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Employee newsletters can be a great way to find out what's going on around the company, or they can be silly and boring. You can, however, still have some fun with the publication and keep it professional enough not to make upper management cringe. I happen to sit on the newsletter committee at my own job, and in this guide I'll give you some good company newsletter ideas that we discussed and implemented at my workplace.
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While it doesn't really count as a "fun" option, including department news is a solid foundation for the newsletter. Most of the content that goes into it should be made up of information from each department. The best way for this to work is to have each department assign one or two people, depending on the size of the company, to write up something based on what's going on in their area. Writing duties can be rotated every other time so that one person doesn't always get stuck with the extra work, unless they want it.
Including department news not only gives each area a moment to shine for the rest of the company, but it also helps to educate others as to what each part of the company is responsible for maintaining. You've probably heard someone say of another group, "I don't know what they do up there all day," and departmental news is the perfect way to share information.
For example, I work in the IT department of my employer. My previous contributions to the newsletter included some tips on how to avoid malware pop-ups from websites, a report of the Google Analytics tracking on our website to show how many unique visitors we get each month and more. I try to make my articles both helpful and informative, plus it's good to spotlight a fellow co-worker for some specific accomplishment.
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Unless an employee specifically requests not to be included for privacy reasons, it's always neat to include a list of employee birthdays as well as their anniversary with the company. I work for a city government and the mayor sends a personalized birthday card to every employee on their birthday. It's a nice gesture. Being recognized in the newsletter might score someone a free lunch invitation or an office cake, too.
In addition to listing employment anniversaries, it's nice to recognize new hires and what departments they have joined. It's also good to show any recent promotions, like listing current and former job titles for reference. If your company has any kind of employee of the month award, this would be where to name them, and including a photo is always helpful.
Family is always important, and often the family members of employees are featured, like listing high school and college graduates, where they went to school and what they majored in. The same goes for birth announcements, and baby photos are always welcome. A brief congratulatory notice could also be included for weddings.
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One really good idea is to include a classified ads section. Since a lot of break rooms have bulletin boards where people post various items for sale, it would be beneficial to allot some space for employees to put their own ads. Just be careful not to let anyone get carried away with it, like posting more than one thing at a time or trying to take over the ad space with information about whatever side business they have.
By allowing classifieds, this will help to engage other employees to contact the department putting out the newsletter and it might help them to sell whatever it is they are listing. By allowing this small favor, it will be a positive experience for whoever has something to sell.
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Team Sports Day
The New Orleans Saints football team are huge where I live, and people go crazy about them during football season. Their recent Superbowl win only helped to fuel the mania. To support this cause, our work decided to have a Saints day where employees were encouraged to wear Saints jerseys or t-shirts, and decorate their offices with anything black and gold. Some people even had cakes made up and it was actually a lot of fun since so many participated.
For the newsletter, someone went to each department and took group photos to show all the dedicated fans together, and it went over so well than many people requested copies of those photos to print and place on their desk. This type of fun event has nothing at all to do with work, and that's part of what makes it even more fun. It also presents a chance for people to come together and show off just how big a fan they are, and the newsletter showcased every bit of it.
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Include Lots of Photos
When you put out a company newsletter, chances are that many employees aren't going to read it all, or they may just skim over it. Some people don't like to read, and there's not much to be done about it. Even so, including photos is a great way to catch someone's attention, plus it shows people at work and this is always fascinating to other departments.
One thing we do at my work is to include a photo collage at the very back page of every newsletter. We got the idea from a local magazine that does something similar with photo pages of people at various local events. This can make for a fun and colorful way to close out the publication, but make sure the employees pictured actually want to be in it. Some people are funny about having their picture taken.
- Author's personal experience.
- Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:News.svg, public domain