Now that we’ve established the significance of effective communication in the workplace, let’s talk about a key instrument in your internal communications toolbox: the company newsletter.

Why so key? 85% of employees say they’re most motivated when management offers regular updates on company news. 

A recurring newsletter accomplishes this, while also providing touchpoints and consistency that help build culture. You can build and send a newsletter through email using automated marketing software, but company news distribution also can take other forms besides email. 

For example, Thoma Thoma has built intranets for numerous clients, and that is a wonderful means of internal communications and a way to reduce email clutter. Simply create a region of your intranet to house company news and post regularly. 

If your business utilizes an internal messaging platform, you can set up a discrete channel for company news. 

Regardless of the form it takes, your newsletter–done well–can be an incredibly useful method to inform, educate and inspire your staff. Here are a few dos and don’ts to write an effective one. 

DO make it eye-catching.

Your emailed newsletter shouldn’t look like a regular, day-to-day email with only copy. Graphics and photos can be used to make your newsletter more visually interesting, reinforce branding and to illustrate complex concepts.

DO make it skimmable.

You want to make it as easy as possible for your employees to take in the information you’re sharing. Rather than typing big blocks of copy, divide the content into sections with bolded headings, and aim for a good balance of photos, graphics and copy. 

DO make the content relevant.

Like with any messaging, you should consider the audience. First, think of what your staff needs to know. In addition to highlighting company news and upcoming events, the newsletter can be used to reiterate your core values and share examples of best practices. 

Next, think of what your staff wants to know. Talk to them or have employees fill out surveys about the kind of news they’d like to see. You may also run metrics on the emails, just as you would with an outward-facing campaign. Does a certain type of content have a better click-through rate? Adapt future messages accordingly. 

Larger companies might consider segmenting their newsletter distribution lists to target different divisions of the company. 

DO find the right cadence for your emailed newsletters.

Many organizations send newsletters monthly or weekly, but you could also do twice a month, bi-monthly or quarterly. It depends on what you would like to accomplish with the newsletter and how much content you will have. A weekly email can become annoying if there’s not substantive or relevant information. If you try to stuff enough content for four weekly newsletters into one monthly email, that message is going to be lengthy, which brings us to our first don’t. 

If you use an intranet or other internal communications platform, timing is not an issue. The content goes up when it matters and it stays up for reference. 

DON’T make your emails too long.

Why? Employees won’t read them. 

DON’T use the newsletter to nitpick mistakes.

The company newsletter is a great place to report progress and discuss challenges, but keep it positive.    

Ideally, staff will look forward to it. You can build anticipation by saving announcements for the newsletter, creating recurring columns or giving away fun awards and prizes. 

Your newsletter can serve as a morale booster, in addition to a method for sharing information. Just be sure you’re making the most out of this opportunity to engage your staff. If you’d like some guidance, we’re happy to help. Contact Principal Martin Thoma at martin@thomathoma.com.

Author Jennifer Joyner

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