Analyzing the word “newsletter,” one can’t help but comprehend the underlying component there being, of course, “news.” But what actually constitutes something being newsworthy is another story. In fact, it’s one that even the media and PR professionals have difficulty fully grasping at times.
As far as employee communications are concerned, however, a company’s staff shouldn’t just be interested in news from their organization. Quite frankly, they should be its focal point.
When Sealed Air, a leader in packaging solutions and most notably known as the maker of Bubble Wrap, decided to purchase an industrial cleaning company, it left its workforce of 26,000 employees across 62 countries with questions.
Would jobs be lost? Would departments merge? Would there still be Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts in the break room vending machines?
OK, so maybe not that last question, but there were inquiries needing answered, nonetheless.
While still laying the groundwork for its acquisition, Sealed Air consulted with MSLGROUP to conduct a companywide survey to assess awareness, attitudes, and opinions about the organization’s integration plans post-acquisition. The results indicated that 25 percent of respondents were not familiar with Sealed Air’s plans.
Shortly thereafter, MSLGROUP set out to launch a twice-monthly, companywide newsletter called Integration News. Distributed electronically, as well as in print, it would feature columns from corporate executives about the move, as well as “Integration Success” stories.
Developing an editorial calendar for the newsletter and establishing a design that mirrored the company’s intranet, MSLGROUP not only provided a direction for crucial content, but also helped employees recognize Integration News as an integral source of employee communication.
That design paid off. A post-evaluation survey of the newsletter reported a 16 percent jump in awareness of Sealed Air’s integration strategy, with 84 percent of respondents indicating that they were moderately to extremely aware of company changes following the acquisition.
And now Sealed Air and MSLGROUP have another acquisition they can report: winning Ragan’s 2012 Employee Communications Award for Best Employee Newsletter (Electronic). Congratulations.
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