Wellness Newsletter: Why?
A wellness newsletter or health newsletter is a common component of virtually all health and wellness programs. You also find that insurance brokers, insurance companies, hospitals, EAP’s and a host of other organizations seem to provide some type of wellness newsletter.
The reasons for developing and providing a wellness newsletter vary greatly. Some more common reasons for having a wellness newsletter include the following:
- health promotion and health education
- Safety and occupational health education
- Advertising, marketing and brand promotion
- To build a reputation as an industry expert
- As part of a wellness program or health promotion program
- To build a email list (or traditional mailing list)
- Market research
Wellness Newsletter: Who to Trust?
Just because an organization has a wellness newsletter does not mean that the information is accurate or trustworthy. So, how can you tell if the information contained in a wellness newsletter is accurate?
No registration necessary. Why should a person be required to register for a newsletter – just to view it? Only one reason that I can think of and that’s because they just want your contact information. My recommendation – find another wellness newsletter. Please do not get me wrong, it is perfectly fine to register for a newsletter after you’ve decided you like what they have to offer.
All references given. Any trustworthy company or organization will include and/or make available all reference material related to their wellness newsletter.
Advertising must be clearly identified. Any trustworthy organization will clearly identify and, in fact separate all advertising from the wellness and wellness content. To do anything other than this is to run the risk of confusing readers.
Must have a clear editorial policy. Does the organization have a clearly defined editorial policy related to the wellness newsletter – and all other wellness information the offer? Most editorial policies will clearly define how advertising (if allowed) is represented within the newsletter along with what types of advertising is allowable.
No SPAM allowed. Organizations will often use a wellness newsletter as a way to get members or perspective clients to register with them. This allows them to build a contact list to use for marketing purposes. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but trustworthy organizations will always tell you exactly how your contact information will be used. If not, then you can likely expect to receive lots of SPAM from them – or some other company to whom they give or sell your contact information.
Subscribe AND unsubscribe. If a wellness newsletter is delivered via email then look for a clearly identified way to unsubscribe from the service. If you don’t find it easily then I’d be suspect as to what will be done with your contact information.
Contact information is provided. Trustworthy organizations will have a clearly identified way for people to contact them. Generally trustworthy organizations will offer multiple ways to contact them. If not, then I’d think be concerned about the legitimacy of the organization and the wellness information the provide.
Credible wellness information sources. If statistics and research studies are cited in the wellness newsletter, then check to see if the sources are credible. If you’ve never heard of the journal, magazine, etc. then I’d question the accuracy of the wellness information. Note: just because you have not heard of an organization does not mean that they are not highly recognized within their industry, thus a little digging may be required.
Informational or Promotional. When reviewing a wellness newsletter for information credibility you’ll want to determine if the purpose of the newsletter is informational or promotional. Unfortunately many wellness newsletters are nothing more than thinly veiled promotional pieces intertwined with one or two bits of wellness information. Hospitals and insurance companies seem to love this approach to marketing – and subsequently kill a lot of trees mailing out a “wellness newsletter” that’s of virtually no value – at least from a wellness education perspective.