How to Publish a Company Newsletter Employees Will Actually Read
March 24, 2023
Good communication isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s essential. Companies that successfully communicate with and engage employees tend to experience higher productivity, better customer relationships, and strong team morale, and recent Gallup survey data backs that up.
Employee newsletters are a popular standby for internal communications teams to connect with their audience—but just because newsletters are popular doesn’t mean they’re always effective.
Many companies struggle with ineffective internal newsletters that fail to reach employees, engage them, or provide relevant information.
A poorly developed newsletter can lead to information overload, confusion, and wasted resources.
Investing in an engaging newsletter can help companies ensure employees are engaged and informed about what’s happening in the workplace. That improved engagement can help foster a sense of community among employees, improve morale, and even boost productivity.
Sure, that sounds great, but writing an employee newsletter that truly engages its audience isn’t easy.
That's why we built this guide. We’re going to break the process down into three core concepts. Even an expert can benefit from brushing up on all three, but feel free to skip to the most relevant section:
- Goals for a company newsletter
- Reasons company newsletters fail
- Company newsletter ideas and tips
Yes, you should be sending an employee newsletter. Here’s why:
Employee newsletters keep employees informed about important news and updates in the organization. They’re a great way to deliver that information in a curated, branded format. Customer stories, upcoming events, job postings, and other relevant information are all common features that help bring everyone up to speed and keep them connected to organizational culture.
Newsletters can help build trust between leadership and the broader team.
A company newsletter builds organizational trust by providing regular updates on important news, policies, and initiatives from management. It conveys an aptitude for transparency and open communication among all levels of the company.
With newsletters, leadership can effectively communicate the organization's future objectives and strategies for success with employees. Building an understanding of the company's direction assists staff in comprehending how they play a role in its growth.
Furthermore, the information that newsletters provide can foster a two-way dialogue between management and personnel. When employees are more informed, they're more likely to voice questions or comments on beneficial modifications to organizational processes.
Company newsletters can encourage employee engagement.
About 85% of employees report being unengaged at work. When employees lack important information about their company, report low levels of collaboration and transparency, don't feel recognized, or are unable to make suggestions, companies usually face reduced morale, productivity, and profitability.
Company newsletters can help combat this issue by better engaging and motivating employees. A newsletter acts as a platform for employees to share their ideas, opinions, and feedback. This can help to improve team collaboration, morale, and overall engagement in the workplace.
Newsletters also provide an avenue for organizations to recognize employee achievements and showcase successes. Given that more than half of employees say they’d stay longer at a job if they were recognized more often, this is an important way to keep employees feeling valued and motivated.
Newsletters help maintain a positive company image
Newsletters are an excellent way to share positive stories about a company and its people. This helps to create a positive image of an organization in the minds of both employees and customers. Plus, it’s an opportunity to showcase initiatives that a company is involved in, such as:
- Community projects
- Philanthropic activities
- Environmental efforts
By showcasing these stories, leaders can demonstrate their company’s commitment to making a difference in the world.
Reasons Employee Newsletters Fail
There are many problems that companies contend with when it comes to delivering an effective employee newsletter. Here are some of the main ones.
They don't reach their audience.
One of the major issues when it comes to employee newsletters is that they may not even be reaching employees in the first place. It can be difficult for companies to ensure that all employees receive their internal communications, especially within large workforces.
Failing to post on multiple channels is one key cause of this issue. For instance, if a company only sends its newsletter out via email and not on other channels like the company intranet, some employees may not see it — either because it went to their spam folder or because it got lost in a barrage of other messages.
They don't speak to their audience.
Many employee newsletters fail to engage their audience. Companies often craft newsletters that are too long, too formal in tone, out of touch, or lack content that is relevant to the people they’re developed for. These kinds of problems not only lead to poor newsletter engagement, they can alienate employees and make them feel disconnected from the company's branding and leadership.
They don't move their audience.
Newsletters aren't just about information sharing, but also inspiring and motivating readers. It’s important for companies to remember that their employees are not just passive readers but rather active members of the organization who should be engaged and inspired by the content.
If the newsletter doesn't move the audience to action, it's not doing its job.
Many newsletters simply state information and updates without offering a chance for employees to relate to and act upon what the newsletter contains.
Company Newsletter Ideas: How to Fix Your Broken Newsletter
While many employee newsletters fail to achieve their goal, yours won’t suffer the same fate. Your newsletter is going to be something people look forward to.
Here are a few tips and company newsletter ideas for you to consider as you create your strategy.
Start with a clear goal.
Before getting into the details of writing and designing content for your newsletter, you should have a clear vision of what you want the newsletter to achieve. A good goal could be anything from raising employee morale or simply communicating some exciting news about your business.
A clear goal helps you decide what kind of content you need to include in your newsletter. It also helps you know how to present the content in an engaging way. If your goal is to improve communication between departments, for example, you could include content about new initiatives or products from those departments, discuss how they relate to each other, and offer a chance for employees to submit suggestions for collaboration.
Utilize multi-channel delivery.
Multi-channel delivery is key to reaching your audience. This strategy of sending newsletters and other communications through a variety of platforms makes it possible to reach people where they already are.
Delivering your newsletter in more places will ultimately increase the chances of your newsletter getting seen, rather than buried in other messages on a platform that an employee doesn't use often, and read.
One powerful platform for delivering internal communications is a company intranet. You can also send newsletters via email, instant messaging apps, and social media channels or even use printed copies if necessary. This helps ensure that everyone receives the message regardless of their usual mode of communication.
Some intranets have multi-channel communication tools built-in, so when you post your newsletter, it’s automatically distributed across the channels that people rely on for information.
Select topics that will be of interest to employees.
It’s important to select topics that are relevant to your organization and its employees. This could include relevant company updates, industry news, work tips, or even reviews of recent products that your employees use.
Focus on topics that most departments can relate to so information is relevant and inclusive. Make sure the content is engaging and informative, so readers will be encouraged to return for more in the future.
Using personalization techniques, such as segmenting your audience into different groups based on their interests and job roles, can improve the newsletter’s relevance. Tailoring the newsletter content for each group ensures that everyone will find value in what’s being said.
Internal Comms teams can also use analytics to track which content is more successful and tailor future newsletters accordingly.
Focus on tone.
The tone of the content should be conversational and engaging without being too informal or casual. It’s important to remember that you’re talking with your employees, not just at them. Make sure to use language that is easy to understand and relatable while also staying professional.
Have an eye-catching design.
The design of your newsletter will be just as important as the content. If your employees don't find it visually appealing, they won't be inclined to read it. Your design should reflect the goals of your newsletter but also be eye-catching enough to draw in readers.
Here are some design suggestions to keep in mind:
- Follow the company color scheme: A color scheme helps create a cohesive look and feel for your newsletter. Consider the importance of colors in reflecting brand identity and choose the right ones for your company. Consider using complementary colors that work together to create contrast and draw attention to important elements in the layout.
- Incorporate visuals: Incorporating visuals into your newsletter can make it more engaging and help break up long blocks of text. They can also provide an additional way for readers to relate to the newsletter's content. Include images, videos, GIFs, or other visuals that relate to the content you’re sharing.
- Utilize white space: White space is an important element of design because it helps create balance in the layout by separating different sections of content. It also makes it easier for readers to focus on specific areas of the page without being overwhelmed by too much information at once.
- Use fonts creatively: Choose different fonts for each section of the newsletter and play around with their size and weight to create contrast and draw attention to key points. Just make sure that all the fonts you use are easily readable regardless of the device they are viewed on.
Keep it short and sweet.
When it comes to content, brevity is key. Aim to say the most in as few words as possible. This gives you enough space to get your message across without overwhelming the reader with too much information.
If you have multiple topics you want to cover in one issue, consider breaking them up into several shorter articles rather than one long one. This will make it easier for readers to digest the information and allow them to skip over a topic they’re not interested in.
Include content from different departments and teams.
To ensure that all team members feel connected to the newsletter, include content from different departments or teams. For instance, you can ask each department or team to contribute one piece of content per issue.
This is an opportunity for departments to share information about their work, celebrate successes, highlight special events, and provide updates on new initiatives. Making sure all teams are addressed and included in the newsletter helps create a sense of community among different departments.
Including content from different departments or teams can also show readers how their work contributes to the company's overall success. This will help foster a deeper appreciation for what each person does and make them feel valued.
Share industry news and trends.
Including relevant industry news and trends keeps readers informed of the latest developments in your field. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership by providing commentary and analysis on important issues affecting your company or industry.
There are many ways to highlight industry news and trends, such as AI, new social media opportunities, or sustainability issues relevant to your work. You can have a separate section devoted to this purpose or simply include short summaries or links in each issue. Either way, ensure the content is relevant and timely so that readers won’t feel like they’re reading outdated information.
Add a human element to the newsletter by including inspirational quotes or success stories from across the organization. The goal is to highlight the people behind the ideas and innovations that drive everyone forward.
Create feedback loops for employees.
Feedback loops provide employees with the opportunity to give their opinion and express their thoughts on the newsletter's topics. When employees can interact with the newsletter, they are more likely to see it as a way to participate and grow within the company. It also builds trust by showing team members that their ideas are valued.
For example, you could create a survey or poll in which employees can answer questions about a new development at the office. This will allow you to adapt to the preferences of staff, and make them feel included in decision making.
You could also create an open forum where employees can discuss topics featured in the newsletter and share their opinions with each other. This will foster a sense of community amongst your team and encourage them to engage with one another more often.
Draft your first newsletter, or make your next one 30% better.
Creating a company newsletter can be a great way to engage and inform employees while building a sense of workplace community.
An exceptional newsletter does take effort to produce, but it's worth it. Whether starting from scratch or working to improve engagement on an existing employee newsletter, you don’t have to go from zero to 100 on the first try. Draft your first newsletter as a short, punchy, and fun update, or replace an unengaging section of your pre-existing newsletter with something fun.
Remember the tips in this guide, empathize with readers, and you'll have an informative, engaging newsletter that people will actually read and look forward to.