Digital Project Management & Communications

Tag: Newsletters

NCJC Safety Newsletters

NCJC Fire Safety Newsletter 2013

Did you know that June is National Safety Month?

A few weeks ago, the N.C. Judicial Center (NCJC) Emergency Planning and Safety committees asked my help to disseminate information to NCJC staff to mark the occasion. I sat down with several managers on the committees to listen to their needs, and these main themes surfaced: fires, high-wind events (tornadoes and hurricanes), and domestic violence and health-related emergencies. We took those themes and sketched out a month-long communications plan:

  • Include general safety articles in the two June editions of the NCJC Building Bulletin (BB) newsletter
  • Produce three weekly “special editions” of the BB that would each cover one of these safety themes

There was a treasure trove of information on each of our three themes, but it was not very well-organized. I combed through notes and draft articles provided by committee members, old safety announcements from the BB, the NCJC Emergency Operations Procedures policy, and other HR documents and policies.NCJC High Wind Safety Newsletter For each edition, I organized my notes into a series of articles, which I then laid out in our standard HTML newsletter template. I created all the images and graphics, as well. All this, on top of my normal (overloaded) workload! Whew!

Check out the final products:

Fortunately, though, my hard work paid off as this series of safety-themed newsletters has been exceptionally well-received by committee members, executive managers, and staff. For example, a copy of the High Wind newsletter found its way to the Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court’s office, and a request was made to send future editions to members of her staff.

NCJC Safety Information page

The NCJC Safety Information webpage is accessible by mobile devices during an emergency event.

Also, as part of the publishing process, the committees wanted to include links to the newsletters from our static HTML intranet website (which is behind a firewall and only accessible from computers on the Judicial Branch network). That part was easy. However, they also requested that the newsletters be readily accessible by smartphones during an emergency – which posed a problem, as smartphones cannot access our intranet. So, I quickly created a basic HTML page outside our intranet, which includes links to the safety newsletters, policies, and other information that could be important during an event.

For more details on my newsletter work, check out:

Email Newsletters

Examples of Jillian Kuhn Warren's email newsletter work

The majority of my job responsibilities involve effectively communicating messages to internal, as opposed to external, audiences. When I’m not busy working on the redesign of the Judicial Branch’s employee intranet site, I’m usually working on one of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts’ employee newsletters. Check out examples of my newsletter work.


I am the editor of the award-winning N.C. Judicial Center (NCJC) Building Bulletin, which reports on office news for the 400+ employees on our campus. The Building Bulletin has been my responsibility since June 2012, after a part-time resource dedicated to this newsletter left the organization. The newsletter has traditionally been sent monthly, but under my direction we’ve started sending updates at least twice each month. My role as editor is to generate content ideas, write and edit articles, take and edit photos, create graphics, and build the newsletter in HTML/CSS. We are currently in the process of implementing the GovDelivery email newsletter delivery service, but at this point everything is still done manually.

N.C. Judicial Center Building Bulletin January 2013 edition

The process

I start with a yearly editorial calendar Excel spreadsheet, where I store content ideas for each month’s edition. We have a handful of recurring features — for instance, our Meet Your Neighbor staff feature and monthly photography contest — and some seasonal topics that we cover annually. NCJC staff can submit articles or ideas, and I’m also constantly thinking of new content based on what’s happening around the office. Our main goal is to share information and get staff involved in the office community.

N.C. Judicial Center Building Bulletin October 2012 edition

Once I have an idea of the content, I start building the newsletter as a webpage using an HTML/CSS template. Our former graphic designer created the branded template, and I’ve built on it over the past several months. I write new articles, edit audience-submitted content, design graphics in Adobe Photoshop CS6, take new or edit existing photos, create any surveys — and then drop them into the HTML code. It’s a time-consuming process, but HTML/CSS gives me the freedom to tweak the layout to my exact specifications. One of our internal developers created a program that generates photo gallery webpages from a list of image files, so I will run that program as needed, as well.

Shortly before the publish date, I’ll send the finished newsletter file to my team members for review. Then, I’ll make any last-minute changes before uploading the newsletter files (the main HTML files as well as any images, PDFs, or photo galleries) to our FTP server. At this point, I check the newsletter URL in Internet Explorer, the official browser that all Judicial Branch employees use, for any strange behaviors. If everything looks good, I’ll send the newsletter webpage as an email via Outlook.

Once we get GovDelivery up and running, the production of the newsletter will be a much simpler process. I’ll still be tasked with producing the right articles, images, and graphics, but building and sending the newsletter will be a more automated process.


N.C. Judicial Center Employee Appreciation Committee Newsletter March 2013As a member of the N.C. Judicial Center’s Employee Appreciation Committee (EAC), I help promote upcoming events and fundraisers — primarily through email newsletters and flyers — to the roughly 400 campus employees on an as-needed basis. The EAC newsletter currently follows the same production process as the NCJC Building Bulletin (outlined above), from which it also borrows its design template. I do create custom header banners for each issue, though.


This newsletter, published weekly whenever the N.C. General Assembly is in session, provides relevant legislative updates to all 7,000+ employees of the N.C. Judicial Branch.

Inside the Chambers February 2013When Inside the Chambers launched during the 2012 legislative short session, our former graphic designer based the HTML template on that of the Building Bulletin, but with a customized header banner. The newsletter started out with weekly commentary, budget news, and the latest legislation updates from our Legal and Legislative Services Division — but, in 2013 it evolved into a dedicated vehicle for disseminating legislation updates.

This newsletter follows the same production process as the Building Bulletin, but it differs from the others in that I am not solely responsible for generating content. In this case, I’ve worked with our Legal team to define a standard process and schedule for submitting content so I can hit my publishing deadlines.

As you can see, a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into the creation of these newsletters. These are the three newsletters that I manage, but there are also others that I help edit or oversee each month. In addition to editing and production work, I’ve also worked with communications and technology staff to create guidelines and define procedures for Judicial Branch staff to follow when setting up additional newsletters. Newsletter work only comprises about 10-15% of my job, but it’s a chance to be creative, share interesting stories, and get others involved in company events and culture.

Make sure you check out the rest of my newsletter work.

Newsletters Archive

Examples of Jillian Kuhn Warren's email newsletter work

The N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts’ Communications Office is responsible for managing several email newslettersBuilding Bulletin February 2013 for the NCAOC and the N.C. Judicial Branch. Jillian Kuhn Warren oversees and edits many of these newsletters, spending roughly 15% of her workweek on them. Her three primary newsletters are listed below.

Currently, Jillian creates all content (copy, images, etc.), produces the newsletter as a webpage with HTML and CSS, uploads the newsletters to the web via FTP, and sends the newsletters via Outlook. Read more details in her Email Newsletters blog post. She has done extensive research and presented proposals on various email newsletter delivery services, and the NCAOC is in the process of implementing the GovDelivery system.

N.C. Judicial Center Building Bulletin

Jillian is the editor and primary contributor to this award-winning monthly newsletter for employees of the N.C. Judicial Center.

NCJC Building Bulletin September 2012

Before Jillian became editor, the Building Bulletin looked like this: May 2012. Multiple staff members, including one dedicated part-time employee, published one edition each month and often spent a late night at work prior to the publish date. Now, with Jillian as the sole editor, Building Bulletin publishes at least two editions per month and is always ready on time.

N.C. Judicial Center Employee Appreciation Committee

Krispy Kreme Fundraiser 2013Jillian is the editor of this periodic newsletter to inform N.C. Judicial Center employees of events held by the Employee Appreciation Committee.

N.C. Judicial Center SafetyNCJC High Wind Safety Newsletter

Jillian is the editor of these special-edition newsletters that recognize National Safety Month and provide relevant emergency information to N.C. Judicial Center staff on behalf of the Emergency Planning and Safety committees. Learn more through her NCJC Safety Newsletters blog post.

Inside the Chambers

Jillian is the production editor of this newsletter that provides weekly legislative updates to all employees of the N.C. Judicial Branch while the N.C. General Assembly is in session.

Praise for Jillian’s Newsletters

“Thank you for providing our employees so much information and helping to make this a fun place to work.” – an executive manager

“BB thanks for the article and thanks for being such a class act.” – a manager

“I thought today’s BB was quite good — a very nice presentation/blend of news, stuff and fluff.” – a coworker

Email Newsletter Wins State Government Communications Award

Honorable Mention in Publications: NCAGIO Excellence in Communication Awards 2012

On Friday, September 16, I won the Excellence in Communications Award from the North Carolina Association for Government Information Officers (NCAGIO), during a ceremony at the association’s annual seminar in Chapel Hill. My email newsletter, the N.C. Judicial Center Building Bulletin, took home Honorable Mention (third place) in the Publications Category.

The NCJC Building Bulletin is a monthly email newsletter for employees who work in the N.C. Judicial Center. I’ve been the editor since June.

NCJC Building Bulletin: October 2012

Check out the October issue of the NCJC Building Bulletin

For the awards, the judges reviewed the following three issues of the Building Bulletin:

I am responsible for all newsletter content. Staff members are encouraged to submit story ideas and drafts, but I also create original articles and images. Then, I put all the content into an HTML template, upload the files to an FTP server, and email the newsletter webpage via Outlook. We’re in the process of transitioning to an email newsletter software service that will eliminate all the hand-coding of HTML that I currently do each month.

I put a lot of hard work into the Building Bulletin, and I’m so proud that it was honored by the NCAGIO!

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