Best Electronic Magazine

Electronic Systems’ employee magazine speaks to workers in plain English

Jason Simpson, the editor of Pulse magazine, works by this rule: To publish every article in simple language for a general audience. At BAE, employees are the most important part of that larger audience.

Electronic Systems Pulse - Logo -

Electronic Systems, a sector of BAE Systems, has achieved in its quarterly electronic employee magazine Pulse a rare and coveted goal. 

Without compromising complexity or detail, Pulse talks persuasively about highly technical subjects and projects in words any literate eighth-grader can understand. This is harder than it seems. And it is very difficult to keep doing.

Because of its editor’s commitment to prose that can be read and relished by the average man on the street, Pulse has won the prize for Best Electronic Magazine in Ragan’s 2014 Employee Communications Awards.

But there are other excellent characteristics of Pulse that go along with a passionate desire to publish prose that can be understood at a first reading:
Pulse employs the inverted pyramid and other standard news-writing practices such as ledes that lure readers into its stories.
• The magazine zeroes in on employees at work on the company’s products instead of on the products themselves.
Pulse doesn’t worry about rah-rah “employee engagement.” Instead, it publishes intelligent, interesting stories about employees’ work—for employees.
• One will never see a repurposed press release passing for a story in Pulse.
• Employees get information about contract wins on their intranet. Then Pulse tries to nail down the stories behind these important deeds.
• The magazine’s first audience is employees. But it also aims at vendors, subcontractors, customers, potential customers, and the general public. It hits all of these targets.
Pulse’s mission isn’t to garner gaudy reader stats, but to foster employees’ pride in their own excellent work.
• The magazine gives employees’ families and friends a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day operations of Electronic Systems.

A fascinating feature article in the March 2014 issue of Pulse by Paula Mondebello and Laurel Walleston illustrates the above guidelines perfectly. It tells the story of Mark Klaerner, an Electronic Systems employee who had served in Iraq. Klaemer drew on his military experience to transform the Army’s situational awareness of the enemy outside its forward bases’ barbed wire. Klaemer and his team used Electronic Systems’ thermal imager technology to build a lightweight, solar-powered 360⁰ video surveillance system for the forward bases.

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