In these days of information overload and virtual offices, it becomes harder and harder to get your employees' attention. If they are seldom all in the office at the same time, how do you communicate company news effectively? You can send an e-mail, but will all employees read it? Many high-tech phone systems allow you to send out a voicemail blast to all users, but will everyone listen to it?

At Synergy Networks, a network-integration business in Vienna, Va., which had 1998 revenues of $10 million, CEO Mark Gordon wanted to make sure he communicated effectively with the company's 50 employees. But reaching them was tricky; some didn't work in the main office, for example, and some took forever to check their messages. So Gordon decided on a time-honored solution -- a brief, biweekly company newsletter. Better yet, he found a way to make sure it gets noticed: The newsletter is stuffed into employees' pay envelopes. "Everyone gets a paycheck," Gordon observes. "And they tend to open those."