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More Punch Per Square Inch for Your Corporate Newsletter

By: Anish V. Koshy

Anish V. Koshy presently handles content management for the website, Intranet and internal newsletter development as well as advertising with i-flex solutions limited, Bangalore, India as Assistant Manager - Corporate Communications.

Creating and writing for a corporate newsletter might look easy but the challenge lies in providing refreshing content and ideas without boring your readers with an excess of corporate buzz.

This article tells you the commonest oversights a Communications Manager should avoid while working on one.


Start with the axiom that corporate newsletters are for the employees and therefore directed by their thoughts and actions. Its not a top-down hand out - but to be viewed as a personal one-to-one interaction.
  1. Avoid corporate propaganda: How many times have you felt that you were being dished out with too much, unusable corporate information? The reward for overwhelming people with too much of this is the death of a thousand yawns.

  2. Lack of interactivity: Newsletters are a reality pulse check. The flow of information should be from employees than from the management downwards. Why? It gives you a first hand impression on what your employees think. It gives them a forum to interact and share ideas. By allowing employees ownership and space to come up with solutions to internal issues, you create an environment conducive for creative growth. Get employees to participate with ideas for contests, new columns and sections.

  3. Out of reach: Is the newsletter easily accessible? Do they know whom to get in touch with? Or does the e-mail ID say wewillgetbacktoyou@ yourcompany.com? Be personal. Have an editorial note and let employees know how to get in touch with you - by mail or phone. Out of reach, would eventually mean out of mind. Place an online version on your company intranet for employees to view a soft copy of the document.

  4. Feedback not forthcoming: You can't just survive on cutting-edge design and a patchwork of content. If you are not getting enough feedback, your newsletter is not going to evolve. Conduct an annual survey or do it more often electronically. Get to know if the columns in the newsletter are relevant and useful.

  5. Missing the human-interest issue: Are you covering the newsmakers? Not only at the higher rungs but also at the base level? They are as important to your organization as the senior management. Do you bring out the human angle in your stories? Does the last issue include a note on a promising employee?

  6. Inadequate mentoring: Producing newsletters should not be dependent on departments or individuals. Set up a process where news and content can seamlessly flows to the design representative for updating. Thereby minimizing effort and time.

  7. Do you benchmark: Is there a better way to represent facts and figures? Or the latest happenings in-house? Are you aware of your industry's best practices for internal communications? Get a grasp of the latest trends in the industry. Use it to improve your newsletter.

© Copyright 2002 Anish V. Koshy

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The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.

 

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