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Posted on August 20, 2015

Intranet blues? Keep calm, eat a burger and read on

Intranet Blues

I’ve been doing some inner listening this month and have a theory about In ‘n Out. (Yes, my mind wanders when I’m in yoga class.) Why do I go out of my way on a road trip to eat at In ‘n Out? It’s true—I’ll drive in the wrong direction for their fries. Beyond being delicious, my theory is that I like it because it’s consistent. I know what I’m getting, and I know it will be good. That’s how people should feel about their intranet.

Your intranet might not be there yet, as Sara points out in her post. So, in this 2nd installment of our intranet series, let’s discuss how you can create a sense of consistency, authenticity and cohesiveness when you’ve got a large, possibly global, audience. It starts with defining your company’s voice, tone and style.

  • First things first: Take a fresh look at your company’s brand guidelines or style guide. Does it outline ideas and examples of the voice and tone (e.g. quirky, buttoned-up, playful, smart)? Does the voice reflect the company’s culture and people? Have your guidelines been updated recently? If not, these are all opportunities to re-define your voice.
  • Provide context: It’s tempting to post press releases or important emails as-is to the intranet and call it good. Take time to draft an intro paragraph that provides context to the situation, especially if it’s announcing changes (big or small!). You should still link to the original content but give it a little extra oomph before you hit “publish.”
  • Remember mobile: A lot of employees—whether they’re in the field or not—access the intranet on a phone or tablet. Ensure that the mobile user experience is just as pleasant as desktop.
  • Collect input from everywhere: If you have a global audience or a geographically dispersed U.S. population, make sure you’re featuring stories, news, updates and events from everywhere. Check in frequently with regional leads so that their voices are heard, and encourage dialogue about cultural communication differences.
  • Repeat your key messages: The intranet is a perfect spot to reinforce important messages, trends and information. Weave in key messages to your stories or design an infographic that shows your points visually.

That’s not all. We’ve got tons of ideas to transform your intranet into a powerful engagement tool. In the meantime, if you’d like help with your intranet storytelling or articulating your company’s voice, let’s chat. And if you’re in the Bay Area, how about we discuss over some burgers and fries?

Kate Brinkerhoff