Chapter Resources

Make Your Chapter Publication a Must-Read

Dr. Max Utsler, associate professor of journalism at the University of Kansas, shared the following information and suggestions at the 2005 Chapter Newsletter Editors Session in Orlando:

Reporting smart

  • Chapter publications need a lead story to attract the reader’s attention
  • Present content in a consistent fashion so the reader becomes familiar with the layout
  • Include a teaser on the cover of the publication to draw the reader’s interest

Generate new story ideas and content

  • Rotate columns from board members
  • Report on current chapter events
  • Include case studies or articles about how your members have solved a problem or developed an innovative idea for their facility
  • Recruit people to write articles for your publication (Example: contact your local college, university or high school and ask students to write articles. It will provide them with writing experience. You could also provide nominal compensation to them).
  • Know your audience
  • When conducting interviews, ask questions that answer the “5 Ws”: who, what, when, where, why and how.
  • Follow the GOSS process:
    • Goal – what is the purpose for writing the article
    • Obstacle – what obstacles are you likely to encounter while collecting information for the article?
    • Solution – create alternative solutions in case the article can’t be produced as originally planned
    • Start – decide what happens next to complete the article

Writing smart

  • Write creative headlines that attract the reader’s attention
  • Use actionable verbs
  • Avoid “weather” leads. (Do not begin your story with a statement about the weather).
  • Avoid “time” leads. (Do not begin your story with a statement about the date when the event occurred).
  • Follow the Wall Street Journal method:
    • Lead
    • Bridge – provides a transition from the lead into the story
    • Quote – provides a second transition to the end of the story
    • Nut graf – include a 2-3 sentence summary of the story
  • Answer the questions: “Why am I writing this story?” and “Why am I writing it now?”
  • Include bylines (name and title) at the end of the story
  • Avoid long quotes
  • When writing a member profile, start with a news element. Avoid telling the story in chronological order. ESPN the Magazine provides good examples of profile articles.


The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America is dedicated to serving its members,
advancing their profession, and enhancing the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf.

© 1996 - 2013 GCSAA - Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
1421 Research Park Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049-3859
Tel. 800-472-7878 or 785-841-2240