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It Companies Newsletter

How to avoid the most common company newsletter mistakes

This sample shows how you can add variety to your newsletter's layout by varying the width of your articles.By David Kandler

Editor’s Note: The author of this article, David Kandler, is the founder and president of, an Internet firm that produces newsletters for companies throughout the United States. about how his firm can help your company produce printed and electronic newsletters.

Over the years, I’ve been asked by numerous company newsletter editors for my advice on how to improve their publications.

After critiquing a wide variety of customer and employee newsletters, I noticed there were weaknesses that were common to the majority of the publications. Much of the advice I’d give one editor would also be relevant to other editors.

The following is a summary of the most-common mistakes that newsletter editors make, and more importantly, how to correct those problems.

Mistake #1: Your newsletter isn’t published regularly

If the company underestimates the time required of its employees to produce the newsletter, the publication will suffer. For obvious reasons, it’s vital you keep your commitment to readers. If you tell them they’ll receive your newsletter every month, make sure you live up to that promise, or your company loses credibility with readers.

Quite often, I receive customer newsletters in the mail in which the company proudly announces that this is the first issue of its new quarterly publication, and that I should be sure to watch for new issues every three months. About 5 months later, I’ll receive the long-overdue second issue. After that, the newsletter invariably dies and I never receive another issue again.

The reason this happens is that editors of company newsletters are typically given this responsibility in addition to their regular job duties. For instance, a sales person who is a good writer may be put in charge of producing a customer newsletter. A human resources specialist may be assigned the task of creating an employee newsletter.

Never having served as a newsletter editor before, these employees – and their bosses – generally don’t realize how much time is required to produce a quality newsletter.

As a guideline, it usually takes a non-professional writer about seven hours to write, proofread and revise the editorial content for each page of an 8.5-by-11-inch newsletter. That means a four-page newsletter requires about 28 hours of editorial time. If the editor is also handling the newsletter’s design and layout, you can add even more hours to the estimate.

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