Employee magazines – Treating staff as stakeholders

A company’s success depends on its employees as much as on its customers – perhaps even more so.

In ‘PR in internal communications’ we established that a company can build success from the inside out by treating its staff as stakeholders and engaging with them directly through internal communications.

The most effective internal communications tool is an employee magazine. Traditionally, employee magazines were seen as a means to create a sense of community and inform staff about news and developments within the business, such as new recruits or products, employee achievements or social events.

Today, many businesses have made the switch to employee newsletters in digital form. These are usually more cost-effective and quicker to produce. It is also easier to involve employees from different departments by asking them to submit contributions, fostering a sense of ownership. It is important to bear in mind that over the years reading habits have changed and newsletters today need to be more entertaining than traditional employee magazines. The traditional, perhaps rather lecturing, tone of hard copy employee magazines is no longer appropriate for their modern, more engaging electronic cousins.

Whether a company chooses to produce a traditional employee magazine or a more modern electronic newsletter, it is important for an experienced editor to be in charge of coordinating and revising the contributions to ensure they meet appropriate quality standards. If the newsletter is to be published in different languages, the editor also needs to liaise closely with the translation specialist and (multilingual) typesetter at every stage of production to achieve a quality publication.

Employee publications are an excellent tool for presenting a company’s open and active corporate culture. When employees feel involved and taken seriously, they are more likely to rate you highly as an employer, which is particularly useful today, when employees have numerous opportunities to criticise or praise their company on social media. Being rated highly as an employer will naturally also attract qualified applicants to join your company.