Goodbye 1996: Why Your School’s PDF Newsletter is Antiquated

Like paper-based school newsletters, PDF newsletters also went out of style quite some time ago. While not as old as a Members Only jacket, if you still create a PDF newsletter, you might want to start thinking about making a digital transformation.

But more than being out of style, PDFs aren’t much use to your parents and entire school community. With the proliferation of mobile devices and tablets, viewing a PDF sometimes ends up being a bit of a pain.

There’s too much zoom
PDFs contain a lot of information, which makes it extremely hard to consume content on a tablet or smartphone screen. And no one likes to pan left and right, up and down. Readers end up doing more zooming and panning than actual reading.

It isn’t responsive
Responsive design certainly cuts down on zooming and panning, but more importantly, responsive content adjusts to whichever device it’s accessed on. That means your readers gain the optimal reading experience for the device they’re using. PDFs don’t respond that way. They don’t respond at all.

It isn’t “re-flowable”
PDFs are reproductions of a printed page, so the document appears as a piece of paper on a screen. The problem is that the reading experience from a smartphone or tablet doesn’t need to mimic the experience of flipping through an actual newsletter. There just isn’t enough space.

Layout isn’t necessary anymore
When PDFs worked, it was because you could set the page up similar to an actual newsletter. You could adjust typesetting and design for a good reading experience. But none of that is necessary anymore because people are consuming information more quickly, and they’re on the move while they’re doing it. Simplicity is the new key to school newsletters.

Video isn’t allowed
Your readers want to be able to interact with content. Videos are engaging and shareable, allowing your readers to consume content in a different way while you spend less time writing.

Blogs are taking over the world
Perhaps we’re exaggerating a bit here, but blogs are becoming as important as simple paper-based school newsletters from days gone by. In addition to all the reasons we’ve mentioned, blogs can bring your newsletter even more to life, transforming it into a conversation that has a much further reach and lasts much longer than your old PDF newsletter.