I recently read about a new employee newsletter editor who was insisting the company get rid of all the fun stuff from the employee newsletter – the “fluff” as he called it. You know – the employee anniversaries and birthdays, employee hobbies, recipes, trivia, puzzles, etc. I assume his intention was to create a better publication, but the fact is that he couldn’t have been more wrong. Thankfully, for the success of the employee newsletter, he was convinced to keep a fair amount of “fluff” in each issue.

What he didn’t immediately realize is that getting rid of the fun stuff in the employee newsletter is like throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. The fun stuff is actually the most important part of the newsletter. Why? Because it’s the content employees are actually excited about seeing and, as a result, it’s what gets them to read the employee newsletter cover-to-cover. And once they begin reading the newsletter, you have a chance to get them to digest all the “important” stuff.

No one wants to read a dry corporate tome that’s 100 percent business – even if the content is critically important. Let’s face it – the “important” stuff is often not the most exciting stuff in the world. Whether it’s a critical change to the company’s medical plan or management’s vision for the next 12 months, if you try to present only this type of information, readers of the company newsletter will soon find their eyes glazing over with the most predictable of results – they just stop reading.

If I set down a bowl of super healthy dried sticks and twigs in front of you, would you eat it? Even if you knew it was really, really good for you? If you’re like me or the rest of the population, the answer is no. The most common result? A few bites and then you’d throw it away – just like an employee newsletter that’s all business. However, just like that bowl of dried sticks and twigs, the addition of some sugar (the fun stuff) would make it palatable. And the right amount might actually make it tasty!

The moral of this story? Be sure to sprinkle some fun stuff in each issue of your employee newsletter. You’ll find readership increases and employees are much more likely to actually consume that big bowl of important company information.

For some specific ideas of content your employees actually want to read about, check out: 7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Company Newsletter.

About the author: Raleigh Ragan

Raleigh Ragan is president of The Newsletter Experts, a St. Louis-based newsletter publishing firm that helps clients across the country harness the power of employee newsletters by removing the hassles of trying to write, design, produce and distribute it themselves. To receive the free 10-page guide, Starting An Employee Newsletter, click here.0