How to get started with news on the intranet

29-05-2020 On a lot of intranets news play a central role. They are often key to having a vibrant intranet. Large parts of the intranet consist of static information. News are the dynamic elements, but they don’t just happen on their own and a lively dynamic news flow requires planning. Here are some tips for how you can plan the news flow on your intranet.

What is news?
A great place to start is to define what is news worthy in your organization. For this purpose it can be helpful to set up news values and get inspiration from the classical news values (proximity, prominence, timeliness, impact, conflict) but a value could also be whether the news is related to the corporate strategy or select focus areas in the organization. By applying the values to a story you can determine if its suitable for an intranet news article, if it should be top news, feature story or a local news.

How often do we want to publish?
In order to ensure a suitable flow of news on the intranet it can be useful to have a content plan. This is particularly relevant when it comes to top news. You can create a simple content plan in a document where you create a plan for what news to publish when and thus create an overview of what to publish in the future weeks. For a lot of organizations 3-5 top news per week is a suitable amount. This allows the users to keep up to date.

Who can publish?
The news flow is also influenced by who can publish news. A lot of organizations choose a solution where select editors are able to create top news while a larger group, or even all employees, are able to publish news in another news flow such as local news. When it comes to whether all employees should be able to publish you can ask yourself if all employees are able to send emails to all or a large part of the organization. If so, should they then not also be able to publish news for all?

What is permitted?
It is beneficial to all if you are able to give as clear guidelines as possible and to make it as easy as possible to publish news. If it’s troublesome and people need to wait on a long publishing and approval process or it requires an entire training session to make a news article, you risk people finding other channels for their message, making it hard to keep the intranet alive. In an organization with multiple nationalities and locations it’s a good idea to evaluate whether local news can be publish in the local language or if everything should be in English. SharePoint and IntraActive have several options for translations which can make it easier to share content across languages.

How is a news article created?
A news template is often a very good idea and has several advantages. It makes it easy for editors to create news and allows them to focus on content over layout. Equally it ensures the news have a recognizable layout, giving a good user experience and making it easy to decode content. It is a good idea to setup an image library so editors knows what images to use for news. Another layout option is to decide whether or not to allow comments and likes on news.

In our experience the above tips and points can create a good foundation for a lively news flow on the intranet. Regardless of whether or not the purpose of the news is to strengthen knowledge sharing, corporate identity, engagement or something else. Technology of course also plays a large role and allows us to explore the decisions to make when it comes to our news flow. The news flow on the intranet should also match with the other communication channels like Microsoft Teams and Yammer.