Overview – Magazines
Magazines are organisational publications, generally 16 to 24 pages, distributed regularly, usually monthly or quarterly. Print formats are typically A4 or tabloid size. Online versions can be made available to employees via the intranet. The communication benefits of printed magazines lie in the fact they can be read anywhere at any time, the information can be archived for reference at a later date, and everyone can receive a copy irrespective of location or technological support.
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Delivering consistent corporate messages that are not time-sensitive.
✓ Providing the ‘news behind the news’ with in-depth analysis, profiles and feature articles.
✓ Recognising the organisation’s ‘champions’ to reinforce desired behaviours and alignment with the values.
✓ Reflecting the organisation’s personality through the magazine’s tone and style.
✓ Communicating content on a wide variety of topics including the organisation’s vision and strategy, wins and achievements, profiles of key people, financial results, organisational changes, new products and services, corporate sustainability initiatives, HR-related topics including employee benefits, and large-scale process improvements.
✓ Enabling employees’ friends and families to gain insight into the organisation.
Things to consider:
⇒ Establish the magazine’s purpose. To achieve maximum return on investment, it needs to focus on the organisation and align with its overarching goals.
⇒ Select format, design, layout, colour, typography, graphics and writing style to express the organisation’s personality, reflect its corporate identity and reinforce the magazine’s purpose.
⇒ Abide by all legal requirements.
⇒ Develop a style guide for writing articles, taking photographs and laying out the magazine.
⇒ Establish an editorial schedule providing enough time for each step of the production process.
⇒ Provide precise instructions for contributors regarding length and tone of articles, photo clarity, etc.
⇒ Streamline the production process with careful planning and organisation of support material such as artwork, photos, filler items, ideas file and submitted articles.
⇒ Set up a Letters to the Editor section to encourage employee involvement.
⇒ Translate the copy into other languages for global operations.
Maintain a magazine’s credibility by keeping an even-keeled balance between the perspectives of the organisation, its employees and the editor. Ensure all facts are accurately reported. Check for consistency of content to ensure there are no contradictory elements. When a magazine loses its credibility and is regarded as ‘propaganda’ by employees, it risks losing its readership and organisational support.