Lifelong learning is essential for today’s communications and public relations professionals. One of the easiest ways to keep learning is subscribing to electronic newsletters. My subscriptions to more than a dozen e-newsletters provide continuing education and information on important trends.
Today’s communicators are often frustrated with the amount of time and focus required to keep up with the latest changes in communications and public relations. The growth in information and rapidly changing technology provide outstanding opportunities to learn and innovate. But there’s also a lot of noise and clutter. Hours can be wasted wading through irrelevant information.
A friend recently shared his distaste for e-newsletters. He does not and will not subscribe because managing and processing his e-mail is already challenging and, sometimes, overwhelming. There are many ways to effectively process e-mail, but my speed reading course from junior college continues to pay dividends. It helps me skim an article, identify its structure, search for key words and assists in understanding or comprehending the key message of the story.
Do As I Say…
Many communications and marketing professionals give great advice and guidance on e-mail marketing and communication. However, they often don’t practice what they preach. In some cases, it follows the old saying, “…the cobbler’s children have no shoes.” (They were so busy making shoes for everyone else, they didn’t have time or energy at day’s end to make shoes for their own children.)
In other cases, the competitive advantage of e-newsletters might not be clear. E-mail continues to be one of the most effective communication tools to educate, inform and engage. People will spend time consuming media through other channels, but e-mail isn’t declining and shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon. One can read blogs, Facebook, Twitter and visit websites in search of good information, but a good e-newsletter will deliver better and more narrowly focused content, saving subscribers time and energy in the process.
Sharing Valuable, Interesting Information
There are many ways to share interesting content when it’s discovered. Several social media channels provide ways of sharing your discovery. It’s a quick and simple way to spread the news.
The concept of curating content and distributing through an e-newsletter takes sharing valuable information to a higher level. If your business or organization believed an article was good enough to be distributed through your e-newsletter, it shows it was worthy of being affiliated with your organization or business and its brand. You can build, renew or strengthen relationships with subscribers by sharing good content discovered along your journey. This can give your organization or business a competitive advantage over those not publishing e-newsletters or nor doing anything proactive.
Structure of Great E-Newsletters
Some e-newsletters begin by featuring or commenting on a recent event. Others skip this element and go directly into the content.
The best e-newsletters provide a one- or two-sentence introduction to a topic of interest and then a link to the article, video or audio. This allows readers to consume the condensed information and then decide if it’s worth their time to click on the link and read the entire story.
For my tastes, the best e-newsletters contain about five items. Some marketing and communications e-newsletters don’t stray from their subject while others add links to politics or entertainment news at the end. This might aggravate some people who only want relevant content. If the content at the top of the e-newsletter wasn’t good, few readers will tolerate links at the end to information outside the subject area.
Sending the e-newsletter on a consistent basis develops a cadence of curated and created content. It creates an expectation and anticipation of your information hitting their e-mailbox on a regular schedule.
Starting Our E-newsletter
We created our weekly e-newsletter, The Strategic Communicator, with all of this in mind. Our current subscribers believe our content helps them and their organizations improve communication. You will become more valuable to your organization by learning, growing and staying informed of trends, changes or new innovations. We gather the best news, information and commentary on,
- media relations,
- crisis management,
- strategic planning and
- social media/digital.
We review dozens of articles each week. On Sunday, we send you the most relevant information in each category in an easy-to-read digest.
It’s free to subscribe to the newsletter. If you don’t like the content or the format, you can unsubscribe at any time and we won’t send any additional or follow-up e-mails to you. (All feedback is welcome and suggested articles are appreciated.)
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE to The Strategic Communicator from Mueller Communications. We look forward to sending our weekly summary of the best ideas, discoveries and news to you. Click here to view previous issues.
P.S.: I’ll be speaking on e-mail marketing and communication at the 2015 Nonprofit Communication Conference on Friday, Oct. 16, at Drury University in Springfield, Mo. The event is led by Drury University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership. Click to register. Here’s a video on last year’s event: