How to get people to read the company newsletter?
Question: I am the executive assistant of a medium-size, 24-hour-operation, family-run healthcare company; this is my eighth year of working here.
Recently, the HR manager and I decided to change the format and distribution process of our corporate newsletter from once a week to once a month and from offline (print copies) to online (as all of our employees now have e-mail accounts). We’ve found that this saves paper, time and money for the company and that many members of management prefer to receive it this way.
We’ve also upgraded the quality, going from a two-page black & white publication with ho-hum, everyday news to a snazzy-color Microsoft Publisher newsletter complete with insightful articles about employees (including a monthly spotlight feature), corporate teamwork (quoted articles from sites like monster.com), and, of course the regular content (anniversaries, employees of the month, notes from the different divisions announcing meetings, kudos for a job well done, etc.).
We’ve also posted the newsletter on our Web site and e-mail out a link to all employees so they can read it whenever they want or download copies. Employees get every-day access to their e-mail accounts both at work and via Web mail when home.
The problem is, despite all our efforts, we’ve gotten the impression that no one is reading it. It’s really important that people DO read it because it contains important information about mandatory procedure changes, meetings and the like.
Management wants the newsletter to keep being published, and we enjoy putting it together. We’ve tried putting in a monthly contest to get people to read the newsletter all the way through, but the rate of response is tremendously low, and we’re finding that many people simply aren’t checking their e-mail.
Short of going back to print copies (which we’ve left out for people to read … which just get left out), and stuffing 250 copies of the newsletter into 250 paychecks once a month, what other ideas have other admins come up with to interest people in reading your corporate newsletter?
Feedback is much appreciated! — Frustrated in Upstate N.Y