Advantages to Being the Editor of Your Company's Newsletter
written by: Beverley Lee•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 8/13/2011
Editing your company's newsletter has many advantages and should be accepted with alacrity. Taking on this task could lead to many other opportunities and will enhance your resume and future career path. It will prove to be an interesting and challenging insight into your company and its employees.
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Before you can start editing the newsletter there are two things worth doing. First of all find out as much as you possibly can about the company and secondly, go on a proof reading course. The first one is the most vital as you need to be fully conversant with the company history, financial history (as in company accounts) products and services offered, employment and what each department actually does. Learning to proof-read correctly is a skill and is useful generally in your job as well as for this purpose. Attention to detail is vital, as a badly edited newsletter gives the impression of an unprofessional company. Look at previous newsletters and see how you can improve on them. If you are starting a new company newsletter, check out other company newsletters to see how they lay them out and what is included. You can use newsletter templates to get you started.
Mainly you need company progress and financial information, but also some human interest stories about the staff. You could start an 'Employee of the Month' slot. Competitions between the departments may be appropriate, but this will depend on the style and mission of your company as to how much of a 'fun' element you can include.
You will need to go to each department and speak to several of the staff, encouraging them to write articles for the newsletter or send in ideas. There may be an existing writer who produces the main articles but getting stories from the staff develops team spirit within a company. Each department has a role to play in the development and progress of the company so each should be treated as such. Try and find something special within these departments so that over the year, every one of them is mentioned in the company newsletter.
This includes the directors and CEO of the company who you do need to get to know and this is certainly one of the biggest advantages of editing the company newsletter.
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In every department there are people working away doing their job well and working to help the company. This will include the Accounts Department who are often viewed as possibly a bit boring. In fact a good buyer can save the company a great deal of money. The person in credit control who chases the debts can be another star that keeps the cashflow in order. Getting the accounts correct each month is a skill and this department generally also had deadlines to meet. So within that department will be people you need to speak to and understand how they do this and keep the money coming in.
It may be that, for instance, in the Sales Department you need to get to know everyone and have a 'Sales Person of the Month' or quarter depending how often the newsletter is issued. This will depend on targets and results so getting to know the manager of the department will also be important.
So each department has its own special contribution to the company as a whole and you need to create good relationships with appropriate people from them all. The advantage of this for you is that you will be the first to know of new developments, new sales, new staff and any changing financial information. Developing these relationships can be a huge advantage within the company and in the future -- you may even make some good friends, get involved in a new hobby or even meet you future spouse!
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With any publication, the rule is that the editor has the final say -- this means you! If you don't like an article or a photograph, it goes. If you don't like the layout of a page, or an article is too long, it has to be changed. The final result is down to you. How your newsletter looks and even feels is your responsibility. With this responsibility comes power, this can be an advantage as long as it is tempered with common sense.
Having got to know the departments and people in them, you will be inviting them to write articles for the newsletter. These people may be very good at their jobs, but writing is a skill and you will have to make it clear that you will be editing the article which can often involve a complete rewrite or going back to the member of staff and talking them through it persuading them to rewrite it. You may also be inviting photographs, you could even have a photographic competition, again you choose which go into the newsletter and which do not. So be prepared for the backlash when someone's article is slashed or cut out altogether and photographs do not appear.
You will have to develop nerves of steel and a very persuasive manner. However, this is yet another advantage -- learning people skills -- as having to deal with a variety of different members of staff with different personalities, leaving them feeling respected, is a skill that can prove extremely advantageous at work and in life.
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So, editing a newsletter is not just about putting together a document that looks good, contains interesting, informative and entertaining reading. It is about you developing your editing, leadership and people skills, your company knowledge, your future opportunities and your resume.
You may have been given this task in addition to your work with no extra pay and taken it on reluctantly. However, look on it as an exciting challenge with the opportunity to meet new people and hone your expertise. One advantage of editing the company newsletter that you may not have considered, is that if you keep copies of every one of these newsletters, thinking of the blood, sweat and tears that went into them you'll have a nice body of work to show to future employees and be proud of.