Put these 7 negatives about the HOPE Health Letter (HHL) under the light of your inquisitive mind, and you’ll see they become positives.
Here are basically the top 7 reasons a workplace will cancel their subscription to the HHL or not consider purchasing it in the first place:
1. New contact person: When a workplace hires a new wellness manager, vendor, or puts someone new in charge − most of the time those people clean house like a new head coach. Everybody and everything from the existing program goes.
However, the HHL is reinstated in many instances because the employees miss it. And former managers who have used the HHL in the past, almost always introduce it to their new workplaces.
I think the HHL gets cancelled when the new person sees the simple HHL presentation and thinks it’s easy. Just like an Olympic swimmer makes a 200-yard butterfly stroke look easy. They miss the fact that 30 years of workplace communication experience have resulted in that format.
2. It’s not free: The HHL can run from about 25¢ to 50¢ per copy in print, and about 15¢ per copy in electronic format − inexpensive but not free.
The HHL leads to wellness resources locally, regionally, and nationally that can serve as a basic wellness program in itself. So for a modest amount, the HHL can actually save a workplace tens of thousands of dollars by showing them they don’t need to duplicate expensive wellness resources.
3. Uses the insurance company’s newsletter: This is similar to the above, but the difference is that many managers think a free wellness newsletter from a health insurance company “is probably all we need anyway – it should be good enough.”
But that assumption can be more costly than the puny savings. For one thing, those mass manufactured newsletters are difficult to read and mostly irrelevant to peoples’ daily lives. And they become the face of your wellness program.
4. Cartoons are a turn-off: Some people assume the cartoons used in the HHL are not appropriate for communicating serious health issues. But in practice, cartoons breakthrough and connect with readers. See Wellness Engagement: Why I Love Cartoons In Health Communication and The Case for Cartoons in Health and Wellness Communication: A detailed look at how humorous illustrations can effectively convey wellness information to a broad audience.
5. Customization is underutilized: The HHL is easy to customize for each workplace. However, it does take some effort on the part of one person at the workplace. Some managers simply don’t value the power of custom content built into a strong editorial product. When custom stories, news, and images accompany the regular content in the HHL it becomes an inexpensive, dynamic tool for interest and engagement. Some people simply will not take a little time to hone their wellness message. See Flexible Messaging: Dynamic Communication Solutions to Engage Your Audience.
6. Short articles are undervalued: Some managers don’t think we include enough information. But it turns out knowing what to “leave out” is critical in getting a person to skim for subjects then decide to take the time to read about an item of interest. The HHL’s articles are short, to-the-point, and action oriented. It’s a focus on the information a person needs (and no more), and how to use that information.
7. Unaware of online tools: A modern newsletter, whether it is in print or electronic format, should be organized around complimentary resources online. The newsletter itself should represent only a fraction of the information it directs people to.
Thus a great newsletter offers value in and of itself, and as a professionally vetted index to a rich online universe. Look closer, and you’ll see where the HHL editors make each issue a complete, one-stop resource.
So there you have it. The HHL is sometimes counter-intuitive in its clear and simple presentation – and that is what makes it an apparent win-win.
Shawn is the President and Founder of Hope Health. For over 30 years, his work has focused on bringing clear, easy-to-read, and watch health messages to the public via workplaces. He bills himself as the “Best C+ Student in the Wellness Biz” because, as he says, “I like to challenge the notion that there is no such thing as a stupid question.” Shawn is on a mission to tie workplaces into their surrounding communities to share resources and ideas in an effort to improve the health of all Americans.
You may reach Shawn at sconnors@HopeHealth.com or 800-334-4094.