The Newsletter As an Effective Corporate Management Tool
Most organized groups, clubs, schools, or offices have in-house publications called newsletters or bulletins. More than being an informative medium, the newsletter can also be a potent management tool. As today’s corporate communications executives have discovered, orally transmitted information isn’t enough.
Like a corporate communications program, your newsletter can work to make your organization stronger, more cohesive, and more vibrant. In order to achieve that demands six characteristics. Your newsletter aside from being mainly informative, it should also be historical, educational, entertaining, reinforcing, and tradition-building. Let us take a look at each characteristic functions and discover how you can maximize your newsletter’s potential.
It is obvious that a newsletter needs to contain notices of events, activities, meetings, seminars, announcements, etc. But do remember to briefly provide information on the event, especially when there is registration and deadlines involved.
To gather information, line up your sources—attend meetings, ask active members to call you with new developments. Network frequently with other members. Maximize all means of contact information such as mobile phones, PDA, and yes, even Facebook if you must.
Provide historical record.
Report in your newsletter specifically what happened and who participated in events. Highlights of corporate events, parties, or social gatherings will make readers want to attend next time. You can also print a list of guest participators who attended or contributed to the success of the event and send them each a copy of the newsletter – people love to see their names in print, and this recognition can make them feel appreciated to be part of it.
To get historical information into your newsletter, you’ll need to be present on the events itself, or at least assign a reporter. You may be amazed at how many eager members would rise to the challenge when asked to produce one short article. It is important to select the most interesting details to write about and get a catchy title from there.
Think about a specific need (or problem) in your organization. Perhaps you can write solutions through suggestions but do it in a positive manner, not in a way that will pick a fight or cause further friction within the group.
Generate articles on topics as how to perform various jobs better or give out helpful tips. Refresh the readers’ knowledge with the organizational policies, for instance. If there is already an open issue being debated upon, a pros and cons article would help. The newsletter can provide a forum for members’ views.
Experts in adult education maintain that people learn best when they’re having fun. So perk up your newsletter with jokes, cartoons, and humorous quotes. Collect these, or put out an appeal to members for them. Showcase entertaining stories or images from members who are visually creative; feature quips from those with rare wit.
People perform better when they are praised for what they do right rather that when they’re criticized for what they do wrong. Son in your newsletter, celebrate your members’ achievements. If a member or team has struggled with a certain project for weeks and finally completes it, celebrate the victory in the newsletter. Look for small things to commend people for—what appears insignificant may mean a lot to an individual.
One caution: religiously check the spelling of names—there’s nothing more discouraging than to see your name in print and then, on the way to show the article to your boss, friends, or mother, notice your name misspelled.
The most successful companies, according to a best-selling book, In Search of Excellence, have a cult and culture of their own. This is true, especially with voluntary or non-profit organizations.
The newsletter can play a major role in establishing traditions and cultivating that distinctive group consciousness. This may be encouraged by coining words or phrases.
Make specific reference to individual achievements and contributions, and show how these benefited the group as a whole. Your imagination can add color and flair to the most mundane item.
By deliberately weaving these six characteristics into each and every issue of your newsletter, you can ensure that it will support your organization’s policies and goals and serve an active role in making your group thrive.
By being informational, the newsletter provides the source of cohesion for all members; by being historical, it makes activities tangible for readers and helps foster greater future participation; by being educational, it underscores the club’s mission of personal development for each member. By being entertaining, the newsletter lends a sense of fun and humor to club activities; by being reinforcing, it acts powerfully to support and encourage major organizational objectives such as good management, involvement of all members, and attendance at events and functions; and finally, by being tradition-building, it helps further the growth and continuity of the organization.