‘Everything is front page news’: deciding what comms should make the cut
In an organization, all information is ‘news’…right? When your intranet homepage is accessible to every single employee, it is normal to want share news that you feel they can learn from or need to know. But, what happens when this ‘news’ doesn’t pertain to everyone?
Within an organization, various departments and sectors have things that matter to them. However, at times the ‘news’ only applies to a limited audience. For instance, while certain matters may seem relevant to the marketing department, it may not have as much significance to those employees in IT. That’s not to say that their information needs do not cross paths. More often than not, news can be useful to more than one party.
14 steps to great internal communications
All information is worthy, but not everything belongs on the front page of your intranet.
So how do you decide what deserves the front row seat? It is almost impossible to manage the requests from all the departments that believe their news is most important without calls of bias or favoritism. Conversely, putting things on the homepage because a department constitutes it as “news” is an easy way to overload your corporate audience.
The key lies in customization. Tailoring your homepage for the right audience, department or group in a way that leaves staff informed but not overwhelmed or misrepresented. Here are some ways to address departmental requests and provide applicable news for the entire organization.
Mitigate requests for everything to be on the homepage
Contrary to what some departments may believe, not every bit of news needs to be on the homepage. If it is for one region’s, department’s or audience’s eyes only, then restricting the homepage feed becomes even more critical.
If you are managing your intranet, you are sure to receive numerous requests to put things on the homepage. How about setting some guidelines on what posts will and will not be accepted.
For example, things like events can be restricted to the calendar widget on your homepage. Posts regarding new hires and retirements may also find a better home in a dedicated HR sector or newsletter section.
With a dynamic and organized intranet, your platform can be functional and helpful for every user. News does not need to be limited to the homepage. Encourage departments to use alternative ways to connect and inform employees.
Homepage news & announcement alternatives:
1. Targeted intranet broadcasts to personas
Target communication to persona groups you create outside of traditional organizational structures. Your staff’s day-to-day collaboration is not always limited by team or location. Just because someone is a member of one department does not mean that they do not fall into other categories.
By creating personas within your intranet, you can target these diverse groups and broadcast any essential communications to defined recipients. It’s as simple as composing your message, specifying your group and sending across the necessary channels.
2. ‘Recent Updates’ Content Widget
Dynamic widgets such as the Content Widget ensures the latest content is pulled through to your homepage. It can be constructed to display content by content area, category, keyword or Author. Configuring your content widget to develop a ‘Recent Updates’ section on your homepage can cater to that secondary level of important news that does not necessarily need to be shared with the whole organization.
Setting up the widget to be triggered based on specified keywords will further ensure that users are receiving that vital news relevant to their area or category.
14 steps to great internal communications
3. Announcements Widget
Much like your Recent Updates Widget, widgets can be customized to set up an area for announcement posts. Creating an Announcements menu with multiple subcategories geared toward the needs of your staff (such as Operations, HR, etc.) can provide a space for users to choose the information that they want to see.
By making those subcategories child items under the central news section, anything that is approved for posting can be rolled up to the main homepage feed.These multiple categories also allow users to add a watch to the content that they are most interested in learning more about.
Customizing these widgets is a valuable way to introduce a personalized experience for employees. They will ultimately engage more with the intranet when they have an opportunity to define what content is of importance or most significant to them.
Sometimes a little more effort is required to make your staff, especially the more decentralized employees, feel prioritized within your intranet. This is where multiple personalized, tailored homepages come into play.
If you want an intranet with high adoption rates and a good reputation among staff, then your homepage needs to have relevant information that changes frequently. No employee wants to see week or month old information. They also don’t want to be bombarded with news that does not apply to them at all.
Your homepage should be balanced and should show information being discussed across the company, but also tailored to the right individuals.
With a platform like Interact, you can create multiple homepages geared toward specific user groups or personas. There is no need to battle with departments over which bit of news gets the front page. Each team or region can have its own homepage.
An onboarding homepage can be created specifically for your new starters to introduce them to the company and share information they need as part of their orientation. You can also have a page for your upper management, who needs to see news about the current happenings in the organization or any major changes that may be underway.
With separate homepages, your limitations on what is considered ‘front page news’ are gone. In this way, relevant news can be pushed to the right people, increasing efficiency and maintaining engagement across the intranet experience.
Creating multiple homepages is significantly efficient but also takes a reasonable amount of time and effort. If you are looking for a solution that does not require creating an entire new homepage then creating Team Pages can help users take control of their working space.
Team Pages do not need to play into the traditional company hierarchy in which department or role separates employees (although they can if you so choose). With Team Pages, you can invite whomever you choose to be a part of that group. They do not need to be a part of a specific department, as long as you feel they will benefit from the posted content then you are free to extend the membership.
If the news that is being shared is just for one region’s eyes, we recommend they post on their own Team Page as an easy way to give detailed information to specific groups. Team Pages can also be set as private, so only those invited can participate, or open so everyone can be included. This keeps top-level communications relevant and makes sure your users keep coming back for more.
Your intranet homepage is the place where employees log on to stay informed. Because of its high level of visibility, your homepage will always be highly sought after to present every type of news.
There is no “one size fits all” intranet, so customization is necessary to fit the needs of your organization and employees. The above methods for tailoring your homepage will provide some relief and drastically reduce the challenge of presenting relevant information to your entire staff.