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How we wrote ‘Creating Intranet Content’

I’m pleased to announce the release of /No/ wait a minute, I detest announcements that state ‘we are pleased to‘. Such proclamations of enthusiasm strike me as hollow corp-speak. Let me start again.

I’ve been working with Sam Marshall, of Clearbox Consulting, to craft a straight-forward guide to writing content for the intranet. Sam released it as a free download, and you can get it now:

(Clearbox newsletter subscribers have already been sent the PDF, but you can ‘pay with a tweet’ or provide your email address to Sam.)

Page thumbnails of Creatiing Intranet Content: a guideThe guide covers ten common challenges:

  1. Effective headlines: help people choose what to read
  2. Images: attracting interest and conveying meaning
  3. Links: how to link to pages and files
  4. Layout: how to structure articles for scanability
  5. How to help people search for, and find, your content
  6. Content: write for your audience, not for your boss
  7. Documents vs pages: when to use PDF, Word, and other formats
  8. Engage: writing to start a conversation
  9. Channels: how to reach the right audiences with your content
  10. Mobile content

Each subject is concisely tackled over one or two pages, and we’ve included a checklist at the back, so be sure to download the full guide from Sam’s website (although individual topics are also supplied, so you can share / print what you and your organisation needs). You can even ask Sam for the original Word / text version, so that you can customise the content for your organisation’s needs.

It’s all original content, and I wrote it in close collaboration with Sam. We’ve pooled our decades of experience, and created something that should be of immediate practical use to intranet writers and publishers who are not communication or web experts. Topics were chosen with the help of Mark Morrell and Soozi Hadj Lazib, and they were both involved with the review and refinement of ideas and actual content. Nathanael Rouillard developed the page layout from a previously used template design.

I really feel we’ve provided a solid foundation with these ten topics; if you’re an intranet or comms expert then perhaps you might be good enough to pass it on to people you work with.

Oh, and here’s one for the review process – check page 3, and notice that I’m the author who forgot to name himself! Typical ;)

[ Wedge ]

If you’d like to share or tweet this article, try:
How Wedge and Sam wrote ‘Creating Intranet Content': http://kilobox.net/3124 – by @Wedge

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4 Responses to “How we wrote ‘Creating Intranet Content’”

  1. Ruth Barlow says:

    This is a really useful guide, Wedge. Thorough, but written in a way that non-experts will be able to grasp the concepts involved in “writing for the intranet”. I’ve published it on our intranet for content authors and will be urging them to read it! Thanks to you and Sam Marshall for making it freely available.

  2. Wedge says:

    Thank you so much for your comment, Ruth; so many of us rely on Twitter, so it’s lovely to receive your review.

    Your review and immediate use of our guide is everything I could hope for, thank you.

  3. Michelle Dymond says:

    I agree with Ruth, this is really useful and well written. I have shared it with all of our site owners (we have several intranets for different businesses) and had great feedback from them too – they’ll be passing it on to their contributors.

    As one of the site owners said, even if you already know all/most of this advice, it’s good to have it in one handy guide as a reminder.

    I also find it really useful to have something more ‘official’ to back me up when I work with people to suggest improvements to their content.

    Thank you!

  4. Wedge says:

    Thank you, Michelle, it’s great to hear you’ve used our guide so much with so many people.

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