Best Print Magazine

Novartis writes its employee magazine to be understood by the average reader

If anyone has the right to couch its employee publication in jargon, it’s pharma giant Novartis. Guess what? Its editor takes a different view.

Novartis live employee magazine - Logo -

Defying every excuse to pelt its employees with equations, formulas, dense definitions and abstract graphs and jargon, Novartis’ employee magazine “live” chooses to speak in a language accessible to the average college-educated reader. For that reason, “live” has won the “Best Print Magazine” category in Ragan’s 2015 Employee Awards.

The editor of “live,” Goran Mijuk, makes clarity, plain speaking, concision, and readability inviolable principles. “Live” speaks to its tens of thousands of employee, Ph.D, post-doc and M.S. readers in words everyone can take in, think about, and talk over. 

Mijuk is a master of organizational writing and an imaginative editor. He tries to do the following with “live”:

  • Provide in-depth information for employees in an interesting, easy-to read way.
  • Center on one topic per issue, treated broadly, openly, from a global perspective.
  • Avoid top-down management of “live” messages.
  • Arrive mt each issue’s theme from his own evaluation and talks with senior leaders.
  • Look at “live” as a knowledge magazine with a long-term, sustainable effect.
  • Survey 750 employees on every issue, using an independent survey contractor.
  • Survey all readers of “live” every four years.

Mijuk leads off the September-October 2015 issue of “live” with a 2,500-word article, “Growing Precision,” set in 10-point type, occupying the first five pages of the issue. Many organizational editors might blanch at doing something like this, but Mijuk trusts his own transparent writing style and innovative editing.

An amazing interview in this same issue talks to Usman Azam, the head of Novartis’ Cell & Gene Therapy Unit. The interview proves that Mijuk’s view of “live” as a pure knowledge disseminator for employees works very well indeed.

Congratulations to Mijuk, Novartis project lead and senior editor; to Michael Mildner, Reinhardt publishing house editor and project coordinator; and to Nathalie Gramm, Reinhardt publishing house layout designer!

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