You all know how to make your digital marketing content work for you outside of the office – establishing your brand, bringing in leads, growing your sales, and more. However, more and more companies are starting to realize the benefits of creating newsletters for internal staff. Not only is this a great way to keep employees, Board members, and other staff informed, but this newfound knowledge from them could actually bleed into your overall business goals outside the office as well. In other words, it’s a win-win for everyone. Learn how to be successful below.
Part I: How to Create an Internal Newsletter
We recommend putting out a newsletter at least bi-weekly in order to keep the momentum going. When it comes to success, there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you are using the newsletter and spending your time doing something valuable. A few questions to ask include:
Step #1: Who Will Receive the Newsletter?
Your first step when thinking about an internal newsletter is who exactly will get the newsletter. Depending on your business, you may have drastically different departments. Take Dunder Mifflin from The Office for example. The upstairs staff may be most interested in the person who had the most sales that month, while the downstairs staff would probably be more interested in the company’s plans to expand the warehouse. If you throw in Board members, they may be more interested in the financials of the company.
With all that said, our recommendation is to have on newsletter with different sections. In the example above, while the warehouse staff may not fully understand what goes into having the most sales for the month, it is good for both departments to be aware of what is going on in the company as a whole. Perhaps they have ideas for collaboration that they would not have realized before. A newsletter promotes company culture; just make sure you recognize the needs of all your different departments.
Note: As for board members, having a separate newsletter might be best. Having a board member volunteer to write this newsletter would work best, which brings us to the next point.
Step #2: Who Will Write the Newsletter and Come Up with Content Ideas?
It is sometimes hard for business owners to take the leap into an internal newsletter because it doesn’t directly correlate to anything monetary. This also makes it hard to decide who you are going to pay to take time out of his/her day to write the newsletter. This, however, all comes back to valuing the internal newsletter entirely. If written correctly, it improves company culture and keeps employees up to date, which should in turn help the business as a whole cut down on turnover rate and foster new and creative ideas—and this does correlate to something monetary.
Once you, the business owner, really believes in the benefits of such a newsletter, delegating someone to write the newsletter is easy. Some companies choose someone in the marketing or content department to write the letter, while others ask the staff to pitch in by having each department head write a few paragraphs on what has been going on. More on this in step 4.
Step #3: How Will You Format the Newsletter?
As discussed above, breaking your newsletter out into departments is a great way to stay organized and make sure you have content for everyone. However, you also want to make sure you are using this for company announcements. We recommend including these announcements first to make sure people read. This is the perfect place to announce events and ask for employee feedback as well. Another section you may want to add (depending on how large your company is) is industry news. Remember, while internal newsletters are a great way to encourage collaboration and better internal communication, it can also be used to spark ideas.
Step #4: How Will You Get Your Employees Involved?
Piggybacking off of step 2, everyone wants to feel recognized and appreciated, so it’s important as a business owner to do just that. When you develop content, ask for their input. I know telling your wife what you actually thought of last night’s dinner when asked can be terrifying and even dangerous at times, but feedback and constructive criticism are healthy and essential. The same goes for your company; don’t be afraid to ask your employees for feedback. You critique them on the work they do, let them critique the content produced within your digital marketing platform. It’s what’s best for the relationship.
Part II: Content Marketing for Employees
As discussed above, a big part of using an internal newsletter is marketing to employees first. See what ideas they think stick, see which stories get the most clicks, and offer incentives that they will care about. In a sense, you are actually marketing to them whether you think of it that way or not. Check out more ideas here.
Social media is another great way to market to your employees. Although not a newsletter per-se, a social media post can go a long way. If successful, put it in your newsletter! This will get your employees more interested in social and start sharing your posts. Eventually (and with some coaxing, of course) the hope is that your newsletter stories and articles will soon be shared on social by the entire team.
Below is a post from a local animal shelter acknowledging the good work put forth by several people volunteering from a partnership with another company.
Ultimately, employees want their achievements to be acknowledged. By entrusting smaller marketing tasks to them, you are letting them know that you value their perspectives and input. This can help boost morale and create hard-working, dedicated employees.
Do you put out an internal newsletter for your employees? What has worked with your team in the past? Let us know in the comment section below!