The case against newsletters

Five reasons why newsletters need to be rethought as standard internal communication vehicles.

1) Somewhere to hide

A key problem with many newsletters is that they tend to publish unattributed information as fact, without any individual authorship of the content or quotes from those initiating, managing or dealing with change. Consequently, such newsletters become vehicles where management disseminates information without taking ownership of it or offering a return address for comments and questions.

2) The royal “we”

Some newsletters that lack authorship and attribution further diminish the effectiveness of communication by nonetheless expressing opinions and phrasing articles in the first person. The common use of the disembodied “our,” “we” or “us” in newsletters, rather than creating a sense of team and familiarity, can actually diminish what climate of accountability and dialogue that exists within a group. Staff can become very sceptical of the use of the first person when no “first person” is visible.

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