By Sue Horner
Done properly, a company’s employee newsletter can deliver the information employees need when they need it. An e-newsletter can reduce email volume by collecting content that otherwise would be sent separately. An e-newsletter can easily link to relevant spots in your intranet to encourage online visits.
Done improperly? Well, there are seven main ways companies undermine their efforts with e-newsletters:
1. Being boring. Start on the right foot with a unique subject line highlighting something of value in the content; definitely stay away from “September newsletter.” Continue within the newsletter with engaging and useful content written in a warm, friendly style.
2. Ignoring multimedia. Look for photos, infographics, video, audio, charts and other ways to bring information and stories to life. Link to existing content on the intranet.
3. Ignoring mobile. A Pew Research Center study shows more than two-thirds (68%) of Americans own a smartphone, and some 88% of smartphone owners use email on their phones. Assume that many employees will open your e-newsletter on a smartphone or tablet, and make sure the content is readable and attractive no matter where it’s opened.
4. Not publishing often enough. Publishing once a year just isn’t enough, unless it’s an employee annual report that complements other frequent sources of information. Monthly is a nice regular way to provide perspective and encourage connection to the company. If pressed, cut the size or the frills of your newsletter rather than cutting the frequency.
5. Publishing too often. A weekly or even daily publication can be appropriate if you’re delivering critical news or staying on top of major change, but don’t bombard your employees with too many messages that have little value. You’ll just train people to ignore your emails.
6. Forgetting to provide value. Always keep in mind, what’s in it for the employee? Are you offering useful information, helpful content, practical advice? Are you making connections between different divisions or countries? Are you showing how employee efforts contribute to business goals? Are you helping employee efforts contribute to business goals? Be concise, and point employees to places on the intranet where they can find additional information and resources they need. Encourage feedback and conversation.
7. Assuming your e-newsletter covers all the bases. An e-newsletter is just one way of reaching employees. What channels are available to which employees? How can you best reach them? Be sure you’re also supporting face-to-face communication, exploring social media and collaboration apps, making effective use of your intranet, using polls and other feedback channels, podcasting, sending text messages, and so on.
Of course we all get too much email; the key is to make sure your e-newsletter provides something of value. Look at your own inbox. Aren’t there certain e-newsletters or messages you’ll read no matter how much else is in there?
What ways have you found to make your employee e-newsletter something worth reading? What other ways do companies unwittingly sabotage their efforts? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER
Sue Horner is an award-winning writer and owner of Get It Write, where her specialty is warm and friendly writing for overworked corporate communicators. When she’s not writing, she’s probably reading or playing Words With Friends. Connect with Sue: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Get It Write blog
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