One of the most common issues we run into with our clients’ employee newsletters are delays caused by one or two contributors failing to get their stories in on time. There are three keys to solving this ongoing dilemma.
1) Build in longer lead times. Be sure to give your contributors plenty of lead time. Everyone is busy these days and writing is not something that comes naturally (or quickly) to many people. If possible, double or triple the amount of lead time.
2) Check in. Don’t wait until the actual deadline and then check in to see why you haven’t received the person’s story. A better idea is to check in by sending a friendly reminder several times to those who have yet to make their submissions. For example, for a quarterly internal newsletter, we send out a reminder a month before materials are due, then two weeks, one week and a couple of times during the final week. The squeaky wheel does get the oil – just be sure to be pleasant about it.
3) Drop the hammer. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to pull out the big guns. If you are getting nowhere, a nudge from the CEO, President, or whatever bigwig is appropriate is usually all that’s needed to get the offending contributor right on schedule. A smart way to do this is to have a reminder send to everyone so that no one feels singled out.
Try these three solutions the next time your employee newsletter goes out late and see if tardy submissions can become a thing of the past.