If your firm has a weekly or monthly newsletter, great. But if not, you need to get cracking on that important piece of internal communication.
Does your firm have an internal newsletter or some kind of regular firm-wide communication? If not, you should!
In our consulting work, the No. 1 recommendation derived from both management and employee interviews is improved communication. A regular newsletter is an easy solution to this problem, but it has to be executed carefully and correctly. Don’t underestimate its importance and effectiveness in solving internal issues, empowering employees for business development, executing a strategic plan, achieving goals, and boosting morale and employee retention. If you have multiple offices, it’s even more important to have regular firm-wide communication that is consistent across all locations. A paper newsletter is always fun, but for efficiency, speed of delivery, and sustainability reasons (save some trees), email or electronic delivery is preferred.
Here are some keys to success:
- Regular delivery. It should be sent out a minimum of once a month (weekly is even better). Keeping this on a schedule is the easiest way to make sure it gets done. Don’t hesitate to send out a “special issue” in the case of big, exciting news. More importantly, do not wait to issue important announcements for the next regularly scheduled newsletter when the information should be sent out immediately.
- Don’t be afraid to repeat news that has already been announced. A big project win that has already been announced might have gotten a lot of attention, but don’t assume everyone got the message. Repeat it in the weekly newsletter and perhaps expound on the project a bit.
- Although point No. 2 is important, keep it succinct enough that everyone will read to the end.
- Keep it fresh! Templates are a great way to stay organized and present information in a graphically pleasing way, but if your newsletter is too constrained by a template, people will become habituated to it and may not stay engaged or read the content carefully. Fun graphics, crazy headlines, color, and real photos can go a long way.
- Get people involved. The newsletter doesn’t have to be a big time suck for an already overloaded marketing department. Guest posts or writers, input from project managers or principals on projects, employee spotlights, and reports from industry events, are just a few of the ways to get everyone in the whole firm involved and engaged with the newsletter.
- Include links. Share articles written and published by team members. Share public media mentions of your firm or projects you’ve worked on. Include recent social media announcements and encourage sharing on personal social media platforms to improve reach.
- Foster the celebration. Your newsletter should be a place of celebration and accolades. Include information on new hires, promotions, project wins, community involvement projects, the achievement or progress on various goals or initiatives, and even things like firm website hits, outstanding marketing campaigns, and positive client feedback.
The above are just few tips for an effective internal newsletter. I could go on for pages. Always remember that your newsletter is a powerful representation of your firm’s brand. It should get everyone at all levels of the organization involved and connected. Most importantly, it should be fun!
If your firm has a truly great internal newsletter, consider submitting to Zweig Group’s 2019 Marketing Excellence Awards in the internal communication category. It’s a great way to get additional exposure! You can find out more here.
Christina Zweig Niehues is Zweig Group’s director of marketing. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.