The intranet is the gateway to your company’s world. So says Angela Rossiter, Global Intranet Manager at Linklaters and guest speaker at the latest Aspic event.
Held at the Soho Hotel in London, the breakfast seminar brought together a range of internal communication professionals to discuss the highs and lows of the corporate intranet and ask themselves: in an age where information comes at us from all angles, at all times, is it still the one corporate channel to rule them all?
All about trust
When it comes to intranet, forget worrying about having the latest, trendiest tech. Success starts with purpose and people, says Angela.
“You need to have a clear roadmap for your intranet. Then think about how your intranet needs to be many things to, and serve many different purposes for, each employee and the different hats they wear while doing their jobs. That’s why we have a set purpose and vision, to help our employees ‘find’, ‘connect’, ‘collaborate’ and ‘innovate’, all via one channel.”
And like any communicator worth their salt, Angela measures success to make sure their channel is achieving its purpose. But interestingly this isn’t done by measuring what they create, but by what they delete. By having a constant focus on clearing out and archiving old content, they keep their intranet streamlined and relevant – giving their users a much more pleasant user experience.
Which brings Angela onto another important factor: trust. “Measuring what we delete sends a strong message about quality and trust,” she explains. “Your employees need to trust that your intranet content is credible and reliable, otherwise it won’t achieve what you want it to.”
Head, heart, hands
Picking up where Angela left off in the second half of the seminar, Sequel’s Digital Media Director Charles Fenoughty echoed her thoughts on intranet technology, saying, “We don’t really care about the tech and gizmos; we care about the content. If we’re satisfying our audience’s content needs, it doesn’t matter where it goes and with what functionality.
“But when technically everything is ‘intranet-able’ where do we draw the line? Just because it can go on the intranet doesn’t necessarily mean it should.”
With this in mind, Charles closed the morning with by hosting a dynamic group discussion about intranet audience and purpose, while exploring the different ways the intranet can fit into a balanced communications mix.
Charles’ lasting advice for the group was simple: when you’re planning content for your intranet think about your head, heart and hands.
“An intranet should meet the needs of these three things,” Charles say. “The head: give me something to help me understand. The heart: give me something to make me care. And finally the hands: give me tools and knowledge to do my job.”
The purpose is simple, he says. “Employees want a site that is quick, easy, simple: ‘help me to do my job’ and the rest will fall into place.”