In the digital age in which we live and work, portals have become the mainstay of many employee communications strategies. Portals are an efficient way to centrally house information and communications messages in many formats, from quick-read news and feature stories, to videos and audio, to social media tools like blogs.
But while the “If you build it, they will come” mentality worked for Kevin Costner’s character in the movie Field of Dreams, it’s been proven ineffective in employee communications. Employees are busy keeping up with the fast pace of their day to day jobs, and it’s just not realistic to think that they have time to proactively and regularly visit your portal to see what’s new.
In my experience, a “pull-only” strategy of building the portal in hopes that employees will come just doesn’t work. Employees will say things like, “The business doesn’t communicate with us. There’s no way to know what’s happening outside of my department.” To which communicators will respond, “But it’s on the portal!” The truth is, publishing content to the portal is only half the job.
This “pull” tactic needs a “push” partner. Enter the e-newsletter. An e-newsletter can draw employees in through a quick, concise, professionally formatted and easy-to-read e-mail. This “push” tactic gives you a way to reel them in with interesting, relevant nuggets that make people want to click to read more. With an e-newsletter, you can round up highlights from your portal content, give employees just enough information to grab their attention, and enable them to click through to the portal for the full story or blog or a multimedia clip.
Here are some tips for maximizing the benefits of an e-newsletter for your business and your audience:
- An e-newsletter functionality is built into many portal platforms today. If you have this capability, use it. You’ll find it way more efficient to automatically pull content and images into your newsletter using technology than to manually create and publish a separate vehicle.
- Use compelling, creative headlines and images in your portal content to draw employees in and motivate them to click through to the full story on the portal.
- Use an editorial calendar to plan your portal content ahead of time so that a mix and ample number of interesting, diverse, fresh content items are published within the date range that each newsletter will cover.
- Publish your e-newsletter on a set schedule, so that readers and content contributors know when to expect it.
- To call extra attention to key, time-sensitive portal content, like corporate announcements or CEO messages or blogs, use dedicated single-topic e-mail blasts rather than wait until it’s time for the next newsletter.
Author: Kate Tomasco