3 tips to streamline and brighten your internal newsletter

Get rid of the junk, tighten up your formatting, and curate a more compelling mix of links.

3 internal newsletter tips

It’s never been more challenging (or more important) to engage with employees in meaningful ways.

A company newsletter is one of many tools available to help you share timely and relevant information and show your employees the recognition they want and deserve.

A good newsletter requires discipline, however. And a smart, mindful strategy. You are competing with every other media outlet – New York Times, CNN, Buzzfeed, TMZ, TikTok. That’s right, it’s you or TikTok, so you’d better make your content good.

But how? Start with these three guideposts:

1. Declutter your content.

Your newsletter shouldn’t take more than four minutes to read. Attention spans are short, people are busy, and reading often feels like a chore.

Strip your newsletter down to only the most relevant items – those that overlap what you want to address and what your audience wants to hear. At least 70% of your newsletter should meet that standard. If you don’t know what your audience wants to hear, don’t guess, take a survey.

2. Stop sending spam.

There is no hard and fast rule to determine employee newsletter frequency, but in my experience too often is worse than not often enough. In a perfect world you would partner with your data and analytics team to determine the optimal newsletter frequency for your specific workforce. But if you don’t have those resources available, you may need to rely instead on creative reasoning. Or, again, on employee surveys.

The key is not to send it so frequently that it becomes a commodity that is easily ignored – the daily calendar reminder that you snooze every day until you’ve completely forgotten the task altogether – but not so occasional that people forget it’s coming. When in doubt, a weekly newsletter is typically a safe bet. So long as you’re able to send relevant, useful or otherwise compelling content, that is.

3. Offer a nice mix of news and human interest stories.

Great newsletters strike the perfect balance between informative and entertaining.

All business and your readers lose interest, hoping they’ll learn the information through other channels. Too much “fluff” and they dismiss the newsletter as irrelevant.

A great way to offer both without the whole publication falling into chaos is to use the recurring sections in each edition. For example, some regular features might include Photo of the Month, Dear HR (advice column), Employee Spotlight, From the CEO or News You Need.

Your employee newsletter may never win a Pulitzer Prize or get more views than the “I’m not a cat” guy on YouTube, but if done well, it can help you engage more genuinely with your workforce, which improves morale, trust and human connection, even in a physically disconnected workplace.

Stephanie Gray is the founder and president of SGA Communications, a Chicago-based communications agency. Read more on the SGA blog.

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