One of the best ways to communicate corporate and social news to employees is by publishing a paper or online newsletter. Newsletters keep folks in the loop about high-level changes while employee-generated columns track individual milestones. While the size of a company may determine a newsletter’s breadth and scope, the most likely producers of these internal communications are human resource or marketing staffers. That said, anyone who wants to pick up the gauntlet by gathering data and writing it up is likely to be held in high esteem by those who love reading the news but don’t want to create it! If you’re interested in writing a company newsletter or if you want to help launch one, showcase your employees and it will be read.
Make Boss Letters Relevant
It’s important to give a chunk of newsletter editorial space to managers and supervisors so they can provide accurate details of breaking and changing company news. On occasion, the company’s president or CEO will ask for space to insert a regular message about the state of the company or their thoughts on how the business is doing. Always give this type of news a place in your newsletter, but save the front page for content that encourages staffers to keep reading.
Include Baby and Wedding News
Honor employees by making certain the important moments in their lives are shared with colleagues. While photos are great if your newsletter format allows for them, descriptions of marriages, babies and graduations are always welcome. Never underestimate the mileage a company gets by taking time to put the names of employees in their newsletter. Such inclusions are known to be terrific morale builders.
Make Company News Employee-centric
Mergers, sales records set and acquisitions are all part and parcel of a company’s operations and employees want to know about these events. Not only does this type of news showcase people who went above and beyond for their company, but it also gives management an opportunity to disclose facts and details about critical happenings before the grapevine picks up and runs with the rumor.
Celebrate Birthdays and Anniversaries
Company newsletter producers rarely agree on the type of article that should appear in a typical issue, but here’s one they do agree on: Every issue of a newsletter should reserve space to salute employees on their birthdays and company anniversaries. Two up-datable databases storing this data will help writers compile lists of celebrants. You’re only human, so if a name is accidentally left off a birthday or anniversary list, make it a practice to post belated greetings in a subsequent issue!
“Hire” Guest Columnists
They say there’s a writer in every soul, so invite those who wish to contribute to the newsletter to do so with a little bribe. Make it a box of candy or a certificate. Guest columnists can broadcast news about what’s going on in individual departments like sales, product development, engineering or advertising. Post a “help wanted” ad in newsletters inviting personnel to submit articles. Avoid causing hurt feelings in the event of inappropriate submissions by adding, “If room permits, we’ll print your story,” to the request. Make this clear: “Your work will be edited for content and space.”
Publicize Events and Schedules
Even small companies hold regular social gatherings, so publicize that year-end holiday party and summer picnic in advance. Employees like to be able to plan in advance for such events so giving them a heads-up early will aid attendance. If your company takes part in philanthropic volunteer work, spread the word by posting photos or writing about team efforts. Don’t forget to “cover” events like company softball games, in-house baby showers and impromptu get togethers.
Steal From The Best
Encourage new employees to share ideas published in the newsletters they received at their former jobs so you can learn what worked and what didn’t. Think seriously about special editions from time to time — an issue devoted to news of employee’s spouses and children serving with the military or ask the question, “What are you thankful for?” around Thanksgiving and expect plenty of interesting feedback. Feature employee pet photos if you’re looking for a dynamic ice breaker. Don’t forget the occasional contest — like the one that generates a great name for your company newsletter!