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Rotate who sends the newsletter

Quick tip: if your team sends an internal newsletter or status email, consider rotating which team member is responsible for driving content and sharing out the update.


Gives team members more visibility

Career progression (promotions, raises, interesting projects) often depends heavily on the visibility of your impact to stakeholders and potential collaborators. This can be more difficult at larger companies and leads to “interesting” visibility-hacking behavior.

When you change up the directly responsible individual (DRI) for a recurring status update, you give each team member a natural way to show up and raise their visibility. Presumably each person that contributes to the newsletter is also materially contributing to the work that the newsletter reports on. Rather than gatekeeping on one person, everyone on the team can get the chance to share that impact with the broader organization.

Cultivates a shared sense of ownership

Rotating newsletter DRIs increases a shared sense of ownership in 1) the work itself and 2) how the team’s impact is messaged to stakeholders. If Jamie sends the update every sprint, it’s easy to feel like everyone else is executing on Jamie’s vision (or, again, their visibility!). There are other things that should happen to empower cross-functional team members, but being able to help lead on messaging builds the sense that the team is working towards a shared, common goal.

Makes the newsletter easier to compile

When the responsibility for a status update always falls on one person’s shoulders, no one else gets to feel the pain of corralling contributions from the rest of the team. People often procrastinate on filling out newsletter content, because it’s unaccounted-for work. When there’s just one DRI, that owner has to beg team members for content with every iteration.

I’ve noticed that when the DRI rotates, the team is much more responsive to calls for content. That is likely due in part to a shared sense of messaging ownership. It may also be attributable to an increased empathy for the DRI: you as contributor have gone through the cat-herding yourself, or it’s your turn to do so next month.

It’s tempting to think that having one person “just take care of it” leads to efficiency and quality, but in my experience the opposite is true.

Give it a try

Rotating the newsletter DRI may not work for every organization and audience. That said, it’s worth considering this practice—and whether your current approach to status-sharing best serves the organization in the first place!


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