I have covered in previous posts how internal communications can improve with collaboration tools. I also believe SharePoint can help organisations’ intranets if applied well. This post covers 8 ways that SharePoint can help internal communications.
I’m not saying that SharePoint is the only way to improve internal comms or intranets generally. There are other technologies that can do this as well or better. It is how you use the technology that is critical to it being a success.
These 8 ways can help SharePoint make a difference to internal communications by offering more agile and tailored solutions to meet the organisation’s needs:
- Polls: you can use polls to ask for feedback on a subject with a menu of answers for people to choose from.
- News: you can tailor a section of a page to show as many stories as you want. You can give people the choice to see extra news and mandate how many news stories they must see and how many are optional.
- News stories: people can read these and show how they feel by using the SharePoint features to like and rate the stories.
- Share news stories: people can also share a story with people who will be interested. This is usually by email like with internet sites.
- Tag news stories: people can also tag a story with words or phrases that group it with other information or news they can find easily in future. Tags can also be shared with other people and their tags can create a folksonomy.
- Discussion forums: people are able to extend their feedback on the news story by discussing it further with other people. Internal communicators can also join the discussion and help explain any points that are unclear to people.
- Blogs: people (including internal communicators) can give a personal view on a news story. Again it extends the original message if someone feels strongly about or offers an opinion to challenge another view. This can help tease out small issues that can be quickly resolved before they can become major issues later that are more complex and harder to sort out.
- Podcasts: internal communicators can show and tell how to do something to help illustrate a message better than using words. This is different from high quality corporate videos. The quality may be lower but much cheaper and normally accepted by people. It is the informal, personal, style that can make a positive difference to people’s perceptions.
The real benefits with SharePoint are when you use it on a major scale. If you create the content to be communicated once, then be able to re-use it across many channels, you can focus on quality of the message. You can communicate it as a news article, mobile text, video/podcast, etc. and get feedback from discussion forums, polls, rating, comments, shares and likes to it.