About the intranet, on the intranet
The intranet is not just a channel for the business to communicate news and information. It is also a valuable tool for the intranet team itself to engage with the wider organisation.
To that end, the intranet team should have a section on the intranet devoted to the intranet itself. This section targets three main audiences:
- stakeholders and senior managers
- intranet authors and publishers
- general staff
Too often, intranet teams can be invisible within their organisations, doing good work but hard to find. This is not sustainable, and the teams must raise staff and stakeholder awareness, as well as better supporting key groups.
Stakeholder and senior managers
One of the greatest challenges for intranets is to have sufficient visibility among senior managers and other stakeholders. This is required to gain resources and funding, as well as to secure support for planned projects.
The intranet section should contain key strategy and project planning documents for this audience:
- overall intranet strategy and roadmap
- business case(s)
- planned improvements for the next 6–12 months
- previous intranet enhancements
- "before and after" screenshots
In addition, the intranet section should contain success stories and testimonials from business areas. Consider implementing a post-project satisfaction survey with internal business clients, and sharing the results of this on the intranet.
The overall goal is to demonstrate business benefits and expertise, and to build trust and confidence at senior levels of the organisation.
Don’t forget to communicate success stories more widely, such as in the internal company newspaper. This ensures that successes build support for future projects.
Intranet authors and publishers
Intranets will typically be supported by a network of authors and publishers scattered throughout the organisation. These staff will need support, to use the content management system, and to understand what to publish.
While intranet teams should maintain strong face-to-face relationships with the authors and publishers, the intranet section can greatly help by providing:
- initial training and familiarisation information for new authors
- simple online training videos
- support on the use of the CMS
- guidelines and standards for online writing
- collaborative area for authors and publishers to share experiences and gain assistance
- news and information on current projects and enhancements
- a showcase of recent business-driven intranet improvements (such as a revamped HR section)
Over time, the intranet section should grow to become a key resource for decentralised authors and publishers. While the breadth of information should grow, ensure that authors can dip in when required to get key details or answers, without becoming overwhelmed by the amount of information.
While intranets should be simple and intuitive to use, staff do benefit from some training in how to use the site. This is impractical to do face-to-face in any larger organisation, so intranet teams should use the intranet channel where possible to provide staff with help.
For example, some teams have conducted a full online marketing campaign when a new intranet is relaunched, supported by short online training videos covering key features.
Intranet teams should also promote intranet enhancements via the main news section on the intranet, as well as via other communications channels.