The Group newsletter <HYOSUNG> (former title in Chinese characters) was first published in December 1980. As a catalyst to enhance unity and participation of all Hyosung employees, the newsletter took the first step forward with the intention to build solidarity and community spirit through inter-organization communication. The tabloid newsletter of the same title was published until the 7th issue, printed in 60 pages in the 4×6 format and distributed to all Hyosung employees with 26,000 copies in black-and-white typographic printing.
When it was first published in 1980, the domestic and overseas situations were in greater difficulties than ever. The aftereffect of the second oil shock was bringing up the oil price, followed by consumption control and import control that resulted in economic recession. Our economy, which had pursued rapid growth until then, faced extreme economic recession that even resulted in negative growth. Accordingly, companies were standing up to the ordeal by going into retrenchment. Moreover, the domestic political situation was also in the dark age with no foresight at all. The message by Chairman Cho Suk-rae in the first issue well displays the difficulties of those times.
At the time, various subsidiaries of Hyosung were publishing newsletters according to their circumstances and characteristics. However, they were not sharing a medium to promote conversation in the group level, and thus there was a constant demand for a group newsletter. <Hyosung> was delegated to and published by Hyosung Corporation among various Hyosung subsidiaries, and over 30 reporters of 20 subsidiaries participated under the supervision of the PR department. The goal of <Hyosung> was to act as a means to attract participation and creativity of the group workers, transform the company into a workplace in which employees can enjoy beneficial emotional life, and build lateral solidarity with other subsidiaries as well as a sense of belonging and unity as Hyosung group members.
When <Hyosung> was first published, company newsletters were referred to as the ‘3rd Media,’ and were acknowledged as a form of journalism with the characteristic of persuasive communication. The company newsletter reporters were perceived as PR people as well as ‘walking encyclopedias’ who know everything. <Hyosung> was especially faithful to its role to enhance organizational communication that emphasized organizational functions and PR functions to create community spirit among in-company employees. <Hyosung> published during this period focused more on direct corporate PR, but as one issue was published after another, it developed various efforts to fulfill the role as a communication channel for the employees. It reflected and published more of the voices on site after the change in the labor-management relations in 1987.
<Hyosung> also performed the role of a literary magazine by attracting the employees with articles and columns written by famous writers, while also increasing participation of Hyosung employees in corporate literature. Contents related to literature blossomed along with the enactment of the Hyosung Literature Award in 1988.
In 1989, the group newsletter <Hyosung> declared its 2nd new publication. It strived to reinforce the in-company communication function within the group along with the integration with <TOPLON News>, the newsletter published by the textile subsidiaries such as Tongyang Nylon, Tongyang Polyester, and Tongyang Dyeing. It also stayed faithful to the purpose of leading the formation of unity by enhancing mutual communication among subsidiaries with harmonious organization of various voices as the group newsletter true to the name.
One noticeable change is that it carried out a radical reform from planning to editing and design, while also increasing the number of pages up to 100 pages. <Hyosung> published during this period avoided being a mere in-company newsletter but consistently printed columns about news outside the company, following the trend of time as well as the tendency of group newsletters by other companies. The role of a PR magazine was further emphasized, providing educational materials and information such as current events, economic trends, technology, R&D and products that quickly respond to the changes of time.
Employee surveys, attitude surveys, subsidiary introductions, voices of work sites, corporate literature and other contents that require employee participation also developed remarkably. Moreover, columns providing entertainment and amusement such as leisure, travel, sports, hobbies and family participation began to increase greatly, offering more attractions than the previous newsletter. On the other hand, the character as a cultural magazine decreased compared to the previous newsletter, which indicates that <Hyosung> expanded its role as a communication channel for employees within the group to the role as a communication channel for the employees’ families as well as the society.
In 1997, the company newsletter <Hyosung> transformed itself into a new and original form in terms of appearance as well as contents. The cover was designed with computer graphics according to the changes of time, giving a whole different sensation to the newsletter. All pages were printed in color, adding more visual pleasure. Thinner paper and saddle stitching technique were used to reduce the volume of the 100-page newsletter, increasing convenience for readers to easily carry around and read.
<Hyosung> approached the readers with new sensations with various forms of planning. It included new sections such as the management trend column directly delivered by the CEO and executives to let the employees know about the in-depth group business information, as well as a column that collects various ideas and opinions of the employees, fulfilling its role as a communication channel worthy of name.
Furthermore, the newsletter played the role of leading changes in the group by announcing year-round campaigns to enhance the community spirit of Hyosung employees. In 2001, the employees’ families were chosen as cover models for the newsletter, putting the slogan of ‘Taking the Company Newsletter Home’ into practice. The materials of the newsletter, which had been limited to Korea, began to cover cases of global companies and aimed for globalization of contents.
In particular, this period showed rapid changes in the form of communication due to publication of webzines as high-speed Internet emerged. It was a period of endless pursuits to find a new breakthrough while maintaining the identity of a company newsletter. In September 2002, the company newsletter was sent to each home under the awareness that the company, employees and their families must be reborn as a group sharing a common destiny. Sections were newly organized with various columns including ‘Happiness Plus’ that shows the happy families of Hyosung that support the Hyosung employees. This shows how the role of the company newsletter is expanding into a medium that communicates with not only employees but also their families.
<HYOSUNG> has established a communication system by gradually increasing its refined and sophisticated image. It is now a newsletter that enjoys the participation of all employees with columns such as recommended books by executives, employee compliment relay of subsidiaries, and mentor-mentee interviews. In particular, employees were selected through events to be featured as the cover models in 2012, which attracted a great deal of attention. Recently a special issue of about 10 pages was planned and published, sharing external management issues with the employees.
The quality of the newsletter has been upgraded since last year by covering topics that are also emerging as social issues, such as GWP (Great Work Place), win-win growth with partners, and social contribution activities. As a result of the efforts in the Editorial Office to enhance the quality of contents, <HYOSUNG> has won a total of three awards outside the company for 3 years since 2011. Moreover, with the emergence of various online media and devices, the printed newsletter is provided in PDF to increase accessibility and convenience.
”We examined the history and transition of 400 issues of the company newsletter <HYOSUNG> from 1980 to 2013. Racing toward the 500th issue, <HYOSUNG> will continue to fulfill its role as a symbol of communication that proves Hyosung’s sustainable management and growth.”