Is a Corporate Newsletter Better

A newsletter is designed as an informal publication to deliver information to an audience at regular intervals. Internal newsletters (distributed to employees) can keep staff in the loop about business activity, the movements and achievements of other staff, company events, competitions and industry announcements. This promotes a more informed group of employees who can talk to associates, customers and prospective clients in an educated manner regarding the business. It is also a tool to help employees know more about fellow employees, the ethos and mission of the business and aid in the development of a distinct business culture - all of which promotes a healthy workplace with higher staff morale.

External newsletters can be sent to members, clients, past clients, potential clients and other stakeholders to keep them informed about positive business activity and growth, reinforce your selling points, build brand recognition and cement your market position in a non-abrupt manner. External newsletters may include: staff profiles, customer profiles, information about new products/services, new business activity, staff changes, relevant events, advice, commentary on industry developments, research, awards/other business success and current business promotions/specials. Remember that although it is important to educate people about your business and what it has to offer, you must provide a balance between sales-related information and articles that are of genuine interest and value to the reader. Sometimes, your capabilities can be displayed through indirect means (eg. through the quality advice or interesting industry comment you provide), rather than via a blatant sales pitch.

A few tips for layout:

 The number of pages usually range from 1-4 A4 pages. The length will depend on the size of the business (larger businesses often have more news to tell) and how frequently the newsletter is published. Obviously, the deciding factor is interest. Don’t create a 4-page newsletter if you don’t have interesting information to fill it with.

 Layout should be visually appealing with plenty of white space.

 Make sure your corporate colours form the basis for the design.

 Have your logo clearly visible.

 Include interesting graphics and photos.

 Think creatively about format. A newsletter does not have to be a standard A4 document.

 Give your newsletter a catchy name that reflects your business.

 Once established, the format should stay close to identical for each issue (with only the text changing).

A few tips for content:

 Articles should be short and writing style should be chatty and brisk.

 In each edition, include a few different article topics to appeal to different reader interests.

 Remember, people scan newsletters. Use short, punchy headlines and, for any longer articles, provide brief summaries or pull out a section/paragraph that summarises the article.

 Set a reoccurring staff deadline for newsletter content so those involved in putting it together can plan ahead to submit articles. While the responsibility of formatting the newsletter will normally rest on one person’s shoulders, consider delegating the writing of articles to various staff on a rotation basis. This saves one single employee from the pressure of submitting articles for every edition, and also helps to provide variety and different perspectives from different authors. Know how many articles you require to fill your newsletter (and approximate word length of each).

 Beware of technical language that may confuse external readers or exclude some employees.

 Include your web address and contact information. Include a ‘call to action’ which encourages people to visit your website or contact you for some reason.

To print or not to print?

Whether you print and mail your newsletter or send it in electronic format via email will depend on a number of factors including:

 how many people are on your database

 what your budget is

 your technological capabilities (can you set up an electronic newsletter?)

 your need to directly measure newsletter response (ie. this is easier to achieve through email than hard copy)

 other promotional activities (ie. is it better to hand out the newsletter at an event or bundle it in with other promotional materials you may be mailing out? Or should your newsletter be part of your online website campaign and made available to all visitors to your site.)

And remember, consistency is very important. When you start a corporate newsletter, you must do so with the intention to release it on time at the regular interval chosen (monthly, quarterly etc). Once you’ve sent out your first edition, many customers will notice your newsletter’s absence if you decide to scrap it or miss a few editions. This is not good for your business’s image.

Author:.

Sarah O'Brien is an ex-journalist and Senior Partner at Square One PR & Communications. Square One PR provides communication solutions to businesses that want to stand out in their industry. Communication is an important part of every business. When it's managed in a strategic, proactive, and result-focused manner the effect on the image, growth and success of a business is astounding. Square One also focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs make the most of their PR on ...

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