Internal communication is important in every organization, large and small. Sharing information, news, advice, directives and celebrating success and achievements help to form a cohesive team environment where everyone is working together towards the same common goal.
There are many different tools and channels for communicating internally. One of the most popular methods is an internal newsletter, which can help to break down internal information “silos” and let everyone across the company find out what’s happening in other areas.
Whether you’re starting an internal newsletter from scratch, or you have one you want to give a makeover, there are some internal newsletter best practices you should be including in the one in your company.
The basic principles of any good communications apply to creating an internal newsletter: it must be timely, engaging, well-written, clear, concise, and be relevant to the readership. Your newsletter should also be visually appealing and well-designed. Include photos and graphics, and don’t be afraid to adopt a less formal tone of writing where appropriate.
Employees want to read about interesting topics, share ideas about issues affecting the company, find out what work their colleagues are doing and be kept in the loop about important company news.
Getting the right mix of content can ensure you have an engaging newsletter that employees look forward to reading whenever it arrives in their inboxes. If it seems daunting to come up with great content ideas, we’ve got suggestions.
Consider adding these to the mix in your newsletter:
1. Message from the CEO
This is a place where your CEO can share important news about the organization to employees, including milestones, new policies, new products or projects, and other significant announcements.
In many organizations, particularly large ones, employees don’t get a chance to interact one-on-one with their CEO very often, and sometimes not at all. By giving your CEO a platform in the employee newsletter, this is a great way for employees to connect with the CEO.
This can be a regular feature – or it might be semi-regular. Writing a regular column for the CEO shouldn’t become a millstone for the communications team. If there’s nothing of note for the CEO to say, don’t write a column just for the sake of it. It will only diminish the impact of the CEO having a section in the newsletter and employees may tune out to the more important messages.
2. Profile employees
This is a great way for employees to “put a name to a face”. They may pass a particular colleague in the halls or the lunchroom but not know who they are. Or in large organizations across different geographic regions, they may talk to a colleague on the phone or Skype them but not really know them beyond that.
How your profile an employee is up to you. You could ask them about their current work, professional achievements and career history. Or you could make it more personal and focus on who they are and what they do when they’re not at work.
3. Industry-related news
Regardless of the industry, your organization operates in, there will always be things happening in the industry that will affect you or affect your competitors. Your internal newsletter is a great place to share industry news such as regulatory changes, compliance challenges, innovation, and other issues.
4. Profile teams and the work they do
Break down silos by writing articles that feature specific work teams within the organization, explaining to colleagues in other areas who they are, what work they do, what their current projects or focus are and what services and/or expertise they have to offer if people in other parts of the company need it.
5. Top 10 lists
This is a way to be creative and engage employees. A list of the top 10 greatest anything can include tips for work-related activities or even the top 10 places to get coffee around the neighborhood the head office is located in, or top 10 places to get lunch, top 10 cafes that are good for a business meeting with clients and so on.
6. Opinion pieces by subject matter experts in your organization
Newspapers, magazines, and online publications often run op-eds – opinion editorials – where someone opines on a subject they are familiar with. Your senior managers and technical experts will most definitely have opinions on issues and topics facing your company and industry. Invite them to contribute an opinion piece on a topic of interest for your internal newsletter, or help them to write it.
7. Highlight customer case studies
Whatever industry you’re in, whether its healthcare, tech, manufacturing, legal, you will most likely have customers or other stakeholders who rely on your organization.
You can showcase case studies about how your organization has helped other organizations or individuals to solve specific problems. This helps to show your employees that the work the organization does is meaningful.
8. Surveys and polls
With an online newsletter, it’s easy to include a regular online survey or poll for employees to fill in on any topic of interest and then publish the results in the next newsletter.
9. Learning and professional development
When employees have the opportunity to undertake learning and professional development activities, it’s great for their personal growth, but it can also be an opportunity for the organization at large.
Encourage those employees who have participated in these activities to share what they learned with their colleagues to foster a culture of knowledge exchange.
10. Recent media coverage
The communications team will always be familiar with any recent media coverage featuring the organization. But most employees won’t necessarily have read or seen any articles or TV coverage. You can have a regular section outlining your recent media successes and include links to online articles and video stories.
Want more internal newsletter ideas? Read this article.