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December 18, 2012 -
Today's tip from Building Operating Management: A regular newsletter can help facility managers reach key audiences.
There are many channels for communicating with audiences that are important to facility managers. One that's worth examining is the newsletter. At Texas Children's Hospital, the facility department creates a six-page bi-monthly in-house newsletter called Service Connect, which is distributed to 450 employees and senior leadership. The facility department is also the only one at the hospital to generate an annual report document, which is distributed to the senior executives and board of trustees.
When the Texas Children's Hospital marketing department first saw the documents, says Bert Gumeringer, director of facility operations and security services, the marketers were surprised by the quality of the design. Although it is a significant time commitment to generate those graphics, Gumeringer sees a clear payback.
"We publish things of interest to our employees but we also always publish things that are of interest to senior leaders in the organization," Gumeringer says. "If they know that we’re doing things down here, that helps us from the standpoint of communication with them. I believe it adds a lot of value to the organization, because they know we’re not just sitting down here like the Maytag repair man waiting for something to happen."
In an age where these documents could easily be presented in an electronic format, Gumeringer chooses to go with documents printed in color on glossy paper for a couple reasons. For one thing, many of his employees do not have access to computers at home, so it would be impossible for them to share their achievement honored in Service Connect with their families. But it's also a response to the daunting nature of electronic communication. "We’re being bombarded with electronic information; I can't read it all, what people send to me," he says. "But when they send me things like a Service Connect, I will read it. I will look at it cover to cover. I will take it with me to meetings or when I ride the shuttle bus back and forth to meetings. It's so much harder to read that electronic stuff on the bus, on my little cell phone screen."
This has been a Building Operating Management Tip of the Day. Thanks for listening.