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Blog: Four tips to make internal magazines shine

Four tips to make internal magazines shine

December 15, 2015

Creating an employee magazine that captures the attention of readers is a big challenge in internal comms.

Time, in short, is precious and we need to grab colleagues from the outset for an internal magazine to be successful.

Duncan Boddy, Senior Designer at Headlines, recently scooped the prestigious Best Designer award at the Institute of Internal Communication’s ICon Awards 2015. He shares four key factors that help an internal publication stand out from the crowd.

Collaborate
An engaging magazine is always underpinned by a solid working partnership.
Whether your internal magazine is created in partnership with an agency or via an in-house team, trust is the bedrock to a successful employee magazine.
Everyone has different strengths, views and opinions. Harnessing this melting pot of ideas provides diversity and freshness – no-one likes to read mundane, formulaic content.

Experiment
By nature, people are adverse to change. Yet our working world continues to evolve rapidly.
If your magazine stays still, its popularity will wane.
Try new things. Take a risk.
Sometimes a new feature will be loved by the audience. Other times, they may be less popular – but you’ll never know unless you try.

Research
This is so often forgotten.
Internal magazines are usually published with an agenda set by the IC team or the organisation’s senior leaders: what they think employees need – or want – to know.
Such an approach may have worked in the past but is no longer enough.
Digital provides invaluable insights into what your audience is interested in, the subjects that matter to them and two-way dialogue on internal social media offers viewpoints from across the business.
Of course, businesses always have key messages needing to be cascaded. However merging these with the demands of the audience is a big step towards creating a well-read magazine.

Have fun
This may sound a little obvious but it is true.
At the end of the day the more you enjoy a project, the better it will be.

Duncan works with a number of Headlines’ blue-chip clients, helping organisations transform communications into easy-to-digest content for employees.

A panel of IC industry experts at the ICon Awards recently praised the senior designer’s “eye for detail” and his unerring ability to bring complex communications to life “with imagination and flair”.