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6 reasons why your internal magazine is not read

You thought that you had met all the criteria for an attractive media, but your internal magazine is not read? We have listed for you all the main factors that come into play.

The magazine is often at the heart of an internal communication plan. It can gather all the latest news as well as in-depth articles on bigger topics. It can also be used to bring forward all the people who play a role in the company.

However, it can happen that employees only browse through it quickly, or completely ignore it. It is therefore important to know why they do not read their internal magazine, to make the necessary adjustments.

How can you know if your internal magazine is not read?     

The internal communication teams can hear comments and feedbacks from the field to know if this or that tool is liked or not. But those are only a few comments that may not always reflect the overall impression across the company.

In order to know how popular your internal magazine really is, you have two solutions. First of all, the internal survey. It can be linked to a bigger theme, but it should contain some specific questions dedicated to the different tools. This is the most precise way to know if the employees really like your internal magazine.

Then, if you have a digital version, you can access your reading statistics almost in real time. When the digital version exists together with a paper format, those figures will only give you a partial view. But if you can bring the 2 indicators together, then you should have quite solid data.


Why is your internal magazine not read?

If the employees do not read the internal magazine, it is important to understand why they don’t. An internal audit will allow you to know the precise reasons for this lack of attractiveness.

Some reasons often come back: we have listed for you the 6 main reasons why your internal magazine is not read.


1)     Lack of awareness about the internal magazine

The first cause is often the lack of visibility of the internal magazine. Your magazine may be absolutely amazing, but the employees do not know it, because:

·       Some do not receive it, or not at the right time

·       Some have some misconception about it, maybe remembering an old-fashioned magazine that used to exist

·       Some may not know where to find the digital version

In this case, you need to rethink about distribution channels and put in place a small communication plan about it. The objective is to change the image that the employees may have about the internal magazine.

2)    An inadequate publication frequency

The attractiveness of the internal magazine depends of course on its content. Is it a summary of the latest news? A medium used to go into more details on some important topics?  Is it a way to put forward the women and men that work in the company? Depending on the objective, the publication frequency should be adapted.

If your magazine is issued three times a year for example, the news that it contains may already be out-of-date when it is published!

3)    An internal magazine is not read if it is too far from its audience

The employees should relate to the content of the internal magazine. This is where the difficult part is: it should be able to reach all the internal targets in the same way. To do that, it is important to find the right balance between corporate topics (that the employees should know about), and the human aspect (that they want to find). If the content is too far away from the daily matters and questions of the employees, they will soon lose all interest in the internal magazine.


       4) Atone of voice to adjust

This point goes together with the former one. The general tone of the magazine must also meet
the expectations of the readers. A tone that is too corporate may mean, in the
mind of the employees, that the internal magazine lacks transparency, or maybe honesty.
In the same way, a language that is too technical (or not enough) can reflect a
lack of understanding of the field. The communication teams must find the right
balance here as well.

5) The role of pictures

The content is important,
but the format is as well. If the internal magazine is not read, maybe it is
simply because it is very hard to read. A spaced layout that leaves a lot of
room for photos is important. It is not about deleting all the texts; it is
about using pictures to convey the different messages.

 6)   A layout to think over

The publication frequency, the tone of voice, the balance between content and page setup depend on the format you have chosen. The internal magazine can be a few pages only, or it can be a quite thick magazine. This depends on the content you have at hand of course. But you should also consider the reading habits of the employees, and the time they can allocate to it.

In the same way, the decision to make the magazine a paper or a digital one, or a mix of the 2 plays a role. All the employees should be able to easily access the format that suits them best