The value of intranet news
By Charlotte Naversten and Helena Wennergren
Intranets got a lot more facetime thanks to the pandemic, being an essential channel for employees to find the information they need for their work and for building company culture. Intranets nowadays are often part of a digital workplace, but there's one type of content that remains, and that's the intranet news.
Intranet news is often something that senior management can relate to and see that there's a need for a channel. However, intranet news can be so much more than top-down communication like company announcements and quarterly results, that management wants the employees to know.
News can be used to build and strengthen company culture and to create engagement and dialogue. Celebrate success on the intranet - rewrite your financial results to a success story about how all colleagues contribute to the company's success instead of just republishing the official press release. Recognise co-workers or teams that have done great work and let people comment.
Using the intranet as a single source of truth, your intranet news can also contribute to clarity and transparency. In cases of more severe information and communication, co-workers must know where to turn to find the facts. If necessary, keep them updated by publishing the latest development in a crisis for example.
What to consider for each news post
There are a couple of things that are helpful when writing single news posts. They're not too different from when writing other news or messages but can often be neglected as "it's only for the intranet".
- Relevant topics. Make sure the topic is relevant to your audience. If it's not relevant or interesting to all employees, select another channel.
- Informative headings. Let's face it, many intranet users will only see the headings in the news listing. If you include the most important message in the headings, they might at least get that. Hopefully, it will also trigger those interested in your news to click and read it.
- Be clear about the sender and provide a contact. People want to know who's behind a news post to understand how to evaluate it and put it into context. If they want to learn more, they must know who to contact. And it makes the news and topic more personal. If the sender of the communication is known and someone one can relate to, more people will be interested.
- Ask for input. You can initiate a discussion and create engagement around a topic if you ask specific questions that your co-workers can reply to directly.
To get people to read your news, you might sometimes want to share it on other channels too. It might be relevant to share a link to the article in a specific Teams, Yammer or Slack channel. You might want to collect the most important news in a monthly newsletter sent to your employees.
Make your intranet news feed a success
You also need to take the feed itself, and how it works, into consideration.
- Publish the right amount of news. If you post too often, your audience won't be able to keep up with the reading tempo. If you post too infrequently, your audience will not expect to find anything new to read. There isn't one single and straightforward answer to what the right news publishing frequency is for your company, but three news items per week is a good enough benchmark to start with.
- Let your visitors interact with the news. It might seem like a no-brainer these days that you should have functionality for likes and comments on your intranet news, but many intranets haven't. You create more engagement by letting your audience interact with your news items. You also have an excellent opportunity to catch relevant input regarding the topics you are writing about.
- Provide options for personalisation. For years of using other digital platforms, your users are used to having the option to customise how their news feed looks. On an intranet, of course, some news needs to be mandatory for all but try to give your employees options to personalise their experience of the news need as much as possible.
- Make sure your news items can be transformed into audio. Not all people prefer reading actual text anymore. Listening to the latest company news while commuting to or from work might be the preferred option for some, so make sure your news feed (and the rest of your intranet) is compatible with screen readers.
- Listen to your audience. Apart from analysing your visitor's data, you should use the opportunity to ask your employees what they would like to see in the news feed. Add feedback options to your intranet and ask people you meet by the coffee machine what interests them.
- Easy access will give your news more attention. In the same way, people generally check their social media and personal news feed while on the bus or waiting for their kids' football practice to finish. These occasions would also be perfect for catching up with the latest company news. But for that to happen, it must be easy for your employees to access the intranet through their mobile phones.
- Let people connect with the people in the news. If your CEO writes a blog post, people are likelier to read it if they feel personally associated with your CEO. In very large organisations, this might be difficult to achieve. Still, by trying to create opportunities for more connections between management and employees your employees, you will probably have more employees that feel engaged enough to read the corporate news feed.
Do you want to read more? See how we can help you with your intranet or check out our previous articles about intranets below.