New technology is terrific, but a well-run employee newsletter is still a valuable channel. The ideal state is when a newsletter contains unique content that helps employees understand key issues, builds a sense of community and provides information employees can use.

Unfortunately, some newsletters fall short of this ideal. While many types of missteps are possible, newsletters most often fail because they’re geared for senior executives (not for employees). And they rehash official, corporate material.

Ain’t nobody got time for that. If your newsletter has more than one or two of these warning signs, it’s time for a refresh.

You know your employee newsletter is in trouble when:

  • The “news” is two months old.
  • As a matter of fact, you think the role of a newsletter is to share news. (These days, real news is known almost instantly. So unless you’re distributing your newsletter via text many times a day, it contains nothing truly new.)
  • Most of the content is re-packaged press releases and corporate announcements.
  • The focus is factual.
  • There’s no emotion.
  • The only employees quoted are executives and VPs.
  • It’s a “quarterly” that’s only published three times a year.
  • It’s a quarterly at all (that’s a very old-fashioned publishing schedule).
  • 500-word articles. Come to think of it, 250-word articles. (Again, ain’t nobody got time . . .)
  • Articles have a reading level of 12th grade. Or 11. Or 10. (8 is great.)
  • By the time the copy is approved, it reads like a legal brief.
  • The CEO has his own column in every issue, located at the top of the front page.
  • Employees take the newsletter home because reading it is a sure cure for insomnia.

You get the picture. You have the power to create an awesome newsletter. But it may require some work to reach its potential.
 

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