A house journal is a selective media and we can identify the audience who received it or not. The target audience is identifiable in this case. In other mass media, it is difficult to know whether or not the target audience has read, seen or listened to a message. House journals can be Internal, External and combination of both internal and external. The internal journal is meant for internal public’s mainly employees. The external house journal is meant for external public’s like dealers, shareholders or consumers. The external house journals can also be meant for employees as well as external public’s.
An internal house journal serves as an important connection between a management and the employees. In a large corporation, a house journal reaches employees belonging to different disciplines, cadres and interests. It bridges the gap and creates a fellow-feeling among them.
The PR department is generally responsible for bringing out the house journal. Editorial policy of the journal must be approved from the management. The house journal reflects whether the organization is an open or a closed one. In a closed organization, there will be a one-way channel of communication. It does not take into account the views of employees. Such journal generally covers the views of top executives mainly the Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director. In an open company, the journal also covers the views of employees. Employees get an opportunity to put forth their point of view. The journal becomes a two-way communication in an open company.
Following.are the steps the PR cell has to go through in bringing out a successful house journal:
Planning: At this stage, a concept that best serves the objectives of the company has to be developed including the format, size and periodicity. Plan all these keeping in view the objective, target audience and the budget. Get approved of all these by the management.
Organizing: After the management’s approval, organize staff members to proceed with the task. A detailed schedule for writing/collection of stories, production, printing and mailing has to be worked out and adhered to strictly. For content, you can invite write-ups from the staff members if it is internal journal. If it is for external public’s, you can seek write-ups from the external public’s. Target people those who have a flair for writing.
Publishing: Before sending the journal for publishing, you have lots of tasks in your hand. Pre-press job include editing, proof-reading, designing, selecting photographs, graphics and cover page designs. You have to coordinate with many people for the task. The journal should reflect the style of the editor. It must reflect the personality of the editor.
Distribution: After the journal is printed, you have to distribute it among the target audience. Select the quickest and economical means to get the journal into the hands of the readers. To get feedback about the content, include a questionnaire asking which are liked most or disliked by the employees and the reasons for that. Feedback will help you in improving the content. Many companies are now coming out with video magazines and e-magazines for employee.