Our company has had a printed newsletter for years, joined by a basic Web site, which started in 2000. Just as we have been improving our publications' Web sites and adding interactive features, we realized it was time to take our corporate newsletter into that realm. We investigated social networking sites, such as Facebook, for this purpose, but wanted something we could control better. After searching for social networks on Google, we stumbled upon a reference in a trade e-newsletter about CollectiveX (now Groupsite.com). We signed up for the free version, and several months later upgraded to the premium package.
We have 9 print publications and 14 Web sites, so we include corporate information, as well as news from each of the sites and fun news about our employees. We have galleries for each location and upload relevant documents to the file gallery. We share events with the calendar. Several months ago, we began reverse publishing our Groupsite content into a twice-a-month PDF edition of our former newsletter. We even styled the newsletter to resemble our Groupsite home page. Our latest project is a great ideas contest and we use the Groupsite to not only share the ideas, but give the winners their 15 minutes of glory.
By not printing a monthly newsletter, we probably save $200 a month, not counting the editing and production time involved. Seventy percent of our employees have an account on Groupsite.com; about half of those have visited the site in the last month. Our Photo Galleries are the most popular item, followed by the Group Blog. We've also gained on the timeliness of our news. It was cumbersome before to fit the information into a monthly publishing schedule. Now, when it's ready, it goes. And we have many more shorter items about our employees that might never have been shared before.
We'd like to find a way to get more of our co-workers involved in sending in stories and photos. We are using the Groupsite to promote our in-house contest and can see more uses like that in the future.
- Laura Sellers-Earl, Director of Audience Development,
East Oregonian Publishing Co.
Membership: Invite only