Why e-newsletters are the right move for staff outreach

A health-care pro details his system’s transition from paper to silicon.

One of my first projects when I started at Sherman Health was to take an inventory of the number of printed newsletters in the system. I found a sample of each rogue department newsletter and posted it on a board for our executive team. This was my visual argument to show that we need to adopt a single, system-wide newsletter.

It worked.

Every department had its own printed pieces. Forget “branding”—our corporate logo was nowhere to be found. Forget “design”—ClipArt dominated in these Word-/Publisher-based nightmares. Forget “effective”—newsletters were stuffed in trashcans and littered hallways.

We shut down the bootleg newsletters one at a time and started a system-wide newsletter that enjoyed a three-year run. It was a four-color, six-page, glossy tabloid—very nice, but time-consuming. As resources dwindled, the newsletter became burdensome for a two-person staff to write, edit and proofread each month.

Enter the Internet.

I’m not sure what it is about hospital newsletters, but employees get emotionally tied to them. I had to argue for ending the printed newsletter in favor of a Web-based product.

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