Using your intranet as a communication tool

Two interesting (albeit slightly old) blog posts on using intranets as communication platforms to talk about here. The first by Mark Morrell lists "8 ways in which SharePoint 2010 can help internal communications" Mark makes a very good point before his list of suggestions, which is that he doesn't believe SharePoint 2010 is the only way to improve internal communications with an organisation. But that SharePoint is one of a number of tools that could be used for internal communications. This is an important point to reflect on as there are indeed a number of ways in which we can communicate with our users, emails, intranet homepages etc etc.

When it comes to SharePoint 2010 Mark believes there are 8 ways it can make a difference, Mark describes these as "agile" and "tailored" solutions and are as follows;

  1. Polls: these can be used to ask for feedback on anything.
  2. News: SharePoint allows you to tailor a section of a page to display stories
  3. News stories: users can read these and rate or like them
  4. Sharing news stories: users can share stories
  5. Tag new stories: users can tag a story or a word with phrases which allowed it to be retrieved in future
  6. Discussion forums allow people to provide feedback on a news story
  7. Blogs allow users to provide a personal view on a news story
  8. Podcasts can show and tell users how to do something in an informal relaxed style
The second blog post from James Robertson called "Comms & Technology facing the future together" is a wider look at how intranets and the technology changes we've seen in recent years are impacting on how internal communications are published. 

The post includes a presentation James delivered at the Melcrum Digital Communications Summit in Melbourne. This is a really interesting presentation which looks at how the developments to intranets are providing much richer and more interactive ways to communicate with users. Ultimately this means it's an exciting time to work in communications, especially if an intranet is your responsibility.

However it's not all plain sailing as historically communication teams and IT teams have clashed because there is a perception that technology teams talk geek and communication teams just talk news. Moving past these stereotypes will make for a more successful intranet and newer and more exciting ways to communicate with users. It's the how to do this that James talks about in a bit more detail in his blog post.