I recently replied to a Internal Communication LinkedIn group question and wanted to share it with a larger audience in hope others would be able to benefit and reply to it. Evidently others liked it so hope you do as well. Don’t forget to comment on it so we can all learn from one another!
The question: “What messaging and tools have you used to convince the non-believers that your intranet site will benefit them.”
My answer: “This may not help you and you may have done much of this, but I’d start with asking your users what new and existing features on your intranet site would/do benefit them the most. If you need a quick answer another option is to look at your site analytics to tell you much of what users are going to today and look to improve upon that.
I see our intranet as the “one stop shop” for global communications so the more you can aggregate global communications to show value (while still retaining usability) may help. So many employees have to check email, the Intranet, hard copies, voicemail, calendar, tasks, and more which takes time so find a way to aggregate those conversations to one location and make it dead simple. Post communications that are going to provide value as well because if you are not careful the communications your Executives ask you to communicate sometimes is not what your audience finds useful or relevant so never forget to focus on what your content consumers want and need to read.
Make your intranet social so your audience is more engaged and if possible implement features which allow the audience to share, subscribe to, and filter so the content is more valuable and applicable to them. Part of the reason society likes Facebook and Twitter are they are giving us very personalized content from sources we want to get our information from (except all that Farmville and Mafia Wars stuff).
Keep your content fresh and add polls on your site which engage your audience and at the same time allows you to get insight into what they want. Think about Facebook for instance, they have polls and applications surfaced on them all of the time and they can use that information to better target advertising to you and ultimately be successful (make money).
In Jack and the Beanstalk Jack found some magical seeds which grew the giant beanstalk right? I think of the beanstalk as the Intranet. I feel there are 4 essential things for beanstalks to grow which are soil, fertilizer, water, and sun. I see the soil being the infrastructure, the fertilizer being new Intranet functionality, the water being its users/audience, and the sun being your company’s culture. The only problem (at least one of them) with my analogy is eventually Jack’s Beanstalk was chopped down and the giant fell with it. :)
Now its time for the full disclaimer which is I wish I could take my own advice! Hope to hear from everyone else…”