Who Wants to Eat Cold Dinner?
There are a couple of professional groups that I like follow on LinkedIn. One of these groups is the Employee Communications and Engagement Group, which with more than 7000 members worldwide is quite large. A while ago, a fellow-member from India asked for some feedback on their company bulletin with the aim of making it more popular among the employees. Many good ideas were shared by members who were in similar positions but working in different countries. A brief summary of the main ideas are:
- Before circulating any bulletin there should be a questionnaire to find about employee expectations.
- There should be some information which is shared only via bulletin channel. Otherwise you might be creating communication channels which compete with each other.
- People like to read about themselves. For this reason, corporate activities, significant employee contributions, department introductions, etc. attract more attention.
- There should be interviews with top management to ensure the success of the bulletin. Generally, the HR Manager, Marketing Manager, Production Manager and the CEO are the people to interview. In these interviews, while asking for management expectations, employee expectations should be shared as well.
- Finally, how the bulletin will be circulated should be carefully thought through to ensure that everyone has access.
All these ideas were great but I felt that there was one crucial point that need to be stressed for the success of an internal bulletin. This point was clear to me after I read an interview with Prof Gazi Yasargil in one of his visits to Istanbul. Prof Yasargil is a worldwide-recognized Turkish neurosurgeon and has been living and working in the United States since 1994. When the reporter asked him that what he missed most about Turkey, with some other items, Prof Yasargil’s answer was “Turkish newspapers”. He then went on to explain why he missed Turkish newspapers the most. He said that “Reading a newspaper on the internet is like eating a cold dinner.” This was a very striking sentence for me. For years, Turkish newspapers have been sent to Prof Yasargil on a monthly basis.
I find a connection with Prof Yasargil’s comment on the newspapers and internal communication tools like corporate bulletins. I admit that beyond the efforts for content or delivery, the key to success of a widely read corporate bulletin is printing it on paper. I imagine you would say to me that this would substantially increase the costs. But in response I would say still it is worth every penny. Looking at the colorful photos in the pages of the bulletin, reading the CEO’s message during a lunch break, learning about the story of a corporate responsibility project are a few of the pleasures you have with a printed bulletin. What is more with hardcopies you can have the extra pleasure of collecting them, something I have been doing for years.
Related links you can use while preparing your human resources internal communication plan:
By using the link below, you can have a look at the outline of the book “21 Strategies for Improving Employee Communication” from Amazon:
Edited by Neville Wells
Photo Credit: Google Images