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AARP Missouri State Newsletter Wins APEX 2011 Award of Excellence

AARP Missouri has been awarded the APEX 2011 Award of Excellence in the Most Improved Newsletter category for State Line, the monthly state newsletter. Launched two years ago, the newsletter was developed to connect with volunteers, members and other interested entities.

APEX 2011 – the 23rd Annual Awards for Publications Excellence – is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications from newsletters and magazines to annual reports, brochures and Web sites. AARP Missouri’s State Line newsletter was one of 3,329 entries evaluated and one of 311 newsletters. The monthly publication was one of 15 newsletters to receive an award in the Most Improved Newsletters category.

According to the APEX 2011 judges, “The awards were based on excellence in graphic design, quality of editorial content and the success of the entry in conveying the message and achieving overall communications effectiveness.”

“We are constantly improving the newsletter based on comments and suggestions from recipients,” said Anita K. Parran, AARP Missouri associate state director for public affairs and newsletter editor. “Over the last year, we have experienced a redesign and our content has been expanded.” Parran explained that the monthly publication is from eight to 12 pages with a major lead story on page one, columns from the volunteer State President, State Director, and sections that focus on volunteer and member engagement, and state and national issues and information.

Parran gathers information from AARP Missouri volunteers and staff, plucks information from AARP News Now and other internal resources, and receives information from external individuals and groups that are resources for people 50 and older and their families. “While we accept and publish very limited information submitted by external entities, our content focuses on AARP Missouri volunteers, activities, events, and issues,” she added. “The newsletter is to share what good things AARP Missouri is doing, helps tell the AARP story, and serves as an educational tool on issues.” It is also a great channel to stay in touch with our volunteers and chapters.”

To date, there are nearly 400 monthly email subscribers on the controlled/monitored distribution list. More than 100 hard copies are disseminated to AARP Missouri chapters and individuals without access to email. “We are constantly adding new subscribers,” Parran added. “All we require is a name and email address; we welcome new subscribers.”

In the 23th Annual APEX Awards, awards were given in 130 communications categories, in 11 main categories including: newsletters; magazines and journals; magapapers and newspapers; annual reports; brochures, manuals and reports; electronic and video publications; Web and intranet sites; campaigns, programs and plans; writing; design and illustration; and one-of-a-kind publications.

The APEX Awards for Publication Excellence is an annual competition for writers, editors, publications staff and business and nonprofit communicators. It is sponsored by Communications Concepts, Inc., publishers of business communications reports, including Writing That Works, a subscription bimonthly for professional communicators, and special reports on topics such as writing feature articles and Web publishing.

To subscribe to the AARP Missouri newsletter, State Line, send an email to

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