The Real Reasons Big Tech Hates Unions

Tech companies don’t like unions. Here’s why — and here’s what happens when they call in the union busters. Around this time last year, Mapbox’s Slack workplace descended into 24/7 chaos, the virtual equivalent of an office-wide shouting match. It was a few weeks before workers were to vote on whether to join a union, and Mapbox leaders and workers on the “anti-committee” were posting about their opposition to the union at all hours of the day and night.

At anti-union all-staff meetings and on Slack, leaders accused union organizers of xenophobia because they opposed offshoring jobs to other countries. Staff members on the “anti-committee” blamed union organizers for creating division, chaos and conflict, and then piled on to endless Slack threads that bubbled with bickering posts and sometimes snarky laughing emojis when someone posted a pro-union message. “They would say, ‘How can you be doing something like this? You’re putting our livelihoods in danger,’” said Josh Erb, a Mapbox software engineer who helped organize for the union and who left the company in January 2022.

“Because of Slack being this virtual workspace that you can’t ever actually get out of, like 24 hours a day the anti-committee … at 3 in the morning would post,” Wes McEnany, one of the former union organizers with the Communication Workers of America, told Protocol. Mapbox did not respond to Protocol’s requests for comment.

Mapbox’s union opposition was industry standard. A wave of unionization has swept white- and blue-collar tech workplaces over the last two years: In addition to the attempt at Mapbox, workers have unionized at Amazon and Activision Blizzard and are in the midst of union organizing at Apple retail stores, to name just a few. The leaders of those companies are among the litany who have made it clear they want unions out.

So they have done what every anti-union company in the United States has done since the first organized labor movement more than 100 years ago — hired what companies call “union avoidance experts” and what unions call “union busters.”

And it works. The playbook mastered by consultants and attorneys at major law firms and strategy groups is effective at forcing a union vote to fail or collapse. What companies rarely consider are the long-term consequences. “It was like watching this beautiful thing wither up and die,” Erb said of the fallout at Mapbox, where workers voted down the union. “Before, it was probably one of the best company cultures I’d worked at.”

The often chaotic and threatening atmosphere created in the lead-up to a unionization vote alters company culture. Especially in closely contested elections, trust erodes between workers and leadership. Companies that pride themselves on openness and communication find themselves unable to re-create the same atmosphere. Top talent, disturbed by the change in environment, often flees or is poached. Recruiting becomes more difficult because of the reputational damage caused by the fight.

To look at what company culture at this company had been a year ago versus what it is now, the vibrancy has just been sucked out of it. Mapbox epitomizes those consequences. The company lost nearly 300 employees in 2021, an increase of more than 100 people compared to the previous year, according to data from Mapbox organizers and from LinkedIn statuses reviewed by Protocol.

“To look at what company culture at this company had been a year ago versus what it is now, the vibrancy has just been sucked out of it,” one current Mapbox employee told Protocol. The alternatives could be less of a nightmare than the unionization one keeping tech leaders up at night. Microsoft President Brad Smith staked his claim last week as the one major tech leader who seems less afraid of this alternative future when he announced that Microsoft wouldn’t oppose union organizing among its ranks.

The company had an unusual opportunity to prepare its position on unions because Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, where 22 quality assurance testers at the company’s Call of Duty studio just formally unionized. Microsoft will have no choice but to deal with CWA, the union that represents those workers — and has even committed to a legally binding agreement to avoid the vicious, drawn-out fights that have embroiled places like Mapbox.

“If the employer treats employees in a good way, in my opinion a union’s not necessary,” Alfred Gray, an employment attorney who represents companies challenging unionization, said. “But once a union is in place, my attitude has been all along, I’ve gotta work with you, we might as well have an amicable relationship because we are going to get more done working together.”

At its heart, tech sector unionization has exposed messy political rifts at work. Whether someone favors unions or opposes them, their feelings tend to be rooted in political and ideological beliefs. Union organizers see union-busters as inherently malicious and opposed to worker rights; company leaders see unions as interfering pests with an anti-capitalist agenda. Enforcement of the laws that govern unionization changes depends on the political party in power in the White House, meaning that most legal fights create more mess, not recourse.

While tech companies proudly advertise progressive values on climate change, racial justice and diversity at work, unions are where most draw the line. (Aside from Microsoft’s recent commitment, the few exceptions come from small tech startups that build tech tools for progressive causes, like Mobilize.)

Mapbox, for example, touts that its first maps supported international development in partnership with the United Nations, USAID and Doctors without Borders. It cites “people first” values and advertises “an amazing community of friendly, diverse, and talented people who work together to achieve big goals.” One current Mapbox employee told Protocol that they joined the company in part because of its reputation for a caring and progressive culture. Mapbox’s own leadership tried to play on this progressive ideal, using the “xenophobic” label to try to make the pro-union crowd appear less progressive than the company.

“These tech companies which sort of might be liberal on some issues, when it comes to unions or regulation, they are very anti,” said Wilma Liebman, who was chair of the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that oversees union laws, under the Obama administration.

“It poisons the well oftentimes,” said Ileen DeVault, a professor of labor history at Cornell University. “It makes workers not trust each other as much anymore. It tightens all sorts of conversations and cultures of companies. And I think that may be especially important in some of these tech companies, where, for the programming folks anyway, the culture was always relaxed.”

Why fight?

Companies articulate three primary reasons for fighting unionization: They don’t want another group mediating their conversations and relationships with their employees, especially a group without industry knowledge; they usually lose money because they are forced to increase pay and benefits; and they lose control over their ability to hire, fire and lay off whenever they choose.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy made some of these arguments in a June 8 talk, saying it’s easier and faster for teams to make change and for managers to incorporate feedback without a union. “We happen to think they’re better off without a union,” he said.

Liebman suspects that’s a view shared widely by tech company leaders, who might view unions as fusty relics. “My sense is that they view traditional collective bargaining relationships as probably being 20th century and out of sync with their business model, and they probably think that they can’t deal with a third party. ‘We have to make decisions fast, we can’t go through long negotiation processes,’” Liebman said.

Private sector unionization in the U.S. hit an all-time high in the 1950s, when more than one-third of workers at private companies were in unions. The majority of these unions were industry-specific; autoworkers were represented by the auto union, truckers by the trucker union. Every American citizen was either in a union or knew people in a union.

Today, private sector union membership hovers somewhere between 5% and 6% according to Department of Labor data, and most private sector employees don’t work in the same assembly-line style jobs that unions traditionally represented in the 20th century. “The average American on the street doesn’t know diddly-squat about how a union functions or what it can do and what it can’t do for workers,” DeVault said.

Union avoidance consultants and attorneys cite this shift as a key reason for opposing unionization. Gray believes that unlike historical private sector unions, unions today often organize workplaces in disparate industries and have little knowledge of how those industries actually function. When the teamsters won an election at a group home for people with disabilities, Gray said, citing an example, “it was problematic right from the get-go even from collective bargaining, because they didn’t understand the industry.”

Among other problems, Gray said the teamsters called for worker schedules to change to traditional daytime hours, even though the home only had residents in need of care during evening hours. “Now it’s just a numbers thing. They want as many people as possible,” he said of unions. There’s a fourth and less tangible ideological reason for union opposition: Depending on their politics, some people are inherently opposed to the idea of a union and question the legitimacy of the laws that enshrine their rights in the U.S.

“It’s almost like it’s an accepted part of corporate management culture, that this is what you do, this is how you are a good person in your role: You hear the word ‘union’ and you bring in the union-busters,” said Sara Steffens, the secretary-treasurer for the CWA. The CWA has spearheaded the effort to organize white-collar tech sector workers into unions over the last two years through a campaign called CODE-CWA, which has successfully unionized software engineers at Mobilize, Vodeo Games, Glitch, Raven Software and the New York Times tech department, among others.

Liebman agrees. “For some, I think it’s truly ideological; they don’t accept the legitimacy of labor unions or the legitimacy of this law,” she said. Still, about 68% of Americans approved of labor unions in a 2021 Gallup poll, a high not seen since the 1960s and a 20% increase from 2009’s all-time low.

The basic union avoidance playbook

When two-thirds of Mapbox workers announced their intention to unionize in spring 2021, the company quickly launched its opposition campaign, hiring labor consulting firm Lev Labor, LLC. (Lev Labor also consulted for Amazon in its anti-union efforts in the lead-up to the union votes in Staten Island warehouses).

The campaign went as most do: Mapbox management hosted all-hands meetings (known colloquially as “captive audience meetings”) where it suggested union talk was responsible for a lost $150 million investment in the company and could also discourage future investment. Workers were pulled into one-on-one meetings with managers to discuss the union movement. Our main channel just turned into a slag-fest between pro-and anti-union folks.

“One of the things I’d always admired about Mapbox from the outside was just the seemingly hard-to-quantify complete lack of assholes. It was a really good crew of people, everybody super supportive, very open with their own struggles,” one Mapbox employee told Protocol. “Then there was a palpable shift in the tone of any sort of public communications. Just like the general atmosphere, a huge palpable shift. Our main channel just turned into a slag-fest between pro-and anti-union folks.”

“A big part of the leadership strategy in [the] campaign was to pit the U.S.-based workers against the workers abroad who wouldn’t be covered by the collective bargaining group we were pushing for,” Erb said. Company leadership accused the union of making it harder to support the global workforce. “It definitely colored every interaction I had with one of my counterparts who worked in a different country,” he added.

Lev Labor wrote in its mandated disclosure forms that “the engagement was merely to educate, rather than to persuade” and that the roughly $43,000 Mapbox paid it was “just payment for providing education and information to employees.”

By August, the two-thirds union support had vanished, and the union lost its election 123-81. In the months after the defeat, at least three union leaders were fired, let go or agreed to leave, according to the Mapbox Workers Union and posts shared by former union organizers on Twitter.

That mirrors the basic union avoidance playbook, which is governed by one overarching law. “There’s a whole rule of thumb — TIPS,” Gray said. (TIPS means you can’t threaten, interrogate, promise or surveil). “You can’t threaten employees, you can’t influence them, you can’t persuade them, you can’t offer them salary information, you can’t make promises to employees.”

And so union-avoidance consultants have adopted a few central strategies based on what past labor rulings show they can do. Sometimes they make the union leaders managers, because managers can’t join a union and that can effectively suffocate the movement. Amazon, Apple, Mapbox and other tech companies have all used captive-audience meetings, where workers are required to listen to company leaders — without union organizers present — explain why they don’t want a union. When workers don’t appear easily dissuaded, companies deliberately create so much chaos that workers vote against the union just to end the misery.

While it’s a common strategy, Gray advises employers to pursue another popular route: find ways to give employees what they want, but in a way that isn’t technically persuading or influencing, in hopes they drop the union effort. Steffens sees this when the CWA tries to unionize a workplace. Workers will get raises, or the mileage reimbursement will suddenly increase.

The consequences

But in Steffens’ experience, those changes vanish when the union fight ends and the consultants disappear. “The way they see it is if they cause that election to be not held, or scare enough people into voting no, they’ve done their job,” Steffens said. At Mapbox, current employees described a scorched-earth reality after the union lost the election in August. While those that remain are still happy with their individual teams and work, those that spoke with Protocol described trying to avoid thinking about the broader company culture and their relationships with senior management.

Waves of workers have also left the company over the last year, including some of the company’s longest-tenured talent. “It’s the absolute carnage of U.S.-based employees, folks who would have been in the bargaining unit leaving or being forced out,” one employee said. “The shock wave of losing so many creative and contributing employees, there’s certainly a possibility that they don’t immediately emerge from that,” the same employee said.

Erb stayed at Mapbox until January, five months after the failed union vote. “It became kind of like a ghost town in a sense where people were leaving faster than they could hire for roles,” he said. When he’d started working at Mapbox nearly four years earlier, one of Erb’s favorite parts of the job was the ease with which engineers could disagree with their managers when problem-solving. He left the company in part because he felt like that freedom disappeared after the vote. “I had no ability, even in my professional capacity, to be critical of management’s plans for something. The general vibe I got by the end of it is, that was basically just everyone’s experience.”


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Are You In a Loving Relationship or Are You Just Poor?

At this point, it’s not novel to point out that we’re socialized from childhood to prize monogamous relationships above all else. It’s an idea deeply embedded in our culture, from books to films to music. But we seldom pause to consider the real extent to which this is baked into the very fabric of our society.

It’s not just a cultural thing: it’s why one-bed flats are usually designed to accommodate two, with rent prices intended to be divided in half. It’s why seats on buses and trains come in pairs. It’s why packs of food so often ‘serve two’. It’s why gyms and Spotify offer discounted memberships for couples.

There are numerous material benefits to monogamy, such as the Married Couple’s Allowance, the option to take out a joint mortgage on a house, or the fact landlords are more likely to choose couples as tenants. As author and psychotherapist Sasha Roseneil writes in the Guardian, compulsory monogamy “operates through laws and policies that assume and privilege coupledom, with myriad economic impacts in terms of access to welfare benefits, pensions, inheritance and housing.”

Aaron, 21, has experienced this firsthand. “I used to live with my girlfriend, but we split up and she moved out which has made paying bills really stressful and hard for me,” he says, noting “food and subscriptions like Netflix and Spotify” as particularly costly expenses. “The cost of living crisis has made this even more difficult – especially with food shopping.”

Essentially, society isn’t built for single people, and as a result it’s expensive to be single. Research backs this up: according to Ocean Finance, the UK’s singles spend on average £630 more per month than their coupled counterparts. On top of this, a 2019 report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that people living alone are more likely to be renting and feel less financially secure than childless couples.

The cost of being single has now been compounded by rising inflation and the ongoing cost of living crisis. Of course, the current crisis is impacting everyone – regardless of whether they’re in a relationship or not – and it’s unquestionably hitting the poor the hardest. But as an estimated 35 per cent of the UK’s population are single, this is an issue which affects millions of people.

24-year-old Sophie is in a similar situation to Aaron. She lists “rent, food, and bills” as the main costs she struggles to cover. “If you’re single you get a council tax discount, but it’s really not a lot at all. My council tax is still over £100 a month,” she says. “But the one thing that’s impacted me the most is my rent went up by quite a lot in April. It went up by over £100.”

She adds that she has to fork out nearly £400 a month to pay her building’s service charge. “Whether it’s one person in a flat or four people, you still have to pay the same service charge for building maintenance and stuff like that,” she says. “And I’m just one person.” According to Ocean Finance, housing is the most expensive outgoing for single people, with a single person paying an average of £674 a month on rent while a person in a couple pays £433.

“I have a full-time job and spend most of my free time doing freelance work just to make up the money,” Sophie adds.

The current cost of living crisis is even forcing some people to stay in relationships they’re unhappy in. “I’ve been with my partner for around two years and lived with him for just over a year. It’s been fairly up and down, as we realised around a year ago that it’s more platonic. We’re not really any more than friends, and that’s mutual,” Holly*, 26, tells me.

At present, Holly is living in a two-bed flat with her partner and a mutual friend of theirs. “I recently moved to a new job that has halved my previous salary, and it means that if he leaves the room I share with him then I can no longer afford the room,” she says. “The extra costs would be terrible. Bristol is incredibly expensive and my salary isn’t up to scratch. Splitting up would mean splitting everything in half would no longer be an option.”

“The couple norm continues to exert a strong and far from benign influence on people’s lives” – Sasha Roseneil

In her Guardian article, Roseneil stresses that “the couple norm continues to exert a strong and far from benign influence on people’s lives.” This much is clear from Aaron, Sophie, and Holly’s testimonies: evidently, despite the progress made by feminist and LGBTQ+ movements in recent years, we’re still penalised by society for living outside the couple norm.

Still – it’s worth noting that despite the financial benefits of being in a couple, Holly admits that it’s not worth the emotional strain when your relationship is on its last legs. “I’ve realised this isn’t healthy for either of us. It’s quite clear it’s getting to the end of the relationship,” she says. “I spoke to him about it last night, so the process of moving out is likely just around the corner.”

However, this doesn’t negate the fact that being single is still a financial burden. Although Holly is keen to move on from her relationship, she’s still not sure how she’s going to afford to pay her rent. Obviously, monogamous couples are not a social ill in and of themselves. But the ways in which compulsory monogamy is perpetuated in society evidently are a problem, and a problem which is being exacerbated by the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Unfortunately, regulating rents or increasing taxes are actions beyond the power of most individuals – but that doesn’t mean we can’t challenge compulsory monogamy in our everyday lives. There’s so much to be gained by shelving the concept of ‘soulmates’ and nurturing other types of connection in our lives – whether you’re in a relationship or not. Ultimately, it’s only by chipping away at the status quo can we hope for a future where we’re all financially stable and independent.

By: Serena Smith

Source: Are you in a loving relationship or are you just poor? | Dazed

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How to Create an Internal Company Newsletter

When you’ve got news to share with your employees, team, or executives, an internal company newsletter can be the most effective way of reaching everyone. An internal newsletter could contain an update about the upcoming holiday party for the entire organization or information around the company’s quarterly results for the executive team exclusively.

And, you could have both! There are many different ways to use internal company newsletters, and you can have more than one for different teams, offices, or departments. The approach you take depends on the objectives of your marketing strategy.

We’ll explore internal newsletter examples a bit further down, but before we dive into the concept of internal company newsletters, let’s briefly answer the following question: What is a newsletter?

What Is a Newsletter?

To put it simply: A newsletter is either an electronic or printed report covering various activities of a company or business. It is sent to its customers, community members, or other subscribers and consists of interesting content, promotions, announcements. A newsletter helps to increase traffic and serves as an information source.

What Is an Internal Newsletter?

Just like a normal newsletter, an internal newsletter is an electronic or printed report sent out on a regular basis to update subscribers. For internal newsletters these subscribers are internal stakeholders such as employees, shareholders, the board, management, different departments, etc.

Oftentimes, organizations have an external-facing newsletter but lack any type of internal company newsletters. And that’s the problem we are trying to solve with this blog (and our newsletter management platform). One reason why organizations forgo putting together these weekly, monthly, or quarterly email updates is that there’s a myth that they aren’t read by employees, however, the data shows otherwise.

What Is the Purpose of an Internal Company Newsletter?

Besides being a way to inform employees about the latest company updates, an employee newsletter can also be a fun way of sharing, explaining, and reinforcing your company culture.

At first, a company newsletter may seem insignificant in the day-to-day operations of a company, but it does play a role in shaping the workplace environment.

Some argue internal company newsletters are time-consuming and don’t offer enough ROI. Well, we have some stats that say differently. According to Retrospectively, Inc., employee productivity increases anywhere from 20-25% when employees feel connected to the company.

However, only 13% of employees reported participating in their intranet daily—31% said they never do.

So, although most PR & Communication teams are focused on getting the word out there, it’s just as important for these teams to spread the word internally — often they also involve the HR department to provide additional internal newsletter ideas. A company newsletter (corporate newsletter) is a critical part of your email marketing strategy that can help keep employee engagement and communication levels high.

When embarking on an employee newsletter strategy, remember that the values you want your company to reflect should be the values underlying your internal newsletter content. In this blog, we will cover internal newsletter ideas, internal newsletter names, company newsletter examples, and templates to use for your internal employee newsletter, so when you’re done reading, you’ll be a pro.

14 Internal Newsletter Ideas

  1. Share Your Company’s Successes: Make sure everyone knows what the PR and marketing teams are up to. In your internal company newsletter, you want to share your wins, notify people about your latest content, and get everyone in sync on your company’s top messages so that they can communicate and increase your reach.Want to make things easy? Our internal newsletter template which is part of our media intelligence suite will allow you to curate a hand-selected feed of articles to be shared via a branded email newsletter.
  2. Promote Social Advocacy: You spend a lot of time on creating social media content—but chances are your co-workers and employees aren’t all following your branded social media profiles. An internal company newsletter can help spread your social message and make sure everyone is aware and motivated to help communicate and promote it. Plus, if you run out of ideas of what to include in a company newsletter, add a few examples of people mentioning you on social media, it may incentivize others to start creating similar UGC. Let them be your brand’s #1 fans.
  3. Share What’s Going on in the Competitive Landscape: Use an employee newsletter as an opportunity to cover industry news, trends, and insights. No matter how innovative a company is, competitors are a healthy part of any industry. That’s why highlighting the achievements, as well as the missteps of close competitors, can give colleagues insight into how to do their jobs. Using a media monitoring solution, you can benchmark how well you’re doing in comparison to your top competitors. By sharing these metrics, news alerts, or industry updates, you’re giving colleagues insights that can inform future campaigns or sales pitches.
  4. Boost Your Branding: A company newsletter can help you reinforce brand voice, style, imagery, and personality. Are you seeing fellow employees misrepresenting the brand? Quick do’s and don’ts can go a long way in keeping employees on their toes. Plus, linking out to your style guide and templates.
  5. Highlight Evergreen Content: The internal comms and content marketing team are creating great content. And your sales team could use the blogs, webinars, or case stories as a great excuse for touching base with key prospects…if only they knew about it. Use your corporate newsletter to encourage them to communicate about the thought leadership you’ve worked so hard on.
  6. Bring in the Voice of Your Customers: Highlight customer case studies and bring in suggestions for new ones. Case studies are a great sales tool, and an internal company newsletter can highlight new and relevant clients that are using your product or services. You could also include any comments or reviews left by customers that you think your employees should know about. There’s no better advocate for the brand than happy customers!
  7. Complement Existing Company Collateral and Resources: Your email employee newsletter can be a weekly, monthly, or quarterly examination of what the company finds important. It can be a platform to welcome new employees, announce new product versions, highlight relevant assets, and ask for input on a rebranding. In this way, it reinforces the messages and information in all the other content that your company produces. Use it to collect feedback and insights.
  8. Employee Engagement and Advocacy: Communication is key. Turn a colleague into a hero. Calling out successful collaboration helps those involved feel appreciated and encourages more sharing of ideas and resources, which boosts employee engagement.
  9. Reinforce Transparency As a Mindset: Having a company newsletter opens up a line of communication that doesn’t clog up the email inbox. As comms pros, we know that the best way to start a conversation is to provide the subject and the platform. At the very least, this newsletter can be the jumping-off point to discuss company values and employee culture.
  10. Share News Updates:  If you introduce a newsletter right with a predictable cadence, it can be an invaluable mouthpiece for stakeholders throughout the organization. The resulting content can be a 360-degree view of what is going on in an organization. The material can be as diverse as a recap of the CEO’s recent “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session; the sales team’s exceeding their monthly sales quotas; issues with a recent product launch, communication from a Vice-President, or highlights from the social media team.
  11. Provide the Data Analytics Behind the Successes of Your Efforts: Data is how a segment of your colleagues track success, so in addition to sharing media coverage, you can share easy to read graphs and charts that track monthly media coverage, social media mentions, sentiment, competitive benchmarks, etc…. It’s an easy way to benchmark the work you do for those more interested in volume than they are the engagement aspect of KPIs.
  12. Earned Media Coverage: If you receive hard-earned coverage in a media outlet, whether it’s the Washington Post or a niche publication that’s important to your industry, wouldn’t you want to shout it from the mountaintop? Well, here’s the perfect venue for doing just that. Tag the story in your media monitoring platform and create a company newsletter using the built-in functionality, don’t forget to include additional insight. Your brand mentions mean as much to your colleagues as they do to you, so share that article that has a link to your product, quotes your CEO about the state of your industry, or shows how your company is making strides with its offerings. Your colleagues want to know how the rest of the world perceives the company. And as a bonus, summarize your coverage analytics to show how your reach and share of voice have grown, so they can take pride in the momentum you’ve built.
  13. Include Industry News, Trends, and Insights: No matter how innovative a company is, competitors are a healthy part of any industry. That’s why highlighting the achievements, as well as the missteps of close competitors in the form of an internal company newsletter, can give employees insight into how to do their jobs. With a media monitoring solution in place, a company can monitor their own, as well as competitors’ keywords to see how well their social media accounts are leading to engagement. From this info, they can perform a competitive analysis to share with the entire organization.
  14. Highlight Key Partners and Customers: Use the employee newsletter as an opportunity to highlight key partners and customers and what their public media coverage is. The newsletter can show how your key partners and customers are using your products and services in interesting ways. This can be useful for sales, biz dev, and customer service teams as they reach out to new partners or assist existing partners and clients. It can also help UX/CX and engineering teams as they understand how products and services are actually used by partners and clients.

Best Internal Company Newsletters [Examples]

Now that we know what to put in a company newsletter, let’s take a look at an example for some inspiration. We took an informative and concept-driven approach and mocked it up below. This internal newsletter comes directly from the marketing team to highlight their accomplishments, upcoming events, resources, and more.Screenshot of the internal newsletter of Meltwater as part of the best internal newsletter examples and the best internal newsletter templates for your company

But what is the best format for a newsletter?

An internal company newsletter truly is just another email in our inbox, right? So the design element is crucial to whether your readers are encouraged to click through or not. And today, you can use our internal newsletter template or customize your own using a service like Meltwater.

Here are some more internal newsletter templates and concrete internal newsletter examples we think are k-i-l-l-i-n-g it that are worth checking out.

Internal Newsletter Example #1:

Meltwater’s newsletters & website newsfeeds allow you to easily share media coverage in a customized fashion, that way, you can:

  • Share results & inform stakeholders—The employee newsletter will allow you to curate a hand-selected feed of articles to be shared via a branded email newsletter & the newsfeed product allows you to showcase positive news or social media content on your website, adding third-party validation to your own content.
  • Promote your hard work—Use the company newsletters to share company mentions, provide commentary on important stories, and compile market and competitor briefs.
  • Showcase news and social mentions—Promote relevant news and any social media mentions. The newsfeed allows you to stream customer testimonials and feature industry insights.

Meltwater newsletter options

Meltwater offers a couple of ways to build newsletters. Your team can either cherry-pick the content featured, or you can lean on Meltwater’s analyst team to do so on your behalf.

Not sure which option to go for? If newsletters are new to your organization and you don’t receive a huge amount of media coverage, we’d recommend having your team curate the content in the first instance. If you work for a large brand, the process of finding and sharing business-critical media can take up a lot of your internal time and resources and so Meltwater’s Curated Media Briefings may be a better option since our team of analysts do the heavy lifting for you.

Benefits of Meltwater’s Curated Media Briefings:

  1. We make sure that the dedicated Meltwater analyst we assign to your company understands your industry and competitive landscape so they can proactively monitor trends, market disruptions and new competitive threats, and alert you to the conversations you need to
    be aware of.
  2. Analysts help eliminate irrelevant mentions by manually reviewing all content and selecting critical business insights based on your brief.
  3. Briefings are highly customizable. We understand that different recipient groups are interested in different topics, such as sales, product reviews, negative news, mergers and acquisitions etc. If your priorities change, we’ll pivot with you and update all searches, while offering agility and flexibility to adjust scope.
  4. Meltwater analysts enrich curated briefings, transforming them into insights that are quick to read and easy to understand. We include publication, headline, date, content link, and options for an executive summary and/or customised article summaries highlighting key takeaways. That way, you can stay informed, gain a 360-view of your business, and educate your colleagues on the industry trends they need to know about.Photo of a woman working in the Meltwater Media Intelligence Platform using the internal newsletter functionality

Internal Newsletter Example #2: Themezy

Themezy employee internal newsletter templates are great because they are optimized across devices to ensure everyone can easily read the newsletter. What’s even better is they offer sixteen free company newsletter templates and you don’t have to submit your email address to get started. Screenshot of the Themezy internal newsletter template library as inspiration for the best internal newsletter examples and the best internal newsletter templates for your company

Internal Newsletter Example #3: TemplateMonster

If you have some budget to spend, look to TemplateMonster. They have a variety of internal newsletter templates that are user-friendly, customizable, and compatible. You can even do a live demo to see if it fits your needs. Below is their Panda employee newsletter template, built specifically for a creative agency.Screenshot of the Panda employee newsletter template by TemplateMonster as part of the best internal newsletter examples and the best internal newsletter templates for your company

Internal Newsletter Example #4: HubSpot Template Marketplace

With a large collection of email company newsletter templates, HubSpot offers free and paid versions, some as low as $1 and can be used immediately. Below are all examples of newsletter templates from their marketplace.Screenhsot of the HubSpot Template Marketplace as part of the best internal newsletter examples and the best internal newsletter templates for your company

Internal Newsletter Names: How to Choose The Best Option

Brainstorming names can be tricky, right? And there are so many options of possible internal newsletter names. As marketers, we know It’s one of the first things your employees will read next to the subject line, so it’s important to be thoughtful. And you want to make sure it stands out and grabs the reader’s attention. So where do you start?

First, take into consideration what type of content is included. Is its purpose informative, frequency-driven, goal-driven, or employee-driven? Is it based on a concept or your brand’s name?

Maybe it’s a mix? Second, make sure the employee newsletter name reflects your company’s brand voice and adheres to any internal guidelines. You can reference your company’s brand guidelines as a good place to start. And third, keep it short, simple, and direct.

Here are some examples of internal newsletter names based on the intention or theme of your internal newsletter.


  • The Insider
  • [Company Name] Digest
  • Just the Facts


  • The Monthly Review
  • The [Company Name] Weekly Bulletin
  • The Month Ahead


  • The People’s News
  • Our Voices
  • All Hands Information


  • Marketing Insider
  • Media Talk
  • Marketing Thoughts


Consider how you can use your brand in the publication name. It could be the title of your blog, tied to your brand colors, or an alliteration based on your company’s name.

Improve Internal Communications with Employee Engagement!

Employee advocacy is key in building and protecting brand reputation, so it makes sense to cultivate a strong employee culture. And an internal newsletter is a key component of a strong employee brand ambassador program and improving internal communications. Now that newsletters are easier than ever to produce, “why not start a company newsletter today?

By: Allison Smith

Source: How to Create an Internal Company Newsletter?


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Weight Loss: Why We Should Stop Complimenting It

(CNN)If your friend has recently lost weight, you might want to tell her how great she looks. Maybe you also say that you wish you had her body or self-control or you ask her how she did it. Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of such a “compliment” in the past. Such comments are well meaning but can have unintended negative consequences.

“In that case, we are unintentionally exacerbating or affirming the thin ideal that our society tends to emphasize and idolize,” said Alvin Tran, an assistant professor of public health at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, who does research on eating disorders and body image. “We need to be very cautious when we do approach conversations around someone’s physical appearance, especially their weight.”

This is especially important when talking to people with eating disorders or serious body image issues, since such remarks can worsen their situation. Compliments about someone’s weight loss or thinner body perpetuate society’s deep-seated diet culture, Tran said, and the idea that thinness is inherently good.

“We do tend to operate (as if) we can somehow look at people and, based on body size, determine whether they’re healthy,” said Tamara Pryor, a senior fellow and director of research at ED Care, an eating disorder treatment center based in Denver.

“We have people in large bodies that are in a state of malnourishment as well as people in extremely low size that are malnourished, and people that are standard size but still very severely compromised by an eating disorder. People can’t look at them and tell that.”

But if you’re pleased or wowed by how someone looks, should you not compliment them at all? What is and isn’t OK to say? CNN asked for advice from Pryor and Joann Hendelman, the clinical director of the National Alliance for Eating Disorders.

The following conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity

CNN: Why else is complimenting someone’s weight loss or thinness problematic?

Tamara Pryor: It’s intrusive. Whose business is it for us to be passing judgment, particularly expressing it verbally? We might look at people and make judgment calls, but we need to keep it to ourselves. I come from the second wave of the feminist movement, where it was “my body, my business.” That still stands to be the case.

CNN: How might people on the receiving end feel?

Pryor: If somebody said to me, “Oh my gosh, you look great. You’ve lost some weight,” I would find myself thinking, “What did you think of me beforehand? Was I not acceptable?” I could imagine the pressure the receiver would then feel to maintain the lower weight or lose more weight to receive more praise or be accepted.

They might think, “What about me and the essence of who I am as a human being?” There are both physical consequences and significant psychological consequences that get perpetuated.

Joann Hendelman: If you don’t get that compliment, then it becomes, “There’s something wrong with me. I’m not good enough.”

CNN: What should people consider when they want to praise someone’s thinner appearance?

Pryor: Any questions regarding appearance tend to be triggering, and they’re more triggering for people with eating disorders, because they have such a heightened sensitivity about how they’re being judged based on body shape and size.

My patient and her mother went to a clothing store. She’s extremely low weight and anorexic, and had just started treatment. As she’s in the dressing room, her mom gasps, because when she saw her daughter trying on clothes, she realized how extreme the weight loss was. In comes the clerk, who hears the mom say, “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. I had no idea that your weight had gotten so low. I’m so grateful that you’re in treatment now.”

The clerk said, “Are you kidding? I would die to be that thin. How did you do it?” So, then the patient has this mixed and conflicted response: She can feel her mother’s very real concern, but on the other hand, she’s getting complimented.

Hendelman: I have known and worked with people who had cancer or another reason why their bodies were small. For them, compliments are very uncomfortable because they know they have this horrible illness, and yet people are complimenting them on this weight loss that they would give everything not to have.

CNN: What can people say instead?

Pryor: Find ways to engage that don’t include commentary on their bodies.

Eating disorder resources

US: National Eating Disorder Association

The NEDA has a confidential, toll free helpline at 800-931-2237 as well as an online click-to-chat service. For 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741-741.

The NEDA also has a list of recommended websites and free or low-cost resources.

US: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

ANAD runs a helpline at 888-375-7767 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT and provides links to support groups and treatment providers.

Australia: National Eating Disorders Collaboration

A call center at 800-334-673 and online chat run by the Butterfly Foundation is open 8 a.m. to midnight AET every day except public holidays.

UK: Beat Eating Disorders

Helplines for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are open 9 a.m. to midnight weekdays and 4 p.m. to midnight weekends, every day of the year.If someone needed to lose weight for health reasons, complimenting them on their tenacity in achieving that goal isn’t best. Because then it’s like, “Oh, boy, what if I fail or gain some weight back?” That feels like a lot of pressure. Instead, if someone brings up recent weight loss, ask how they feel about the weight they’ve lost or what made them do it, rather than making a judgment yourself.

Hendelman: Compliment them on what they’re wearing, or say something like, “Your eyes are so bright today” — those kinds of things. If a friend is still so tied to being skinny in order to get compliments, and I say how fantastic that is, I am supporting their focus on their body size and doing them a disservice.

CNN: How can people stop perceiving weight loss or thinness as ideal and inherently good?

Pryor: Think about what being healthy means and what your body can do for you — such as taking in the nutrients you need or gaining strength.

Hendelman: If we could all accept that our bodies get us from this position to the next position, and that it’s not about the way our bodies look, but what’s inside — it’s amazing how much our bodies can give us back.

It’s important to accept who we are and our uniqueness. We have to accept our genetics. The more we can accept our bodies, the healthier we are likely to be. Believe that our bodies know best.

Source: Weight loss: Why we should stop complimenting it – CNN


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Is China Set To Dominate The World?

What’s happening?

It is to be Xi Jinping’s year of triumph. This autumn, the Chinese communist party holds its 20th Party Congress. In normal times, Xi would be expected to shuffle off into retirement, having put in a ten-year stint at the top.

Instead, he is expected to secure an almost unprecedented third term. In 2017 the party formalised the recognition that Xi had become the most powerful leader since Mao by enshrining his name and ideology into its constitution. Then, in 2018, the presidential two-term limit was lifted, conceivably allowing Xi to remain president for life.

How did he get so powerful?

Xi’s feat in consolidating and centralising power in his own hands, under a system that has typically valued consensual leadership, reflects his own qualities as a political operator and crucially the period during which he emerged as leader.

“Xi arrived at the party’s highest echelon at a moment of growing paranoia,” says James Palmer in Foreign Policy. In the early 2010s, China’s governing elite felt deeply threatened by public discontent about rampant corruption, and was spooked by the series of “Arab Spring” uprisings in 2010-2012.

At the same time, there was a widespread feeling that the low-key presidency of Hu Jintao had been a relative failure, opening the door to a more confident, charismatic figure. Xi “represented the possibility of deliverance for China’s autocratic, but consensus-based, political system”. Once in power, he used a populist anti-corruption drive to ruthlessly cement his power and remove his enemies.

What is his ideology?

First, the reassertion of total party dominance over all sectors of public life and, second, the rise of China to dominant global power. Xi was seen as the ultimate party insider due to his status as a party “princeling”. Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun, was a young communist guerrilla leader in northwest China in the 1930s – a Mao loyalist who rose quickly to become a vicepremier of China in the 1950s while still in his 30s.

He was purged and jailed for a time under the Cultural Revolution, before being rehabilitated. Xi first joined the party (in 1974, aged 21) while his father was still in prison and later rose to national prominence via a succession of regional governorships where he established a reputation as an incorruptible safe pair of hands.

Yet according to leaked US diplomatic cables based on extensive interviews with an old comrade of Xi’s, now an academic based in the US, Xi’s commitment to the party is more “pragmatic” and “realist” than ideological. The source reckons that the Chinese president is most fundamentally an “elitist” – a nationalist who believes that “rule by a dedicated and committed Communist Party leadership is the key to enduring social stability and national strength”.

What’s his vision for China?

The same US diplomatic source quoted above reports that even as a young man Xi was “repulsed by the all-encompassing commercialisation of Chinese society, with its attendant nouveaux riches, official corruption, loss of values, dignity, and self-respect, and such ‘moral evils’ as drugs and prostitution”.

This stance finds current political expression in Xi’s core domestic agenda of “common prosperity” – levelling up on a grand scale – which he frames as “not only an economic issue, but also a major political issue related to the party’s governing foundations”. In recent years Xi has reined in technology firms, ordered corporations to improve labour conditions, capped rent increases, and announced that “excessively high incomes” will be “adjusted”.

Xi’s moral outlook also informs China’s nationalist-conservative interventions in social life – for example, cracking down on celebrity culture, banning children from playing videogames for more than three hours a week, and, as one admiring article on Xinhua, the official state press agency, puts it, ensuring that “the cultural market will no longer be a paradise for sissy stars” and for the “worshipping of Western culture”.

What about globally?

Xi’s vision is for China to become the dominant global power by mid-century, but he has made countless “unforced errors on the international stage, says economist Noah Smith. His “swaggering, bellicose approach” has led to other countries in the region hardening their attitudes against “a superpower they once considered a potential partner”.

Needlessly alienating India over relatively minor border issues is a particular blunder. The Belt and Road initiative – Xi’s big plan to build infrastructure in other nations to secure diplomatic fealty and access to natural resources – is also losing momentum.

Is Xi’s position secure?

Tensions over slowing economic growth, draconian Covid-19 lockdowns and Beijing’s dilemma over how far to back Russia’s war on Ukraine could boil over. And in the long run, all repressive one party states are vulnerable to collapse, says historian Edward Luttwak on Unherd. Henry Kissinger once predicted that, as China slowly rises to economic parity with the US, Chinese leaders would seek to arrange a “G2” world of dual superpowers with the US. “Always improbable, G2 became impossible when Xi arrived.

For him only G1 is good enough,” argues Luttwak. “Not because he is a megalomaniac, but the opposite: he thinks, accurately, that unless the Party establishes an unchallenged global hegemony, with its rule deemed superior to democratic governance, Communist China will collapse just as Soviet rule did.

He is right.” Given that need for hegemony, it is not hard to envisage a scenario in which Xi overreaches in the coming years, and triggers an armed confrontation serious enough to disrupt trade.

If that happens, “malnutrition will not be far behind, because of China’s critical dependence on imported animal feed”. If Xi Jinping falls, “pork prices could be the cause”.

By: Simon Wilson

Source: Is China set to dominate the world? | MoneyWeek

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