Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And the Winner is….PayDay Plus! Paycheck Stuffers Done Right

Next in a Series on Award Winning Programs from the 2010 PRSA Del Oro Awards
Award Recipient of an El Bronce Award of Excellence

Can the humble paycheck stuffer be an award-winning communications tool? Absolutely. Case in point is CPS Energy’s Payday Plus. The one-sheet publication received an El Bronce award of excellence at PRSA’s Del Oro competition in May.

The local utility company produces the internal newsletter twice a month and mails it to employees’ homes along with their pay statements. Home delivery is one of the keys to success, says Scott Wudel, the publication’s editor. He explains that while the company maintains many electronic communication outlets, the printed newsletter is the most convenient way for employees who work in the field and their families to receive information.

Along the same lines, Wudell stresses that the newsletter’s content must be valuable and relevant to its approximately 3,600 readers. As the website and intranet editor at CPS, Wudel receives news tips from across the organization. He filters them from the vantage point of the employee and crafts short digestible articles that are useful and interesting to readers. Typical Payday Plus stories focus on health benefits, rebates, personnel changes, volunteer and family events and hot topics in the company.

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of good graphic design for a routine, internal publication. Payday Plus avoids this pitfall and entices its readers with fresh, full-color layouts that mix the right amounts of white space, images and text. The company’s in-house graphic artist Barbara Burris is responsible for the look of the newsletters.

Employees appreciate CPS’ efforts to keep them informed, and the newsletter has proven a valuable tactic for aligning a diverse workforce.

By Abbey Forney, PRSA board member and Communications Director at Urology San Antonio

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