader clues about the content of an article? Are icons or other small graphics used at the end of stories to inform the reader?
ISU Extension communication specialists are ready to consult and advise on any communication question. Give them a call. The general office number is (515) 294-9915.
You also can contact the external relations specialist who serves your area.
Before and After Writing Example
Producer Grants Are Coming
The local office has just received information about a new state-level project in which producers can apply for cost-share grants to demonstrate odor reduction technologies. We are awaiting some additional information anticipated to arrive in December. If you would like a packet, please call and leave your name at the office In December, once all information is received, we will mail it to all who have requested. You may also stop by for copies. Applications are due Feb. 1.
Check Out Odor Demo Grants
Smith County livestock producers may be eligible to apply for cost-share grants to demonstrate odor reduction technologies. The grants are part of a new state program administered by Iowa State University Extension.
For more information, contact the Smith County Extension office. Information packets, expected in December, will be mailed to interested producers. Grant applications are due Feb. 1.
Producing a Folded Brochure
3-2/3" x 8-1/2"
- Bottom and sides 3/8"
- Top 5/8"
- Column width 2-7/8"
Headlines should be no longer than three lines; one or two lines is better. Use 18-point bold. For subheads use 14-point bold and 10-point bold. Use upper/lower case. It is more readable because of the variation in letter height. Use boldface; do not underline. All headlines on a page should be in the same type family (e.g., Helvetica Bold and Helvetica Italic).
Body Copy Specifications
Use 10-point type with at least 2 points leading between lines.
Designing 8-1/2" x 11" Pages
- Bottom 3/8"
- Sides 3/4"
- Top 5/8"
- Column gutter between columns 1/4"
- Column width 3-3/8"
Headlines should be no more than two lines. Use 18-point bold. For subheads, use 14-point bold and 10-point bold. Use upper and lower case.
Body Copy Specifications
Use 10-point type with at least two points leading between lines. Two or three columns is best.
Choosing a Type Style
Use no more than two typefaces. (You may use only one; if you use one, choose a serif typeface such as New Century Schoolbook, Times, Bookman, or Palatino.) If two typefaces are used, the headline typeface may be sans serif, such as Helvetica. Use one of the serif typefaces mentioned above for body copy. Serif is recommended because it has end marks on each letter that visually connect one letter to the next; this feature keeps the reader's eye moving and reading. In addition, the serif gives variety to the shape of type, which also keeps the reader's attention. Do not use italics unless it is for a book title, etc. Line after line of italics is hard to read.
Use uniform space between articles for a more professional appearance; articles will be connected to each other and will not "float." Put the extra (white) space at the bottom of the page. Also, do not clutter or crowd. (This page is an example.) Edit out copy to fit the space rather than using smaller type. A good way to improve readability of a page is to double space between paragraphs and keep the first line of the paragraph flush left. Also, use ragged right. Justified copy on computers is harder to read than ragged right because internal letter spacing still isn't as good as with typeset copy.
Using Clip Art
Make sure clip art relates to the subject matter. Clip art may be seasonal, but not religious. Do not add a graphic just to fill space. The same goes for asterisks or lines between articles--do not do it. Poor quality or dated clip art will make your whole publication look old. Let white space (or blank space) work for you. It gives the reader a place to pause.
If you would like to expand your supply of clip art, many types of computer software are available. The University Book Store in the Memorial Union carries several popular programs.
Proofreading -- a Must, Always
Credibility is directly linked to accuracy. Follow the who, what, when, where, why, and how formula. Proof your copy for dates, times, and locations to ensure that they are included and are listed correctly. Make sure that the day of the week matches the date.
Have one or two people read everything before you issue it to ensure that misspelled words, typos, and grammatical errors do not creep into your final product. If you can't get someone else to read it, put it aside for several hours (a day or two is better). Then reread. You'll see your own copy with new eyes and have a better chance of catching mistakes. Keep a dictionary nearby. Spellcheck features on computers are a great help for the first check, but always proofread hard copy because computers do not catch typos that are actual words, such as "on" when you really meant "of."
Reproducing Clean Copy
Do not accept smudges or streaks. If you can't get readable, crisp, clean copy, then change. Get new office equipment or send printing out to a commercial shop. Paper should be opaque enough so there is minimal or no ink show-through from the other side. Paper color should be light so ink will contrast.
Guidelines for Using Extension Videos on Cable Television
Policy issued Feb. 8, 1996.
Some individuals have raised the question as to what is the decision-making process for using existing extension videotapes on local access channels. Program directors support secondary use of extension-produced videotapes in this manner. In order to make sure material is up to date and appropriate for this usage, we ask CEEDs and media relations specialists who are considering this option to check with the appropriate subject matter field specialists before proceeding. On occasion, programs may be more appropriate if handled in an interview setting with introductions and closure by staff. If subject matter field specialists need additional assistance, they are encouraged to work directly with the appropriate state specialist.
Where ISU Extension tapes are being used, proper credit must be given.
Satellite Downlink Pricing Policy
In the interest of establishing reasonable and uniform pricing for downlink services, the following policy was generated.
Users of downlink services are divided into two categories:
- Outside users - private sector or others not affiliated with extension, e.g., those selling products, services, education, or entertainment.
- Inside users (ourselves) and affiliates - those who co-sponsor educational events with ISU Extension or are affiliated with or contribute to the ISU Extension/Continuing Education function, e.g., colleges and departments of ISU, co-sponsoring organizations, etc.
A varied scale of pricing will be employed. The amount charged depends on category of user. A common pricing ratio for outside to inside users is 2 to 1. An approximation of costs frequently incurred for a downlink event is: $15 for site coordinator; $5 for equipment use; $30 for room rental. Using these figures, our approximate cost is $50 per event.
For purposes of establishing charges, a unit of time is defined as four hours. Charges for a unit of time are: $50 for inside users, $100 for outside users
No charges will be made to volunteer leaders who receive information by the downlink mode.
A modest flat fee may be charged to staff who receive training via downlink. The reason is to recover some costs inherent in the downlink system. The fee will be less than average costs incurred for registration, travel, and housing if staff had driven an automobile to some location for training.
In the event of statewide programs, the downlink charge will be an integral part of the registration fee. Each receiving site (except Area Offices) will receive the $50 fee from Extended and Continuing Education. When site coordination costs are incurred at Area Offices, those will be paid by Extended and Continuing Education.
In the event clients request us to record items via downlink for their use at a later date, the charge is $25 per program for outside users. User supplies the tape.
In the event there is an overage of funds after all delivery expenses are paid, the positive margin goes to the originators of the program and Extended and Continuing Education in equal shares. If the event fails to recover costs, the shortfall is shared in the same manner.
In the interest of uniform charges to all clients and parties, it is preferred that these pricing policies be uniformly applied to downlink events at state, area, and county locations. It is understood there may be reason to vary from these pricing policies on some occasions at county locations.
Extension Events Calendar
The ISU Extension Events Calendar, an electronic calendar of extension events throughout the state, is available to assist counties in making activities, services, and meetings public. To add your county's events to the calendar, go to: /calendar/, or simply click on the calendar link from the ISUE homepage.
Choose the "ISU Extension Events Calendar" link. You will find instructions for placing your events on the calendar.
Following is a memo dated Jan. 20, 1999, from the Extension Events Calendar Committee
ISU Extension Staff:
The extension administration would like to commend you on your use of the calendar. We are finding that 700 to 800 events are being posted monthly and with that kind of success there are always new questions and concerns. It is exciting to be able to see what is going on across the wide picture of extension. Thank you for your cooperation with this effort.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few things. As you know, the purpose of the Extension Events Calendar is so the public can see the breadth and depth of extension programs and educational efforts. The calendar will also enable extension administration to rapidly report on the number of participants in programs when requested by partners, decision-makers, and public leaders. The calendar is not about performance evaluation.
Changes will be made in the instructions concerning what to post. Posting is required of all extension sponsored or co-sponsored events. Events not sponsored but which include teaching by extension staff, should be listed with the approval of the sponsor. For the purpose of the calendar, any event at which extension staff facilitates is considered teaching; however, being the chair of a committee is NOT teaching.
When posting events that involve more than one extension staff, only the contact person's name should be listed; not every person involved.
Posting of county extension offices closings is not appropriate.
Extension staff should stay current with at least monthly updates on the calendar. Consider updating the calendar at the same time each month that you turn in your travel expenses.
All questions concerning the calendar should be referred the chair of the Extension Events Calendar committee (currently Mark Settle, email@example.com). Responses to concerns and comments will be made on a monthly basis.
Memo from Calendar Committee, Oct. 31, 2003
ISU Extension Staff:
Please remember that during four predetermined weeks per year that you record the attendance data on the Extension Calendar program, the prompt box that comes up on your computer asking for participation numbers will automatically ask for information by gender and ethnicity. This will occur for programming finished the week of November 3 to 9, 2003.
If you are recording audience counts for programs finished next week, you will be prompted to record data according to:
# White (not of Hispanic origin)
# black (not of Hispanic origin)
# American Indian/Alaskan native
# Asian or Pacific Islander
The numbers reported should be available, electronically, for anyone in the system at /ForStaff/reporting.html, click on "review audience counts by gender and ethnicity.”
The Extension Calendar Committee: JaneAnn Stout, Mary Schrandt-Prouty, Virgil Schmitt, Chuck Morris, Brian Webster, and Mark Settle
ISU Extension has a County Content Management System (CMS) that enables content providers (county and field staff) to easily and quickly publish information to the web without extensive training or knowledge of web technologies. The CMS also allows for a consistent branding image of ISU Extension.
The Content Management System (known as the CMS) requires the following:
- Computer with Pentium III – compatible or later processer
- Windows 2000, Windows 2000 Professional, or Windows XP with 128MB or RAM and 20 MB of available hard drive space
- Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher
- An ISU net-id name and password (the same as your e-mail address and password)
- Access rights to the proper channel (county directory). Access rights can be requested by having the County Extension Education Director send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the person's name, net-id, county name and level of publishing rights (see Levels of Publishing Rights, page 3.)
Go to /yourcountyname.
Training is held periodically throughout the year. E-mail announcement of training sessions will be sent. If you have any questions regarding training, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Manuals and other resources for the County CMS system can be found at https://www.extension.iastate.edu/it/content/.