Your company newsletter is the information hub for your employees. To get employees to care about it, you want to make sure it has a clear focus. Your content, design and distribution methods have to be in harmony with your short- and long-term goals.
Each company is different with regard to the specific goals it is trying to achieve. But in order for your organization to be stable, it has to be grounded with stable employees. Keeping them in the loop about your operations, your leadership teams and other employees, helps them to build trust in you.
And the newsletter is an effective way to dispel rumors with regard to organizational adjustments, changes in procedure, and so forth. No one enjoys working in the dark, so make sure the newsletter is the light they see at the beginning – and end – of the tunnel.
What are some goals you can consider for your newsletter? How should you go about your content strategy? And what are some other uses for your newsletter?
What to include
Your newsletter should have the goal of building trust in your company, your brand and your people. Here are some items to consider:
Culture and founder’s vision
The theme of your newsletter should always be centered on your company culture and the founder’s vision. This doesn’t mean you always need to have a paragraph restating your culture, unless it’s in the masthead, but all the content should point to this culture and the original vision of the founder. Your culture is your brand, and your employees should be clear on who you are, what you represent and how they contribute to that vision.
Your most reliable marketing tool in your company is your employees. Give them the faith and respect they deserve by keeping them in the know about your products – whether new or updates. Allow them time to use the product so they understand how to sell it to your customer.
Policy reminders and HR news
Policies change, but they can also be forgotten. Remind employees of these important policies, and in a creative way if possible, so they’re not rereading the manual. Human resources news about benefits is also important to your employees, and keeping them in the know about personnel changes and job openings will help them feel part of the whole team.
It is also good to keep employees informed of job opportunities within the company. Highlight teams and specific people in their various roles and show how they contribute to the company culture.
Personal stories and case studies
Personal employee stories about company events they attended and the benefits they received can boost morale. Your employees are also involved in areas outside the company walls that are important to them, such as a race for a cure for a disease. Share these stories to help co-workers get to know one another. Case studies from employees, as well as customers, can also increase morale as they share how they’ve benefited from your products or service.
Employee events and photos
Companies typically hold company-wide events for employees. They are often involved with the community for worthwhile causes. Share this in your newsletter, and highlight these events with lots of photos. This is a fun read and employees enjoying seeing ones they work with in a casual setting.
Don’t discount how effective titles are in open clicks or in reading the article. “Joe Smith has two wins: a touchdown in the field and in the office” might generate more interest than: “October company newsletter.” “Learn how you helped us become no. 1 in customer satisfaction this month,” or “Want to know how Lisa, John, Terry and their teams helped us make another customer happy?” is better than: “XYZ company hits no. 1 in customer satisfaction.”
When it comes to the newsletter content, consider your goals and what you hope to achieve. In other words, what is the logic behind those goals? If you do not have the logic, then you do not have a goal.
Once you know your goals, put together a content strategy outline for the year. Understand what subjects you wish to cover on any given month, events to highlight these focus areas, and personal stories and case studies to solidify the importance of these particular topics to add weight to the subject. Have a plan in place with topics, story ideas and deadlines.
Line up your best employee writers to share responsibilities for writing and taking photographs. Keep your articles brief – under 200 words – for the best readership enthusiasm.
Consider, too, the tone of the newsletter. Do you want it to read as a newspaper? Or do you want it to have a casual, conversational tone? Once you’re clear on the newsletter’s goals, this will help you determine the tone it needs. Understanding your audience should also be tied into how you shape that tone.
How to share it
Make sure the way you disseminate the newsletter is in a way that will be most accessible by your employees. Adjusting the format to various available tools is key to engaging your employees. Not all employees have access to a computer. Some only use their smartphone. And there are still others who enjoy the feel of paper. Consider the options you have made available to your employees, evaluate their needs, and share the newsletter in the different formats.
This will take extra time, but it will be worth it to make sure your employees are benefiting from this resource. There’s no need to use all your available tools at once though. Start with one or two. Once you get into the habit, begin building from there, adding one or two more.
Other uses for your newsletter
Similar to discovering the handy household items we have in our pantry will cure ailments, clean our house, and add flavor to our food – baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice – our newsletter has multiple uses beyond the initial publication.
One of the reasons the newsletter is viewed as old-fashioned is because by the time it’s published, people have the mind-set that the information is dated. Unfortunately, something that occurred the day before makes the news outdated by today’s standards. And society continues to groom people toward instant gratification.
However, your newsletter is a prime resource for information. Therefore, the newsletter is more of an opportunity to expand on “old” news and events. The newsletter allows for greater accuracy with time passed for comprehensive details not previously known in the original announcement. And there are usually articles that are not timely which are not only useful, but have a “warming” effect for employee morale.
Use this resource during meetings; share information with other departments so each understands how they are working together. This is also an excellent resource for research purposes and historical information about the organization. Use pieces of it for client purposes and for onboarding new employees.
How you view the company newsletter is dependent on your attitude and mind-set. If you recognize its value, its importance to boost employee morale and build trust; if you have a clear plan in place to help it solidify your goals; and you use it to emphasize your organization’s culture and vision, others will view it the same. Top quality, relatable content will ensure reader enthusiasm. Make it easy for employees to read the newsletter by providing it in various formats – print, online and mobile. Keep content brief, relevant and personal when applicable. Above all, make it your aim to have your newsletter the “go to” resource for your organization.
For further information, check out the articles: “Why internal newsletters are a boost for morale”