Sometimes it’s difficult to be up-to-date with everything that happens in the company - especially if you work in a distributed team. Even before the COVID-19 spread, a lot of our colleagues worked remotely, and now it became a must for the vast majority of people in the world. That’s why you should be looking for solutions which will allow you to maintain both the company’s culture and an inspiring vibe among your staff. Primarily, you should find a way to provide crucial information and asynchronous communication with all of your team. Internal company newsletter solves this issue perfectly.
We introduced internal company newsletters in HeroDOT some time ago. We’re delighted with the results it brings, especially now when the whole communication happens digitally. Take advantage of our experience and find out how to introduce an internal newsletter in your company.
WHY YOU SHOULD INTRODUCE INTERNAL NEWSLETTERS
When we’re talking about communication concerning our business, most of our ideas are focused on getting the word out, not in. However, internal communication is as important as the external one and should be treated with the same priority. Primarily, an in-company newsletter gives you the opportunity to keep everyone in sync. That’s the first step to build a proper team spirit.
Sometimes it happens that your employees aren’t aware of the public coverage of your company. Thus, they have no idea how your company is perceived in public. By sharing internally your message that is normally sent to the public, you might give powerful arguments to your employees on what they can share with their friends about the company they’re working for.
Furthermore, if you’re not sharing your team’s work regularly, you miss a chance to positively motivate your employees to be more efficient. When someone deserves to be praised, there’s no better way to give him the incentive to keep working hard and show him that you appreciate it than publicly saying it. Internal newsletters are a great space to give credit where credit is due.
They also allow you to show the broader perspective of your decisions. That’s how you can share and differentiate between the short-term and the long-term strategies of your company. Some of your colleagues may not understand some of your settlements and conclusions. Introducing internal PR on the highest level will be perceived by them as a symbol of transparency in your workplace. It will increase the apprehension and recognition of all the decisions you need to make.
The intra-company newsletter may funnel content to internal pipelines, positively influencing the creativity and the number of new ideas coming up. It can promote proper values and provide guidance to those who need it. It can set transparency as the principal value of all your employees. Such a newsletter lets you both praise and warn actions that deserve to be treated in this way. It allows you to build a company’s culture and share news updates, also including trends and crucial insights. The only probable disadvantage is that you need to spend some time to create it. However, in the next sections, we will give you some tips which will significantly facilitate your work.
WHAT A GREAT INTERNAL NEWSLETTER SHOULD INCLUDE - OUR IDEAS
- Job offers
A great internal newsletter includes job offers. It shows the positions that your company is looking to fill. There’s no better way to hire a good employee than by recommendation of the people you know well. It both gives you a possibility to even better browse the market and proves to your colleagues that you trust them and treat them as professionals who have other friends-specialists.
- Anniversaries, birthdays, milestones
In the internal newsletter, we always emphasize all the anniversaries, birthdays, and milestones that take place in our company. In this way, we praise individuals’ commitments, share the history of our firm to those who joined later and celebrate the most important achievements, successes, and holidays together. What’s more, it’s an excellent opportunity to show all the behind-the-scenes that might not be entirely recognizable by everyone.
- Books, movies and events recommendations
From time to time, a good internal newsletter encompasses recommendations of the best books, movies, and events with the emphasis on who will appreciate it, when and where they will take place. That’s how you can motivate your team to hang out together and create a better team spirit which will positively influence the everyday atmosphere.
- (New) Employees’ profiles and stories
Employee profiles will always be a good way to break the barriers between people from different departments and pointing out what common points of interest they have. It also makes sense to let your employees share their stories with you so that they have some space to show their creativity and feel listened. What is a “must-have” is new employees’ presentations that will give them an additional boost to productivity at the beginning of their career with your company.
Besides, when a new person joins the distributed team, they are added to various internal communicators such as Slack. As we work remotely, we have no chance to meet in person. The company should take care of preparing the right introduction. In the newsletter, you can present such a person, show her interests, character, and position. Moreover, you can add a photo so that people know what a new member looks like. It shortens the distance and introduces a better sense of being a team.
- Contests, surveys, charity events
Contests and surveys are also the key points of your internal newsletters. They both give you insights on what your team feels like and lets you bring much enjoyment to your company. Charity actions allow you to use your internal company skills and resources to help others. For example, in HeroDOT, we prepared a fundraise for the animal shelter to help our four-legged friends.
- Outside articles about your company
It also makes sense to add articles about your company featured in external sources. Don’t let employees be the last to know. Keep them up-to-date with the latest press on the company. It’s a great way to show employees how impactful their work has been and what the company is doing on a broader scale.
- Business decisions
A fabulous newsletter will also contain information about crucial business decisions that might have a significant impact on the company and its employees. That’s how you can also share what is your long-term strategic vision, and explain to your staff the reason behind certain decisions.
Last but not least are training opportunities and self-development tips. Thanks to them you can make your employees even more skilful as well as prove to them that you take care of them and want them to be the best possible.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR INTERNAL NEWSLETTER - BEST CREATION TIPS
- Specific and concise quality information
First of all, focus primarily on quality information. If you have something interesting to say, be as specific and concise as possible. Internal newsletters should be filled with essential and valuable information. That’s how you form a habit of opening and reading it among your colleagues. Why? Because they will expect interesting and useful information regarding your company, business or the employees themselves. Even though your employees should feel motivated to read company news, keep in mind that their time is valuable. Nobody has time for novels. Keep your newsletter compact, and to the point, so the content can be digested easily and quickly.
Moreover, internal newsletters need to be easy-to-scan. Your colleagues want to sift out information and read only those pieces which are interesting and valuable to them. For this purpose, it makes a lot of sense to use bullet points, numbering, headings, and bold key phrases in the text.
- Honest and truthful information
Always be honest and share truthful information. Lying, amending, or showing half of the story will never do any good to you or your company. You either decide to explain everything or nothing. If you are experiencing struggles or you have significant challenges ahead of your company, simply be honest about it. Your employees will learn it anyway. It’s important to be open about problems and solutions you are pursuing. That’s how you make transparency a respected value. Furthermore, you might be surprised by the quality of the advice and suggestions you receive.
- Punctuality, regularity, rhythm
Be punctual, make receiving an internal newsletter the long-awaited ritual. Send it weekly, monthly, or even daily if you have so much information to share. But always keep the rhythm, it will have a tremendously positive impact on the engagement of people and their eagerness to read it carefully.
- Appealing subject lines, informal tone of voice
Play around with the subject line, make it as appealing as the everyday titles you read in newsfeeds. Do the A/B testing, compare what makes your colleagues more eager to learn internal newsletters. Find the right tone of voice. Internal newsletters are a great opportunity to bring some extra motivation and engagement within the team. There are many ways to evoke different reactions (from neutral to excited). Our solution is to make it sound like we were having a normal conversation with our friends. We don’t use formal writing. We’ve set a friendly tone while avoiding jargons and slang. We make an effort and put a considerable emphasis on the storytelling.
- Branded layout
Finally, design your newsletter layout to fit your brand colours and image. Sending email newsletters significantly facilitates you to style your newsletter accordingly to your needs and wants. Make it look both aesthetically and professionally so that it proves your high-quality approach to the business. We’ve got a branded newsletter from the very beginning and received many praises about it from our colleagues.
HOW TO MOTIVATE YOUR EMPLOYEES TO READ THE INTERNAL NEWSLETTER
- Focus on the addresses and make the stories relevant
Some of the information we will share here might overlap with what we’ve already mentioned in the previous sections. However, it’s vital to understand the employees’ perspective, as this internal newsletter is written primarily for them, not for those who manage the whole company. Spend some time before you decide to implement internal newsletters on explaining the reasons why you chose to launch it. Offer news your colleagues can use. Include the action steps so that they are interactive. Ask your colleagues what they would change and add.
- Make your content easy-to-scan
Few of your colleagues may skip reading newsletters under the pretext of not having enough time to do it. The most natural solution is to write for skimming the information, not for reading them. You should include the main points and give them call-to-actions sending them to more specialized articles or websites if they find it essential for them. We recommend setting the maximum length of the newsletter before you start doing it.
- Offer unique info, unique perspective or both
Others may think that all the information that is gathered in the newsletters is already available on other communication channels, and they have already seen it. That’s why it is so essential to either show it from a distinctive and uncommon perspective, provide a more in-depth analysis of data and information, or present a unique content that can’t be found elsewhere.
- Show instead of describing
Sometimes, it may seem that your analyses are too complicated. That’s why we strongly recommend you to be a story-teller who uses all the available animation tools to make your internal newsletter as entertaining and addictive as possible. Create meaning for each element you add, set the sections in the logical order so that they create a holistic story. Embrace infographics that step by step make even the most complicated things easy. Use symbols and comparisons known from everyday life.
Internal newsletters constitute a perfect way to both inform and bring entertainment to your employees. They can impose a rhythm on your company’s culture while driving a lot of fun. The topics you may present are endless and depend only on your creativity and people your company consists of. We see great benefits of writing our internal newsletters and advise you to start doing the same.