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From Newsletters to Blogs: Sharing Internal Healthcare Stories

Learn how a content hub for employee communication and intranets can inspire team members, tell engaging stories, and share news in an innovative, efficient way.

If you’re still doing internal and employee newsletters in print or PDF, you’re probably struggling to know who’s reading it and engaging. There’s another option.

Content hubs are strategized, branded editorial spaces to share unique, audience-focused content marketing, such as blogs, infographics, videos, and more. They’re often used on external healthcare websites to reach patients and visitors.

In a digital workplace experience, such as an intranet, content hubs are a great way to:

  • Connect employees to departments, teams, and levels of the organization they may not encounter every day
  • Empower conversations and storytelling from your colleagues
  • Engage all people and roles across the organization
  • Give team members a sense of pride in their work and workplace
  • Inspire training, recruiting, and job fulfillment

Maybe you’re doing this with a PDF or print newsletter today. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, your employees need more engaging, interactive ways to stay connected.

Why Should You Move Newsletters Online?

Way back in the 1990s, a blog was just a place to put your thoughts online – a diary of sorts. But now in 2020, blogs are so much more.

They’re a place for experts to wax poetic on their favorite topics. They’re a place to learn new things about your favorite subjects. And as we know, they come in many formats, from listicles (5 ways to stay safe this summer) to infographics.

And there’s no sign of blogs slowing down. As of this publishing, there are over 152 million blogs (blogs, not posts). In fact, a quarter of the internet’s websites are blogs.

Storytelling matters. So does speed and access. Healthcare organizations are finding that in addition to emails and printed newsletters, a content hub is another accessible channel to reach your colleagues and employees. Not only can you connect your employee emails directly to stories in the hub, but you also create another accessible route for people to read stories at home, or use assistive technology if they prefer. It’s a more inclusive way to share information.

You also create a more trackable experience that lets you see what stories and topics are resonating with employees.

Start Planning an Internal Content Hub

If you’re ready to invest in an employee content hub, start with these four tips:

#1: Get Employee Feedback

Before you decide to ditch the print newsletter, ask employees how they feel about the current emails or printed newsletters (or both!) and how engaged they are with them. Do they enjoy the news, or are there other topics they’d like covered? How does impact their work and outlook?

Consider using a rating scale to get more quantitative results. Include open fields for people to share their personal feelings about internal storytelling.

Don’t forget to ask about new topics employees would like to see. Even if you don’t move your newsletter online, it’s valuable to hear what interests your audience.

#2: Create a Steering Committee

Who owns the newsletter today? Gather a small team or assemble a steering committee to help outline the goals of the project, such as:

  • Build a content hub for internal audiences that provides a comparable experience to our print newsletter
  • Establish a reliable publication schedule
  • Enable a feedback loop for employees and staff to comment, send story ideas, and more
  • Identify authors and contributors who are interested in writing or creating stories
  • Put governance rules in place, including an internal style guide, so content maintains a consistent voice and tone

If you’re inviting employees outside your team to author articles, think about a blog policy that helps keep everyone on the same page.

#3: Review Your Existing Newsletter

If you’re evolving an existing employee newsletter, review it with your committee. Does your newsletter have sections or themes, such as:

  • Benefits & Culture
  • Celebrations
  • Community Happenings
  • Expert Advice
  • Leadership & CEO Corner
  • Job Openings
  • Patient Stories

Work with your steering committee or team on how these sections or themes could be easy-to-browse categories for your content marketing hub.

Functionality like that is a helpful option that allows you to create email newsletter “round up” of recent posts grouped by that category. It also lets employees control the types of stories they’re most interested in reading or digesting in the moment.

#4: Get Technical Help

If you’ve checked all the boxes to prepare for an intranet content hub, don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to the technical setup.

Your team might not have the design, development, or content strategy resources to launch your new newsletter approach. In that case, work with a partner or vendor who can help set it up and get you started.

If you’re ready to take your employee newsletter to the next level, contact Geonetric to get started. Our healthcare content marketing strategy and design and development expertise is here to help you launch a hub that engages and inspires employees across your organization.

From Newsletters to Blogs: Sharing Internal Healthcare Stories