At first glance, writing an internal company newsletter may seem like a daunting task. It may seem strange to write for a “captive” audience, and you may not be sure what topics to include.
However, an internal company newsletter is very similar to any other email marketing campaign and follows all the same principles. Here is a brief guide on how to write a company newsletter that people actually want to read.
Best Practices for Writing an Internal Company Newsletter
Before You Begin: What are the Goals for Your Corporate Newsletter?
Before you start writing, it’s a good idea to create a framework based on the newsletter’s goals and objectives. Keeping this framework in mind as you write will help you create a newsletter that satisfies your client, boss, or department.
- Define goals and objectives. Whether you are a freelance writer or on staff, it’s important to begin by clarifying the goals of the newsletter. What does management want the newsletter to accomplish, and how will success be measured? Some of the most common newsletter objectives are:
- Share company-wide information. An internal newsletter can be more efficient than long email threads and ensures that everyone has received important information.
- Promote transparency and teamwork. In many companies, there is limited in-person contact between teams and departments. A newsletter can help unify the company by openly sharing information regardless of department or location.
- Communicate company culture and values. Strong company values should be communicated through every channel, and a newsletter is a great way to reinforce them.
- Boost morale. A newsletter can be a great way to recognize employee achievements, share insider news or jokes, and put a smile on people’s faces.
- Tell the truth. While a newsletter IS marketing, it is not propaganda. Honesty and transparency build trust and make people more likely to read the newsletter.
- Keep it short and sweet. Studies show that many corporate employees are overwhelmed by email. Keep the newsletter brief, and make sure you add value for the reader.
- Metrics for success. Will the newsletter be measuring opens or engagements? What are your targets?
Getting Started: Know Your Audience
A company newsletter is often used to distribute information from management to employees, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be engaging. Like any piece of content, it’s important to keep your reader in mind when writing.
- What do people want to read? Strike a balance between information that is necessary and important, and content that is interesting and inspiring. Pay attention to what employees are talking about in group chats, at the water cooler, and by email. Provide the reader with what they want.
- Make employees the star of the show. A newsletter is a great place to showcase employee accomplishments and milestones. Celebrate successes, welcome new hires, and recognize achievements.
- Address coworker’s concerns. When necessary, use the newsletter to address concerns and answer important questions.
Wrapping Up: What’s Your CTA?
Keep your goals and objectives in mind when writing an internal company newsletter. Focus the attention of the reader on your CTA (call to action) and make it compelling and effective.
- A clear CTA helps accomplish your objectives. A good CTA makes the desired action or instruction clear and offers a value or reason for the reader to take the action. Some examples of company newsletter CTAs include:
- Download the latest policy
- Register for training
- Contact the project coordinator
- Complete the satisfaction survey
- Give the reader a valuable takeaway. When readers find value in the newsletter, they are more likely to take the desired action, and more likely to read the next newsletter. Offer information that makes a positive impact on their daily lives at work. Some great takeaways include:
- Tips and tricks
- Resources for more information
- Contact information for relevant people
- FAQs or answers to important questions
- Encourage communication and request feedback. The more feedback you receive, the better every issue of the newsletter becomes. Actively request input and feedback, and make your contact information easily accessible. When possible, include reader surveys or polls that give readers a convenient way to respond to the newsletter.
In Between: Body Content Suggestions
Company newsletter content varies widely, depending on the type and size of the company, and the goals and objectives of the newsletter. In many cases, it’s up to the writer to “fill in” the gaps between management announcements and the CTA with content that the audience will enjoy. Some ideas for internal newsletter body content are:
- Use recurring sections. Recurring sections help fill in newsletter content not just in the current issue, but in every issue. You can also organize recurring sections to take advantage of natural learning tendencies and boost retention. Some recurring sections might be:
- New hire announcements
- Important dates and calendar events
- Industry news
- Employee profiles
- Accomplishments and recognition. Recognizing employee accomplishments is a great way to improve morale and inspire a team, but you can also share company-wide achievements. Some ideas for recognition might be:
- Progress toward company goals and initiatives
- Employee awards and accomplishments
- Promotions and role changes
- Customer success stories
- Anniversaries and celebrations. Including anniversaries and celebrations adds fun content to the newsletter and promotes teamwork. Consider including employee’s professional milestones and anniversaries, but also include personal events like weddings, birth announcements, and other causes for celebration.
- Use images to add interest. Images make a newsletter more appealing, but also improve how well a reader retains information. If necessary, find free-to-use images from online stock photo sites to include in your corporate newsletter.
- Include links. Links are a great way to keep a newsletter brief and readable. Use a few sentences to describe important events like major policy changes, then link to a resource for more information and detail.
- Have fun with it. If you have fun writing a company newsletter, the reader will have fun as well. Depending on the company culture and brand voice, consider including inside jokes, funny stories, or amusing images.
Writing an internal newsletter can be a fun and interesting task, and you can make it fun and interesting for the reader as well.
Because newsletters are recurring, take advantage of data metrics and analysis, as well as reader input and feedback, to make every issue of the company newsletter better, more valuable, and more effective than the last.
What exactly is an internal newsletter?
An internal newsletter is a newsletter aimed at readers within a company, often sent to all employees, or to all employees within a specific department or functional area. These company newsletters typically contain information from management to all relevant employees or teams.
Why does my company need an internal newsletter?
Companies usually use internal newsletters to make sure that all employees receive relevant information. They reduce the frequency of company-wide emails and long email threads and chains, and also reduce the ability of employees to say they “didn’t get the memo” for important communications.
What makes a good internal newsletter design?
A good internal newsletter should be designed with the same principles as an external email newsletter. Some of the design principles to keep in mind are:
1. Be clear. Use legible fonts and color combinations that promote readability. Use headlines and the page layout to clearly organize and prioritize information. Offer links for more detail and specific information.
2. Be engaging. Write headlines that interest the reader and encourage them to read the content. Use images that enhance the message. Offer value to the reader, so they feel like reading the newsletter is a good use of their time.
3. Create unity. Newsletters are a great way to unite companies and teams that are spread across large workplaces, remote teams, or global companies. Include and reflect the company culture. Promote two-way communication and interaction.
4. Use a template. A template not only speeds up the initial design process, but it helps create a cohesive design you can use over and over again.
What do you write in an internal company newsletter?
In most cases, the key content to write in an internal company newsletter is determined by management. There may be policy changes, updated procedures, or new initiatives.
Upper management may want to share progress, give updates, or simply periodically communicate with all employees. Management may also determine the goals of a newsletter, by saying that they want employees to download a new manual, read a new guideline, or engage in a new practice.
In most cases, it’s up to the writer or their department to find a way to balance this content from management, with content that is also engaging and interesting for employees, so it is a more valuable resource for the whole company.