Best Print Newsletter

Relevance and timeliness in a bi-monthly newsletter? Duke University pulls it off

Employee recognition is at the heart of many of Working@Duke’s articles.

Working@Duke - Logo -

While its physical appearance and its frequency might lead one to think it’s more of a magazine than a newsletter, Working@Duke includes only one magazine-length article; everything else is short, consistent with newsletter content. 

And despite a bi-monthly production schedule, the newsletter manages to be timely, addressing issues that have arisen in the workforce. When a phishing scam led to five employees’ paychecks being deposited into the hacker’s account, Working@Duke covered it to alert other employees to the danger. When the cover story dealt with retirement, employee vignettes drove home the personal angle (along with the notation that a third of Duke’s workforce would retire in the next three years). 

Employees figure prominently not only as examples for pieces like the retirement story, but also for the work they do on Duke’s behalf (driving home the point that their behaviors are the ones that get called out for special recognition). 

The mix of brief, readable articles covers the broad range of employment issues at Duke, making the publication the go-to resource for employees, keeping them informed, helping shape the culture, and assisting in work and personal decisions (such as benefits). 

Duke’s 2014 readership surveys found 77 percent of employees read Working@Duke, 86 percent enjoy it, and 85 percent learn about new policies and employment issues from it—all above the publication’s goal of 77 percent. 

For achieving these goals in a readable, accessible publication, we’re delighted to present Ragan’s 2014 Employee Communications Award for Best Newsletter (Print) to Duke University’s Working@Duke. Congratulations to April Dudash, Bryan Roth, Paul Figuerado, Leanora Minai, and Paul Grantham.

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