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Communications, Intranet

Content challenges

Content covers so very much, including social status updates and what we used to call ‘user generated content’. Of course, everyone is a ‘user’ and should be contributing to the intranet.

Content and newsSo let’s reduce the scope of ‘content’ to items that are (arbitrarily) over 100 words – so this still includes online discussions that are more than ‘hi, you should see John’s new project’.

We’re talking about content strategy, which “plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content” according to Kristina Halvorson. Some great verbs and adjectives in there!

Let’s pop some discussion points down:

  • Ownership and maintenance of content over the years – the hatred (and dangers) of out-of-date information combined with the reluctance (terror?) of deleting anything.
  • Competing truths – accepting ambiguity, and helping people find relevant information when coming across competing instructions or guidance on the intranet. The web is not the ‘one stop shop’ or ‘single point of truth’ so why do so many people demand the intranet must be one single, cohesive entity? If that was desired, actual budget for content strategy execution would be needed.
  • Archiving – hiding old news and old versions from everyday viewing – but does this hide them from the search engine, or does that story from 2008 still appear at the top of search results?
  • Are announcements different from news? Should announcements be separated from news? Is it still an announcement if it’s ‘from the organisation’ but not an organisational change?
  • Tying communications to the organisation’s strategy and goals. Nearly every strategy includes supporting people to be awesome – so nearly every story can fit into the strategy, meaning that Jeremy’s 100 mile cycle ride for charity has to be published – or does it?
  • Not front page news – if the right audiences have access, and ESN (Enterprise Social Network) use helps the right communities find it, does that mean that the intranet home page is less important?
  • Identifying gaps – knowledge management and content gaps can be found whenever you review intranet systems – or staff competencies. If people need stuff, than stuff has to be written (check your search term records and popular pages) – but what do you do when the subject matter experts or responsible departments just don’t create the content within a month? What if they create bizarre, off-spec, content?
  • Format – content includes videos, even podcasts (audio). What’s the strategy for deciding on format? Doesn’t it depend on the subject matter, but especially the purpose of the content and the manner in which it will be used / consumed?
  • Promotiing great content – using internal social media channels and getting involved with existing communities.

WedgeThese are conversation starters for the my little bit at the SMILE conference on Monday 23d September. I’ll host a table at 11:45am for us all to discuss content and news. If you’re attending, please consider your options and think about joining me to discuss your content challenges.

Image credit: Wedge

[ Wedge ]

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Should you have intranet challenges or content requirements (internal, website, or social) that I could help with, please see my intranet and comms services and give me a call to discuss your needs.

 

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.