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Make Your Company Newsletter a Valuable Publicity Tool

Monday, September 24, 2007 - By: Joan Stewart

Deck: Turn a dull company newsletter into a competitive publicity tool with these easy 8 steps.
When you distribute your company newsletter, how do your employees react? Do they drop what they’re doing and read every word, then laugh hysterically about the funny photo on Page 2? Or do they throw it on a pile of junk on their desk, to be read whenever they get around to it?
Too many corporate newsletters are almost painful to read, some with entire front pages devoted to the newest widget. So many of these stories have dull headlines, poorly scanned photos, and copy more potent than a sleeping pill.
Here are eight ways to liven up your newsletter and make it a key tool in your publicity campaign:

•    Write about your employees and include lots of good-quality photos, even if they’re just small head shots. This makes employees feel special and helps with retention.

•    Make it fun. Recruit the most fun person from each department and ask them to write articles about their co-workers, or report on what their team is doing. The amateur reporters will look like stars. It will take work off the editor’s back. And interest will probably soar. Fun newsletters make your company look like a fun place to work. And fun places to work get lots of ink and air time.

•    Include fresh news. Articles about a product that was created six months ago or an event that is ancient history make the newsletter stale. Be sure each issue includes at least one new announcement.

•    Have periodic contests. Print a brain-teaser, or ask employees to guess which artists wrote obscure songs from the fifties and sixties. You can also tie these contests to new products and services you are offering. Award great prizes. Be sure to send copies to your clients and let them enter, too.

•    Send your print newsletters to the media, preferably to the reporter who covers your industry. This is one of the best ways to feed ideas to syndicated columnists who write about your topic area, without pestering them with phone calls and e-mail messages. Newsletters can be a wonderful source for news tips and a great way to keep your name in front of reporters. Include a cover letter that pitches a specific story idea about your company. See

•    Let reporters know if you publish an ezine, and ask their permission to put them on your mailing list.

•    Write about new trends in your industry. This flags reporters to interesting story ideas, and is valuable information for your own employees.

•    Each year, send a postcard to everyone on your mailing list and ask if they want to continue to receive your newsletter. If too many people ask to be removed, it might be a sign that you need to inject some life and excitement into it.

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