The nature of internal communications and intranets is changing greatly. While new technology offers exciting new possibilities for comms teams, it does put a spotlight on the age-old divide between comms and technology teams.
It was great this week to present at the Melcrum Digitial Communications Summit in Melbourne. My presentation set the scene for a panel discussion with Josh Patel from Bupa, and Andrew fix from Zevenseas (both super-experienced intranet folk).
The key points of the talk:
- Intranets offer much richer and more interactive ways of communicating with staff (sharing a number of examples, from simple to more complex).
- This makes for an exciting time for internal communications teams.
- But: all of this requires technology, and IT involvement to some degree.
- Historically, there has been a big divide between comms and IT.
- The stereotypes are that technology teams constantly “talk geek” and do whatever they want; while comms teams care only about news, and resist change.
- As a lead in to the panel discussions, I put forward four practical suggestions.
- Comms teams need to be tech savvy.
- The most successful intranet teams are “people people”, and comms folks are well-positioned to build good relations with technology folk.
- Go beyond the homepage to enage with technology about the whole intranet.
- Bring in other stakeholders (such as HR, finance and the business) to change the us-vs-them dynamic.
Josh and Andrew then shared their real-world experiences, and the whole room participated in a vigorous and productive discussion on how to make all this work in practice. Good fun!