Posted By WriterGirl & Associates on 10/05/2021

5 steps to creating a successful internal employee newsletter

5 steps to creating a successful internal employee newsletter

As virtual work becomes increasingly commonplace and hospital systems continue to grow with the rise of mergers and acquisitions, healthcare teams are more spread out than ever. There has never been a better time to create an internal employee newsletter.

A well-executed employee newsletter can keep dispersed teams engaged and passionate about their work while strengthening your organization and your brand.

 Follow these steps to seamlessly develop a newsletter that consistently delivers quality content to your employees.

1. Know your purpose

 So, your company has decided that it’s time to start an internal newsletter for employees. Before diving into the nitty-gritty planning process, it’s important to pause for a moment and get clear on your “why.”

Maybe you’re looking for a way to keep your team informed on recent internal developments, such as introducing new team members or communication around a recent merger and acquisition. Or, you need a way to keep everyone up to date on the latest covid-19 vaccine communication tips. Perhaps you aim to foster a greater sense of community and connection among a virtual workforce.

No matter the reason, developing a statement of purpose and a set of goals for your employee newsletter is the first step in building a solid foundation for your internal communication to flourish.

Karla Webb, WriterGirl senior client services manager, shared that this was a crucial step in creating the newly launched WriterGirl Insider, a quarterly publication for WriterGirl associates.

“All communications should start with a strategy,” says Webb. “Why are you communicating, who are you communicating to, and what is the purpose?”

Asking yourself these simple questions will allow you to move forward with greater clarity, precision and intention. Make it a point to write down your purpose statement and goals and continue to revisit them as your company newsletter evolves.

2. Plan your process

Once you’ve established the “why” of your newsletter, you’ll want to consider the “how.” Having a few simple processes in place can streamline newsletter output, giving you more time to focus on creating meaningful content.

How will you send the newsletter?

Deciding whether you will send the communication from your internal server or an email marketing platform is a good place to start.

While you can create employee newsletters with an internal email, you may want to consider an email service provider (ESP). Platforms such as Mailchimp or ContactMonkey come with user-friendly template builders, drag-and-drop editors and engagement analytics. These tools can enhance the overall employee newsletter experience, from design to engagement.

How will you design the newsletter?

A great way to keep your content organized and consistent is by designing or using a pre-made template to serve as a blueprint for each newsletter. Your employees will know what to look forward to and your team will save time by not having to start from scratch with each issue.

How often will you send the newsletter?

Determining how frequently you plan to publish is another critical step. While some organizations prefer weekly communications, others might find that monthly or quarterly will suffice.

How will you collect information for the newsletter?

If you plan to collect information from employees to include in the newsletter, applications like Google Forms or Survey Monkey are excellent tools to organize contributions. 

3. Collaborate

Creating and maintaining an engaging employee newsletter can also facilitate a sense of camaraderie amongst your hardworking team. But without proper support, a company newsletter has the potential to become yet another task on your increasingly long to-do list.

If you’re in the healthcare marketing field, the chances are high that you have some capable communications and digital content professionals swimming in your talent pool. Here are some easy ways to tap into your team for help:

  • Ask a member of your design team for layout ideas.
  • Enlist a staff writer to pen a short feature on a new employee.
  • Harness a content editor’s eagle eyes for a review before pushing “send.”
  • Team up with a couple of co-conspirators to brainstorm content ideas.

“When we were planning our newsletter, we knew that it was important to work as a team,” says WriterGirl Senior Content Writer and Editor Dama Ewbank, co-creator of WriterGirl’s biweekly employee newsletter, WriterGirl Roundup. “That way, we can divide the work so that it doesn’t all fall on one person, plus it’s more fun!”

Having a small team to collaborate with on producing your publication can increase the quality of your material and help lighten the load.

4. Content counts!

Once you establish your purpose, process and team, you’ll have a solid framework for your newsletter. That means you can start to focus on the most critical component of your internal newsletter — content. 

An internal employee newsletter can facilitate team engagement and foster personal connections between employees. Taking the time to develop meaningful content will create a newsletter that your team will look forward to engaging with regularly.

“We had a brainstorming session and came up with a list of key topics,” Ewbank shared. “Milestones such as birthdays and work anniversaries, opportunities to get involved in company projects, kudos on a job well done, posting vacation schedules — and sharing vacation photos! — were all topics that we decided were important to include in our newsletter.”

The WriterGirl Roundup team also includes a feature article that highlights a different staff member and topic. Pieces have included a spotlight on a staff member’s scrapbooking hobby and a peek into the magic behind WriterGirl’s VP of Talent’s hiring process.

Including essential company updates and industry news will ensure your employee newsletter is a powerful tool to keep your team informed.

5. Track and measure engagement

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is an important step in determining the success of your internal employee newsletter. Using an ESP like MailChimp allows you to easily track engagement by measuring whether people are clicking on items in the newsletter. Some email platforms also offer read/skim/delete rates, or “read rates,” which can give you a sense of how much time people are spending on your email.

If you’re creating a newsletter, but no one is clicking on the content or reading it, you may want to switch up your strategy. Here are some simple changes you can make to increase engagement:

  • Change up the content. Create a Google Form or SurveyMonkey with questions about what type of content your team would like to see in the internal employee newsletter. 
  • Adjust the send time.  Test out different send times to see what works best for your team. Mailchimp has a Send Time Optimization feature, which uses data to determine the times that your contacts are most likely to engage.
  • Include a call to action. When used with discretion, a CTA can be a great way to measure engagement levels while simultaneously encouraging employees to take action.

Creating an internal employee newsletter is a simple and effective way to boost employee engagement and streamline communication. Planning out your process and determining what kind of content makes your team tick will result in an engaging newsletter that employees will look forward to with each new edition.

Do you need help crafting an employee newsletter? Check out WriterGirl’s Internal comms support and let us support you in the process!