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You may be overlooking one of your most effective internal communications tools

By Kelly Ehasz

I never knew one brief email could be so powerful.

It showed a sweet selfie of my client with a VA nurse giving a thumbs-up sign and read:

Yesterday I went to the (local) VA to get my COVID vaccine. The nurse who gave me the shot recognized my name from our newsletter! She said that she is a huge fan. So — if you ever wonder if what we do matters and if people get our products — trust me they do! Thank you for the amazing job that you do every single week on the newsletter. It’s valued by so many and goes farther than we may realize!

First thought: I have the best client EVER. She always sends kudos and notes of appreciation.

Second thought: The newsletter is doing what we want it to do — reaching far and wide and making a meaningful difference!

How a newsletter can exceed your goals

This story doesn’t end there. About two weeks later, another email from my client arrived:

I wanted to share this feedback about the value of our newsletter! Thank you so much for the tireless work that you do every week to collect and refine our stories and create a masterpiece each time. It is much appreciated by lots of folks!

The email trail revealed the feedback was from her boss’s boss. My client, thrilled that this senior leader replied to that week’s newsletter, replied back: “Thanks for reading our newsletter.” The boss replied:

I am not only reading it, I use the information for bullet briefs for senior leaders’ meetings. Keep them coming. 😊

First thought: Wow, that’s fantastic.

Second thought: The newsletter is informing senior leadership and making their jobs easier.

A week later we learned in a third kudos email that our newsletter stories were included in briefings for national leadership groups. It was confirmation that something that might be an afterthought — an internal newsletter — could be useful and important to all levels of the organization.

Don’t forget a critically important stakeholder

This is more than a story of client kudos; rather, it’s a tale of internal communications and the valuable role it can play in any organization.

Establishing and maintaining a strong connection with those closest to your organization can organically increase involvement with and a commitment to your mission and goals. And when you consistently deliver engaging, results-driven communications products — like newsletters — to internal stakeholders, you can get results that exceed your expectations.

Here’s what I’ve learned about producing a staff newsletter that will be read and shared — both down the line and up the ladder.

· The “From:” line matters most. We advised our client not to use an email platform with a generic no-reply “From:” line. She instead sends the newsletter from her own VA email address so recipients know they can trust the sender. You may be thinking, “What if hundreds of recipients reply and flood her inbox?” Well, that’s never happened.

· Pick a day/time to send and stick to it. Much has been written about timing your email blast correctly, but most of that best practice advice is published by commercial email marketers. For an internal newsletter, a dependable day (not Friday) and time work best. Employees will grow to anticipate its arrival.

· Keep it short and friendly. Brevity matters (100–200 words per story). Conversational tone matters. “I love a long, boring newsletter,” said no one ever.

· CTAs are da bomb. Every single story in this VA staff newsletter has a call to action. “Read and share at this link …,” “Join our event by …,” “Tell your VA contacts about …”

Don’t underestimate the value and reach of your internal audience. If you don’t have a comprehensive internal communications strategy, you’re missing out on engaging one of your most important stakeholders.

Original post here.

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