Is mobile the natural channel for intranet news?
Let’s face it, as much as internal comms likes to publish corporate news, most staff aren’t that interested in reading it. While part of the problem is the lack of relevant stories, one of the big issues is lack of time. In today’s busy working life, there simply isn’t much time to catch up on what’s happening between all the emails and meetings.
When staff come to the intranet, they do so at the point of need. They’re looking for a piece of information, or to complete a task. Anything that gets in the way of that (including news) is ignored.
Perhaps enterprise mobility offers a solution. Look around on the train in most cities in the world, and you’ll see commuters head down, reading their mobiles. They’re checking their emails, reading the local newspaper, or playing Angry Birds.
In all cases, these are “interstitial activities”. That is, they’re activities that fill up the gaps, the 5mins of time between stations, or in the lift between floors.
In a few organisations now, we’re starting to hear staff comment that they really like receiving corporate news on their mobiles, as it allows them to keep on top of what’s happening during these little pieces of downtime.
So perhaps — when done well — corporate (and operational) news can prosper when delivered to mobile devices.
There is the same opportunity for organisations who provide research updates, industry information and other KM services to staff. Delivering these to mobiles give staff an opportunity to keep up with what’s happening
If nothing else, it gives something people to look at when they’d otherwise be bored sitting on the bus, on the way to work.
Where to start
- Create a simple mobile front-end for the intranet, along the lines of that done by UK Parliament and QUT (as described in our report Award winning mobile intranets).
- Create an HTML5 version of the intranet (or KM) news feed, and deliver this to mobiles.
- Ensure that if staff click through from a headline on their mobile, they can actually access the intranet when away from the office.
- Establish usage tracking for the mobile interface, and then spread the word!
What do you think? Is this a new (and viable) channel for corporate news?