Company newsletters have been a traditional vehicle for delivering news and sharing information with employees within organizations for decades. They’re aimed at keeping readers up-to-date with important developments, celebrating success stories and sparking discussion.
With so many other internal communications channels available to companies now, it may seem like the humble internal company newsletter has had its day. However, it is still a fantastic way to deliver news to your employees if you follow the best practices for the modern workplace.
What types of content to include in an internal company newsletter
Your internal company newsletter should have a good mix of stories encompassing a range of topics. Employee newsletter ideas include:
- Important company updates: keep your employees in the loop about what is happening with the company, including new priorities, goals, projects and policies. You can repurpose external content like media releases and website updates to easily share in your internal company newsletter.
- Human Resources information: include news about various HR initiatives such as job vacancies, training courses, development opportunities, announce new starters and farewell outgoing employees, leave arrangements, payroll information, and more.
- Project updates: look at work that is being done by specific project teams and share successes and challenges with the rest of the organization.
- Change updates: if you’re going through any change management processes, the company newsletter is a great place to share regular updates about what is happening with the process.
- Recognize staff success: when your employees do a remarkable job, put them in the spotlight in front of their peers in the internal company newsletter.
- Profile staff members: help your employees get to know one another better by showcasing a different employee each month in the company newsletter.
- Provide reminders: when you need to reinforce particular actions and behaviors in your staff members, put reminders in the internal company newsletter. This can involve health and safety information, password protocols, cybersecurity, privacy information, building security, and so on.
- Revenue updates: how are the company’s finances tracking? Employees like to know this type of information.
- Promote events: let people know about any social activities, launches, conferences, seminars, or corporate functions that are coming up.
- Celebrate anniversaries and milestones: whatever achievements your company has in this space are worth celebrating for the entire team.
- Industry updates: if something important is developing in the industry that you’re part of, it can be worth highlighting in the internal company newsletter to help your employees keep abreast.
Internal newsletter best practices
Before you create an internal company newsletter, you should keep these best practices in mind.
1. A newsletter alone shouldn’t be your entire internal communications strategy
Internal company newsletters are a useful internal communications tool - but they should not be the only one that you rely on. They should be part of a suite of tools and channels that you use to communicate with your employees.
A Tribe study found that 84% of employees working non-desk based jobs feel like they don’t get enough information from their employers.
It’s important to have a robust strategy in place that encourages different methods of communication. This includes different personal preferences for receiving communication, and also differences in the way desk workers and non-desk workers can receive communication.
2. Make it easy to read
All the rules of good communication apply here. Your internal company newsletter content should be clear and concise. It shouldn’t contain unnecessary jargon or confusing language. And it should be enjoyable and engaging to read. If it is long and boring, you’ll lose your audience… and they may completely switch off to any future newsletters. Likewise, injecting warmth and even humor into your text can make it compelling and employees will look forward to receiving the newsletter.
3. Avoid information overload
How often you send your internal company newsletter is key. If you communicate infrequently, employees can feel as though they aren’t getting enough information from management. But if you send too many newsletters your employees can be overwhelmed and may stop opening and reading your newsletter altogether.
Find a balance that is right for your organization. In some workplaces, it might be weekly, in others it could be monthly or even quarterly.
4. Include interactive elements
Reading can be a passive activity. Make your company newsletter more compelling and more engaging by including elements that involve the reader more. For example, you can put in links to surveys and quizzes, or embed video content. You can also include links to other information and resources.
5. Find the right content balance
Having a mix of content is the cornerstone of a good internal company newsletter. If everything is official and serious, readers switch off. If everything looks like a slick public relations activity, they’ll be cynical and won’t receive it well.
Opt for a blend of information, for example, some items of company news, some interesting/funny/quirky content, people-centric content (such as a staff profile), and content with a call to action.
6. Ensure your internal company newsletter is visually appealing
The design of your company newsletter is just as important as the content. It should be well-spaced, and not crowded, with lots of eye-catching video elements. If you’re writing about people, use pictures of people wherever you can!
A study by GetResponse found that there is a 43% higher click-through rate for emails that contain images.
7. Make sure your information is timely
Nobody is interested in old news. Don’t stuff your internal company newsletter full of dated (or outdated) content. Information should be timely and relevant.
Important news should also be placed first in the order of information in your internal company newsletter - you want to make sure that people see it.
8. Set the right tone
You can be engaging and warm and inject some humor in your company newsletter without being crass and inappropriate. You should also have a respectful and empathetic tone, particularly if you sometimes have to include bad news.
9. Include an interesting subject line
People are less likely to open an email with a boring subject line. Why undo all your good work creating interesting and engaging content, only to fall at the final hurdle? Unique and catchy subject lines will intrigue the reader and encourage them to click through for more.
Defining your audience
Internal company newsletters can be sent to the entire company or may be sent to particular teams or departments.
With audience segmentation, you can make your internal communications even more powerful. This means that only relevant employees will be sent content and everyone else is automatically filtered out of information that would be uninteresting and not useful to them.
Understanding your audience and its needs will also help you determine if an internal newsletter is the best way to communicate. Remote and non-desk workers may need information in a different format, for example through an app.
It’s also worth considering whether the content you want to send is appropriate for the company newsletter, or if you could send it in another format such as DeskAlerts’ pop-up messages. A pop-up will reach everyone, on their computer desktop, and is guaranteed to be seen. An internal company newsletter relies on people opening an email and reading through it to find the content.
DeskAlerts pop-ups can also be sent as an email, and you can use them to aggregate content from a variety of sources to send as a newsletter to employees.
It’s never been easier to create an internal company newsletter than it is today with lots of tools available to help you make and send compelling content to your employees. Gone are the days of the boring, static, printed company newsletter. A newsletter should be only one of the tools in your internal communications arsenal, but when done properly you can use it to celebrate your company and its accomplishments, putting staff and their achievements at the center of the content.