Top 17 Newsletter Ideas: Part 3
This is part three of a three-part series on setting up an office newsletter. Check out Part One, Making a :Case for an Office Newsletter, and Part Two: The Nine C’s of Effective Communication.
- Message from the Director
Ask your office manager to share news about developments and/or reflect on recent accomplishments, including milestones achieved, new university policies expected, and other announcements.
In many workplaces, some colleagues do not get a chance to interact (frequently) one-on-one with their office director. Giving the director a platform in the newsletter is a great way to hear from them directly. Aim to make this the standard opener of the newsletter.
- Profile a Colleague
This allows coworkers to “put a name to a face.” When passing a colleague in the corridor, they will now have a starting point for a conversation. Alternatively, in large offices across different geographic regions, they may talk with a colleague only on the phone, via Skype or Zoom, but not really know them beyond that.
In the profile, you could ask them about their current work, professional achievements, and career history. On the other hand, you could make it more personal and focus on who they are and what they like to do when they are not at work. Keep 90% of the content consistent from one profile to the next, and allow for a small bit of personalization.
- Profile a Team and their Work
Break down office silos by featuring articles about work units, explaining what work they do (day to day), what their current projects or focus areas are and what services and/or expertise they have to offer for other units.
- Professional Development
When colleagues undertake professional development activities, it is not only great for their personal growth, but also an opportunity for the office. Advertise upcoming training opportunities, and encourage colleagues who have participated in these activities to share what they learned to foster a culture of knowledge exchange.
- Anniversaries and/or Milestones
Celebrate work anniversaries, graduations, engagements, weddings, babies, new homes, new side-hustles, online shops launched, etc. Personal milestones are an awesome way to encourage colleagues to reach out to each other. Some colleagues might be new, remote, or even shy - so giving them a shout out in the newsletter is a great way to make them feel appreciated.
- University-related News
There will always be something happening in the University that will affect your colleagues. The newsletter is a great place to share University news such as open access events, compliance challenges, innovation successes, interesting publications, altmetric highlights, guest lectures, etc.
- Stakeholder Case Studies
Showcase case studies about how your office or university has helped other organizations to solve their problems. This will help convey that the effort in the office is meaningful and it is one of the most engaging topics.
- Events at or near the University
Announce events accessible to office staff, either on campus, a short drive away or virtual. Meeting each other at a happening gives colleagues a chance to get to know each other from a different angle.
- Surveys and Polls
Include online surveys, polls around any topic of interest and publish the results in the next newsletter.
- Contests and Quizzes
Everyone likes to win: Ask questions about content of the newsletter to encourage people to read it.
- Health and Wellbeing
Information about your institution’s health & wellbeing programs or practical advice on how to remain healthy and active.
- Travel and Trips
Stories about destinations visited, and articles about travel offers, seat selection, holiday planning, necessary immunizations, etc.
- Food and Recipes
Articles with recipes made with local ingredients, seasonal dishes, strange veggies, etc.
- An Inspirational Quote
Find one appropriate for the newsletter content or the current situation in the office.
- Top Five Lists
Top-ranked items are a way to engage colleagues with special interests. A top list can include tips for work-related activities, places to get the best coffee, shows on a streaming service, one-pot recipes, apps, etc. As the listing is one of personal favorites, it will likely lead to reactions and discussions. NB. If five is deemed too long, make it a top 3.
- Share Photos of Colleagues
An internal newsletter should be people-centric. A great way to do this is to include a photographs of your colleagues… like the social pages from a local newspaper. Take pictures of colleagues at social events, training activities, launches and other initiatives, or simply include photos of them “in action” at their desk.
- Suggestion Box with Anonymous Comments
Give your audience an avenue to give feedback. It will improve your content and their engagement, as long as you make them feel heard.
Newsletters are in principle a one-way communication channel. Encouraging comments and feedback can start a conversation. You can solicit feedback via a Google form, and linking to it in your newsletter.
Authored by Floris van der Leest, Manager, Research Information
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology