Guest post by Adam Fuss

By claiming that employee newsletters need to have visually appealing photography AND illustrations, it’s perhaps best to start of by talking about what this doesn’t include:

  • Employees, either individually or as a group, lined up against a wall holding awards with constipated smiles
  • Logos, or pictures of company signage
  • Too many corporate headshots
  • Graphs and charts that require magnifying glasses
  • Any imagery that makes the majority of readers cringe

Good imagery in a newsletter complements stories and provides readers’ eyes with a break from text. Well-composed photos create context, tell stories in themselves and help employees form much stronger bonds with colleagues they rarely see, if ever. Photos draw readers into stories they may otherwise skip over, and if done right, they can cause readers to linger over texts. They might even be what causes someone to pass the newsletter along to a friend.

As essential as they are, however, good photos alone aren’t enough. The best newsletters I’ve seen also use illustrations–cartoons, simple and effective graphs, sketches, to name a few–in order to balance text and photo material. Contributions by subject-matter experts, which often contain complex statistics or highly serious themes, are particularly well suited to such illustrations.

Next up in this series: Electronic AND print distribution

Adam Fuss has been a corporate communications consultant, writer, editor, and Russian-English translator for the last seven years. As principal at ABF Communications he works with clients across industries and cultures to improve organizational messaging and strengthen employee engagement. Adam is based in Chicago.