Overview – Newsletters
Newsletters are small-format publications that convey specific information to a target audience. They may be single or multi-page. Their size can vary from a small 4.5 x 6 inches format to broadsheet (newspaper size) of 22 x 35 inches. Most, as the name implies, are letter-sized (A4).
Newsletters can be published monthly, weekly or daily. Some newsletters have no set frequency. Employees can read newsletters at their discretion, and take the important organisational information home to family and friends. To add value, newsletters must have organisational relevance by addressing core issues to help optimise performance.
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Providing detailed information about business-critical issues that employees can use to inform decision-making processes.
✓ Communicating to a group that has grown too large for informal, face-to-face communication.
✓ Clarifying strategic direction, focusing attention on essential information for superior execution and aligning employees’ interests with leaders’ goals.
✓ Reinforcing a sense of continuity and community.
Things to consider:
⇒ Establish the newsletter’s purpose and desired outcome.
⇒ Determine your audience: employees only? Segmented groups of employees? Employees and customers?
⇒ Decide on the basics: name, size, length and frequency.
⇒ Determine the format, layout, paper and typeface that will best serve the newsletter’s purpose.
⇒ Devise an editorial policy: what types of articles should be included?
⇒ Develop design guidelines and a writing style that reflect the organisation’s internal brand.
⇒ Confirm the approval process: who will sign off the final copy of the newsletter?
⇒ Source quotes from potential suppliers such as photographers, graphic designers and printers.
⇒ Prepare a budget.
⇒ Set up a distribution system.
⇒ Gather stories, write and edit, publish and distribute.
Build credibility and relevance of the newsletter by seeking feedback. Telephone or email a cross-section of employees for their opinions, suggestions and ideas. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your newsletter by conducting readership surveys. Encourage employee involvement through ‘Letters to the Editor’.