One of the challenges of regularly producing a company magazine or employee newsletter is pulling together useful content. A common mistake is trying to create all that content yourself or through a small team. The more articles, photos and other contributions you can solicit from others, the less work you’ll have to do. Also, a wider range of contributors will result in a more well-rounded publication. Here are six tips to help create a steady stream of excellent newsletter or magazine content.
1. Provide Guidelines and Deadlines
People are busier than ever these days which can make it a challenge for contributors to provide articles. In addition, many people lack writing expertise. To make it easier for everyone, be sure to communicate your specific article needs. Be precise with your guidelines such as the article’s focus and the length requirement.
2. Request Images Up Front
To avoid having to hunt up photos, images or art, ask for these materials in the original solicitation. And be sure to request photo captions at the same time.
3. Build in Plenty of Time
Whenever possible, give your contributors plenty of time to pull together their articles. Tight deadlines can result in poorly written pieces, and a rushed experience may discourage the individual from submitting future content for the publication.
4. Use a Contributions Request Box
One client recognized the power of a Contributions Request box when she removed it from an employee newsletter because of space limitations. While pulling together the next issue, she said it was like pulling teeth to gather content – the first time she had ever experienced that challenge. Since that experience, she always includes a Contributions Request box in her company newsletter.
5. Recognize Contributors
People love to be acknowledged so make sure to give contributors plenty of recognition. The easiest way to do this is with a story byline. Another simple way to provide a shout-out to contributors is with an Acknowledgement Box. Providing extra copies of the publication to share with family and friends is always welcomed. And be sure to pass along any positive comments about the contributor’s story.
6. Questionnaires Make it Easy to Contribute
Employees often have useful ideas or information to share but don’t know have the writing skills or even the time to provide a polished article. A simple way to solve this issue is to utilize a questionnaire that can be filled out with the pertinent facts – even the busiest person can find time for that. A completed questionnaire can then be quickly turned into a proper article.
Follow these simple tips, and you should find it much easier to gather useful content for your next publication.
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