10 Tips for Writing, Editing and Producing a Great Employee Publication

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What You’ll Learn:: 

Ask yourself: “Does my publication interest me?”

Do you find it, useful, compelling, fun, informative, worth your time?

No? Then why are you stuffing it down the throats of your employees?

Don’t feel bad. Improve by stealing ideas from popular magazines like People and Cosmopolitan and Vanity Fair, says Mark Ragan. Ask yourself what you like to read outside of work, and why?

In this session you’ll learn:

  • What elements make the top three employee publications from the Ragan awards competition winners
  • How to practice "refrigerator journalism" and make your publication indispensable to employees
  • The top three mistakes employee editors make and how to avoid them
  • How the Internet and social media have changed the way employees read, and how to take advantage of those changes
  • How to use a simple dollar bill to measure whether your copy is too heavy
  • The role of the cover or titles page in newsletters and magazines (most employee publications get this wrong)
  • The two top writing tricks that get you past writer's block and writing faster (and more creatively)

Swipe ideas from trade magazines to make your internal publication the center of water cooler talk. Narrow the gap between what you love to read and what you serve employees.

In this fun and witty session, Mark explains what consumer magazines such as Cosmo can teach the world of internal communications.  (Hint: it’s not about the beautiful people on the cover.)

Find out how to stop wasting your most important real estate, and show you know how to act like a salesman, not a writer. Sell the benefits of your stories and features, and learn the difference between design-dominated and reader-oriented magazines.

Master the secrets of the WIIFM test and revitalize your your copy.

Think the table of contents page is just a list of numbers? Mark will help you turn it into a place that drives home the benefits of your publication and makes it easy for readers to find the stories you want them to read.

Design. Sidebars. Pull quotes. Illustrations. Mark will open your eyes to what is so compelling about trade magazines, and how you can steal their ideas for your own publication.

Get rid of “grip-and-grin,” photos, of guys at the desk on the phone, and constipated-CEO head shots. Make your photography part of the storytelling.

Mark opens up all this and more. And here’s the most encouraging tip of all: “Remember to trust your instincts and please yourself!”

This course is packed with real examples from the corporate and organizational world. There is no pie-in-the-sky theory in this presentation.

November 2012

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Presenter bio: 

Mark Ragan is the CEO of Ragan Communications in Chicago. He arrived at Ragan after working for 15 years as an award-winning political and investigative reporter for newspapers throughout the United States. He ended his career as a journalist in 1992 after covering three presidential elections, including Ronald Reagan's landslide victory over Jimmy Carter in 1980. Today Mark is back into the journalistic swing of things at the company his father founded in 1968. In addition to overseeing new product development and the day-to-day operations of the company, Mark acts as editor-in-chief for the daily Ragan.com news site, the MyRaganTV video platform and the MyRagan social network.