Company Newsletter Tips and Ideas

Internal newsletters let you communicate important information to employees, build on positive company culture and provide a place for staff members to shine. Find out more about why you might want an employee newsletter and get some company newsletter ideas below.

 

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What are the benefits of a company newsletter?

Company newsletters provide a number of benefits. Those can vary depending on your organization and how you use your newsletter, but some common advantages can include those below.

  • Supports internal communication. Internal communication is critical to organizational success, but close to three-fourths of employees say they feel like they don’t get all the important company information. Company newsletters can help solve that issue by culling the most important bits and dropping them right into employee inboxes. If you’re relying on intranet portals to do this job, you may be missing the boat—only around 13% of employees get on intranet systems on a daily basis.
  • Reduces constant messaging. Sending a company newsletter weekly or monthly can cut down on a lot of other messaging. If you’re dropping memos in inboxes or intranet portals every time a small piece of information comes up, employees are likely to start skipping those emails. Even when they do read them, the constant messaging could create information fatigue, reducing the likelihood that people will fully comprehend or remember what they read. By combining information in a single newsletter, you can tell the story in a more user-friendly way while keeping things aligned to the big picture.
  • Enhances company culture. Newsletters are a great place to model positive team culture to help build morale among your teams. They can also help convey the message that leadership truly does care about every level of the organization and see all team members as vital—and thus in need-to-know positions about certain information.
  • Provides for employee spotlights. Employee newsletters give you an option for highlighting employees. You can reward high performers or critical thinkers with spotlights or simply use the newsletter to introduce new employees or help others get to know more about an employee.
  • Gives people something to look forward to. When the newsletter is fun and interesting to read, team members will look forward to it. It’s not going to be something as exciting as a holiday or even a luncheon, but employees may look forward to opening and reading that email the first Wednesday of every month—or whenever you decide to publish it.

What should you include (or not include) in a company newsletter?

There aren’t a lot of rules for what you can and can’t include in a company newsletter. Each organization can test out different company newsletter ideas to find what resonates most with their teams. But there are some best practices to follow to help ensure you get the most benefit from your newsletters. Here are some potential dos and don’ts for the information included in the newsletter.

  • Do keep it as positive as possible. No one wants to read an entire newsletter about the negative state of the company or how employees aren’t pulling their weight.
  • Don’t make it an insincere cheerleading platform. It’s great to recognize hard work and company wins, but keep it real without dwelling on negatives.
  • Do inform employees. Include articles with relevant and interesting information they may not know.
  • Don’t cross confidentiality boundaries or give information that’s truly not meant for everyone. You might want to share overall company profits, which could be appropriate. Sharing how much everyone is getting for a raise is not appropriate—follow good HR principles.
  • Do make it about employees at all levels. Consider having various people work on the newsletter and highlight employees and efforts from various departments.
  • Don’t assume employees don’t want to know about executives at all. Include them in the same manner—and at the same frequency—you would anyone else.

Company newsletter ideas

Whether you’re just starting out with your employee newsletter or you’ve been at it a while with lackluster results, you might benefit from some new company newsletter ideas. In this section, we provide a number of ideas for formatting and topics that you can test out to try to get your company newsletter open and engagement rates up.

 

Benchmarking data puts the average internal open rate at around 79%. That covers all internal emails—not just company newsletters. But it does provide you with something to shoot for, and if your open rates are more like 10 or 15%, it’s definitely time to try some new ideas.

 

Format options for employee newsletters

The first thing to consider with an employee newsletter is format. There’s a tendency to get cute and fun, making the newsletter a visual feast as well as an informational one. But the more complex your email looks, the less likely people are to try to navigate and read it, so you do want to walk the line between a boring wall of text and a newsletter that looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.

 

Here are some ideas for newsletter formats to get you started. Each has its own benefits and disadvantages, so you’ll have to consider what works best for your team, communication needs and publishing schedule.

 

The basic email newsletter

With this format, all the text is housed in the email and you might include a couple of pictures. You can also include links to other information, though you’d want to limit the number. For example, if you include an article about compliance in the newsletter, you might link to the compliance intranet portal so employees who were interested could get more information.

 

Since you’re keeping everything in the email, the newsletter overall should be short. You might have one to three small articles. This type of email format lends itself well to a frequent newsletter publishing schedule.

 

Pros: This is easy to format, and you may be able to use a software program or template to do the entire job. You aren’t sending a lot of information at a time, so employees can quickly scan and read it.

 

Cons: Unless you’re sending the newsletter once a week or more, you’re not going to cover a lot of information effectively. That can cause employees to feel that you’re just glossing over things or that they aren’t getting enough information.

 

Email newsletter with links

If you want to provide the basic highlights in email (to help ensure people get them) but also want to give a lot more information, you might consider a hybrid email newsletter with links.

 

These types of employee newsletters include the headlines and meat of each article in the newsletter. They then provide links to the entire article, and employees can choose to follow the links that are interesting to them.

 

For example, you might announce that you’ve promoted Susan from the accounting team to Director of Finance. With a headline and a single paragraph, you can cover that the position was filled, congratulate Susan and even give a couple of sentences about her qualifications. But you can link to a longer article that might explain why the position was necessary, more about Susan and what she intends to do for the team and some personal highlights to help the teams get to know Susan better.

 

Pros: You can include more information in this type of email newsletter, making it appropriate for use if you’re sending it once a month or less often. The most important information is highlighted in a scannable email, and you let each employee decide whether they want to click to learn more about each topic.

 

Cons: You reduce the likelihood that everyone will read all the information. While the average open rate for internal company communication is 79%, average click-through rates are only around 15%. You’ll need to be strategic to include the most important information before the click while also enticing the reader to click to read more.

 

Employee newsletter published on the intranet

If you want to have a more formatted newsletter that provides an enjoyable user experience—potentially including photographs, videos and interactive elements such as polls or galleries—you need to host the newsletter on the web. You can do so safely via many company intranet portals.

 

If you decide on this format, you would create the newsletter and then email the link to view or download it to all employees.

 

Pros: This is a favorite format for many organizations because it reduces limitations on what you can and can’t do with the newsletter. That also makes it more enjoyable for employees to read.

 

Cons: This format does require a click-through, which you have to work a bit for. Companies that successfully utilize an intranet newsletter format tend to put some internal marketing effort behind their newsletter to increase interest in it.

 

Tips for employee newsletter topics

Once you decide on the format, it’s time to fill your newsletter with articles. Here are some company newsletter topic ideas to get you started.

  • Celebratory news items. Include big wins for the company but don’t forget to celebrate at the individual level. Consider including a list of employee birthdays (give a chance for people to opt-out!), anniversaries (people who have reached milestones such as working for the company 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc.) and promotions.
  • Employee highlights. Spotlight employees who have gone above-and-beyond either in productivity, coming up with new ideas or helping others. Highlight those who have been promoted, introduce new hires or simply provide some space to get to know a random employee better.
  • Job postings. Newsletters are a great place to let team members know about an internal job opening and what they need to do to apply.
  • Behind-the-scenes articles or videos. Give others a sneak peak into the processes of other departments. Let sales show everyone how they close a deal or have accounting explain exactly what happens to expense requests.
  • Polls. Include interactive elements such as polls to drive engagement and help you gather feedback from team members.
  • Local stories. Consider covering local stories of interest, especially if they have an impact on your company in some way. That might include the fact that your team participated in the local diabetic fundraising walk or whether the hurricane season might impact production.
  • Updates about the company. Give updates about company performance, profits or big changes on the horizon. Make sure to include how these things might impact employees and teams, as that’s often what people are most interested in.
  • Fun items. Fill in the rest of the newsletter with some fun stuff people might enjoy such as inspirational quotes, links to fun facts and information or picture galleries of various departments or company events.

Who should work on a company newsletter?

Anyone with an interest and the necessary skills might work on a company newsletter. Team members at any level could contribute topics and article ideas, those who enjoy writing might pitch in to create content and someone interested in photography could lend their camera and artistic eye.

 

It may be a good idea to ensure you have a regular newsletter team that can work with rotating employees who are interested in contributing. Have someone from HR who can ensure the newsletter doesn’t cross any lines, for example, and someone from executive leadership to steer the newsletter along company mission, vision and value lines.

 

As you can see, there aren’t a great deal of hard and fast rules when it comes to company newsletter ideas. So, get creative and find what works for your employees and business.

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