An internal company newsletter about what's happening day to day can be a great way to create a sense of transparency and open the lines of communication at your business.
I write a monthly company newsletter to my team at VerticalResponse. Frankly, I write the intro and then the department heads fill in the bits of info from their teams. I didn't used to do it because I felt that managers were telling their teams what was going on. But even when that was the case, I found that a lot of employees were still asking questions about how the company was doing and what was going on in other teams.
Let's face it, if you're a small business, you're probably running fast and furious and so are your employees. It's a wonder we can keep anything together. Even if it's tough to make the time, I think it's crucial to keep the internal lines of communication open.
So here is how we break down our company newsletter:
Intro – This is my way of answering any questions that are being asked over and over again by the team members. I do it as a Q&A. I also highlight some things about how our customers are viewing us by talking about any surveys we send. I try to be very personal and I try to have some fun with it.
Marketing, Sales, Customer Service & Business Development – These teams write about their goals and how they did against them in the previous month. We also talk about company press and any awards our company won.
Product & Engineering – This section talks about any new products that we have to offer, any new milestones we've hit with our technology, or any problems we fixed for our customers.
Finance & HR – Here we talk about the overall company goals and how we're doing so far in the year, any new hires, new benefits we are offering, and additional company news.
For each section we highlight individuals that went above and beyond the call of duty because it's important to recognize stellar individuals for all of their hard work. I also try to get some images or fun company pictures in there to get readership up!
I use my own e-mail marketing platform VerticalResponse because I can see who is opening the e-mail and clicking on any links if I've included them. Team VR, I can see you ;-)
If you've got ideas about your successes with your company newsletter, comment for the Inc.com readers.
JANINE POPICK is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (a Deluxe company), a leading provider of self-service email and event marketing, online surveys, social media, and direct mail solutions. The company was ranked No. 2,802 on the 2012 Inc. 5000. @janinepopick