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Specialised press: the success of employee magazines

The paper press has a long successful life ahead of it. Employee magazines in 2016 are prospering and are avidly read by the employees who prefer them to all other communication means.

Employee magazines were written off as dead the last several years, having been dethroned by intranet and the social networks. Against all odds, they have not passed away. According to a Havas study, 95% of firms publish an employee magazine in 2016.

Magazine circulation increases by 10% every year

The circulation numbers of certain magazines is something that editors of the traditional press can only dream about. France Télécom has a circulation of 13,000 copies and Engie prints 170,000 for their 3-monthly publication. There is not a firm that does not have its own magazine. The primary medium of internal communication, employee magazines convey the company’s official information, while at the same time becoming more and more a communication means for the employees. France Télécom’s personnel, irrespective of their company ranking, no longer hesitate to propose topics for their magazine, Connect.

In the era of Facebook and intranet communication, these magazines are faithfully read and followed. 90% of the readers appreciate their readability and 82% find their contents interesting. On the other hand, the more disincarnated information diffused by intranet does not work and 58% of the companies relay it by the intermediary of social networks.

According to Havas, despite printing costs, the employee magazine market increases by 10% per year. A publication with 8 pages and a print run of 3,000 copies costs around 11,000 euros. On its death bed a couple of years ago, the employee magazine in its new form today continues to amass more and more readers.

Professional layout and relevant contents account for its return to form

Employee magazines owe their resurrection to the contents as much as to the container! They have radically evolved. Gone is the format of 6 drab pages layouted conventionally with a tedious content. Publishing professionals have observed that managers have completely dusted off the genre and applied the mass media’s recipe for success to these publications.

Longer articles have been progressively replaced by personalised subjects. They emphasize a closer approach to employees and resort to more interviews or portraits in the articles. The institutional discourse has been put aside for the use of “we” or “I”. The influence of telereality or news coverage is more apparent and has lead to a new editorial approach at Orange Mag who have been pushed to publish 11 regional editions.

Magazines progressively closer to the reader

Editorial boards have banished stonewalling. Employees, like all media readers looking for dependable and reliable information, are wary of employee magazines, which have often been reproached for their prejudiced positions.

Study figures show that even if they like their employee magazine, readers consider the information to be less than trustworthy. A real work of confidence must be undertaken which requires an objective information treatment. Conversely, even if the interviews are appreciated, only 47% approve of the amount of space assigned to employees. Egotism has no place inside the company gates. The handsome, four-colour printed employee magazine of today must prioritise information about the company’s activity sector and present an opening towards this.

Another article in the publication domain: The Cadrat d’or is the most prestigious French printing prize

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