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Monthly Newsletter Advice

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Question: I have been asked to start a monthly newsletter for our plant.  Since I have never done this before, I need all the help I can get such as a sample newsletter, what program to use (I was thinking Microsoft Publisher).

My goal is employee involvement. Should I send out a memo asking for ideas and input or, after the newsletter is started (hopefully), just rely on word of mouth? 

Thank you.  -- Susan Kifer, Newark, Del.

Comments

I produce a monthly newsletter for our staff. I use Publisher but, since we're very widespread and not everyone has the same version of Publisher, I convert it to a PDF and email it. Also, word of mouth has not been an effective tool to get people to submit articles in my case. I email key people each month (heads of the different departments) asking them to contribute and giving them a deadline. I also recommend having one or two features that will appear each month (we profile two staff members each month) in case you don't have a lot of content.

We have a monthly newsletter for a bank of about 50 employees. We began by forming a committee of one person from each area (accounting, branches, loans, etc.) The committee meets once a month to work on putting together the newsletter for the next month. Each person asks around their department in advance for ideas of what employees would like to see. Our HR person takes the lead at the meeting, and contributes a list of dates for the month: bank holidays-if any that month, birthdates, and employment milestones/anniversaries that occur during the month. Each issue contains bios and photos of 2 or 3 employees. These bios contain a brief description of what that person does at the bank so newer employees can become better acquainted with staff. We began our bio list with members of senior management, secondly with a few of the smaller departments; then add the current employee of the quarter when that is announced. It made it easier to determine who would be featured. There are sometimes seasonal recipies (1-2); tips about pets; famous quotes and any charitable initiatives we're working on (this month it was Big brother/Big sister meetings and sign up.) Our HR person found a 3 column format in Microsoft Word worked best for our purposes, because it could be e-mailed (Most computers have Word capability as opposed to Publisher)Our newsletter has become so popular, it has grown to 6-8 pages long. Hope this helps!

I am co-editor of a 4-page Microsoft Publisher that comes out quarterly. Not only do we distribute it to approximately 80-plus employees, but we have a mailing list of about 300 customers, collegeges and friends as well. We have found that it is easiet for establish a set format, and then enlist certain department heads to cover each section each quarter. For example, our HR manager handles the Employee Spotlight, our Asst. Plant Manager will write a "Safety Corner" and we also have a section from our president. Delegating and keeping your newletter consist will make your life easier - and help you to establish a certain tone and appreance. For help, try googling "Jessica Albon", who gives advice on writing newsletters. Good luck and remember to have fun!

I once created a monthly newsletter for our offices. You will never get the employee involvment that you are looking for. I used to go to the few people I knew would give me some information, we work at a medical facility so there were always topics about new surgery procedures or products. So I would find out what your business is really about and try to update the staff that might not always know what is really happening. Like here, the support staff doesn't really know anything about the new technology, but they always enjoy learning about where they work. I also included birthdays, upcoming holidays,years of service, announcements (wedding, baby, graduation, etc.). Then we had a section where we would put recipes from staff, cars for sale, etc. Keep it enjoyable and not too boring or no one will want to help you, because there is no interest.

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