Staffing North America

From company brochure to stylish magazine

From company Brochure to stylish magazine Before they switched to reply cards, editors of Stora Enso North America's employee publication Staffin North America used to conduct a feedback forum they called the Red Pen Review. Editor Carol Davis sent out 100 copies of the magazine—along with a red pen, self-addressed-stamped envelope and cover letter—to a random group of employees asking them to go through it and mark up what they'd like to change, or add what they'd like to see. Davis still has a short letter that one of those employees scribbled on the back of her cover letter; it reads: "When I see these company publications, I throw them right in the garbage." "Talk about tough love!" Davis exclaims. "Sorry to use a cliché, but that really lit a fire under me. My thought was, —We'll see about that! I'm going to make you open that magazine, one way or another.'" Considering that more than one employee has told her recently that "I read it from cover to cover," it appears the editor is accomplishing that goal. We're not surprised. What was once a glorified company brochure is now a newsy-looking quarterly magazine that—thanks to plenty of input from employees—is steeped in the credibility that comes with printing content that addresses difficult issues. As Davis says, "we don't try to spin a lot of the stories, like [a recent one] that explained why we weren't making money. We let factual reporting stand on its own, and employees can make up their own minds." About Staffin North America they have: Measurement statistics over the past two years show that 85 percent of respondents find the magazine to be interesting and necessary and think the design is appealing. The same percentage say they've learned more about the Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.-based Stora Enso North America by reading the magazine. Considering the changes the company—not to mention the magazine—has gone through in recent years, that's saying something.

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