Communicating correctly and efficiently within a company has become a must : to reassure the employees, to avoid seeing the best ones leave… And to spread the words on the company successes, which are the results of everybody’s work and contribution.
The internal magazine, or company magazine, proves to be a very efficient tool for internal communication. However, some companies are still hesitating : what to say, how to say it and how often ? Take a look at our guide to create your internal magazine, step by step.
Define the objective and the target of my internal magazine
Define my general goal for each publication
Reassure the teams in time of crisis, ease internal tensions
Value the employees
Encourage the employees commitment , reinforce the feeling of belonging to the company
Inform them about the evolutions, the successes, the failures, the social life of the company
Accompany change : notify them and help them to accept an important change (moving to a new location, leadership change, a reorganization)
Bring the walls down between the departments, unite the staff of a particular division, generate a team spirit, contribute to forge a bond between people
Reinforce the company culture …
Define my target
The employees of a company are not a homogeneous audience. All the employees are potential readers of the internal magazine, but some topics may interest some teams more than others, especially articles that deal with their unit or one of their team members. You will then need to proceed in an orderly fashion to come up with a precise segmentation of your target.
Primary target : all of the employees and departments, only the “production” arm, the top management, etc
Secondary target : the marketing department, the blue collar workers…
Tertiary target : …
What content for my company magazine?
That is a very tricky question…Actually, it would be easier to define what it is not.
Information vs sponsored news
The content should not be similar to an advertising post promoting the directors or managers. The teams won’t be fooled. This could lead to the impression that this tool is only a new way for the “high potentials” or the “talents” to get under the spotlight.
The internal magazine is a tool to value all your employees. So do not begin with the top managers. Highlight an employee who is not a team leader in your first edition, and the staff will know that this magazine is meant for them.
It can sometimes be difficult to handle the egos of some managers. It can be a challenge indeed to get them to understand that a worker or another employee will be at the heart of a full length article instead of them. The top management must understand that the company magazine is a magazine for the teams
Balance the editorial content
If you can balance the corporate news and the ones closer to the employees, the internal magazine will find its audience.
Balance text and images
Just like every communication tool, it must look attractive : add some text, photos, drawings, charts… And present it in a nice-looking design, using a quality format (not a luxurious one!).If your magazine is a web magazine, you can add some sound or videos. This is the best way to make your magazine more dynamic and lively.
Define your editorial line and the topics of my company magazine
To launch an internal magazine, you need to have a clear idea of your editorial line, the sections, the tone of the articles, the publication schedule and the format. The internal magazine cannot be just a few pages of low quality paper coming out from the photocopy machine, that would only contain dull speeches from a few directors.
The teams will see in the quality of the internal magazine the respect that the company is showing them. A quality magazine does not require very big budgets, especially if it is online. To be clearer, let us give you a few examples that you can adapt to your company.
What will we never discuss?
For confidential reasons, the details of a sales and marketing plan for the coming year won’t appear. But also the salaries, the private lives of the staff, the rumours heard by the coffee machine…
What will we write about ?
Focus on the company, with some bits from the daily life
Value the employees : their skills associated with their jobs, outside the job, the HR policy…
Training memos : marketing glossary, how to make a pdf,…
Q&A on the company’s life : internal mobility, …
Reports of special events, announcements of future events
Examples of how to make your sections
The minimum is 3, the maximum is 10. You will need to maintain that structure throughout your publications, so don’t see too big.
Edito: this is the only section where the employees is OK to read the speech of the CEO or another top manager.
Section 1 : activity report since the last edition
Section 2 : highlight of a particular unit of the company
Section 3 : the next important phase for the company
Section 4 : highlight the employee’s extra curricular activities .
For example : the company’s accountant who is also a soccer team coach
Section 5 : an example of a happy customer or a success story, to show the expertise of a particular team that is not often under the spotlight, and not well known
Section 6 : Q&A, testimonials, interviews, feedbacks
Section 7 : useful information for people’s personal lives
For example : classified ads from the employees (free), car-sharing, information on day care for the employees with small children etc
PS : You can also consider a structure that is around geographical areas or by sector depending on your type of organization. This will enable the reader to go directly to the part that is of interest to him or her.
Tone of the articles
- Adapted to the age structure of the readers, and to their activities
- Choose a simple and direct tone
Formats and medium
- Soft copy : Word document, PDF, email body, a specific medium adapted to an online reading of your magazine, website
- Hard copy
The frequency depends on the amount of information, which often depends on the size of the company. It can be monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly. The current trend is to move from a monthly to a quarterly publication.
The most important thing here is that for your magazine to be read, it is best to publish it regularly.
Some internal communication directors will recommend that you distribute the internal magazine together with the payslip ! The employees may be more prone to read it if they receive it together with a document they are eagerly waiting for each month.