Promoting the Intranet
The promotion of the Intranet is important to make staff aware of the full value of the intranet. The following contains an outlines of 31 approaches that can be applied to promote the intranet.
- Intranet peers: Contact people who have experience in promoting intranets and adopt their lessons learned.
- Intranet launch: A 'big bang' approach works best when the intranet is able to deliver on the high level of expectation generated.
- Defining intranet goals: Clear and meaningful intranet goals should be communicated within any promotional activity.
- Anniversary celebrations: Celebrating the anniversary of the intranet provides an opportunity for a promotional campaign.
- Giving presentations: Executive presentations are typically the most effective way of communicating messages.
- Email links to intranet: Replace email attachments in global emails with links to the relevant page on the intranet.
- Using the communications team: Internal marketing teams are professionals who specialise in conveying targeted messages to the organisation.
- Brochures: A professionally produced brochure available in PDF presents a more compelling image, and is more likely to be noticed by staff.
- What's new emails: Send out a regular email listing new information on the intranet, with links directly to the relevant pages.
- Automatically loading homepage: Every browser should have its homepage set to the intranet or even launch the browser on login.
- Displays in foyer: Posters or other intranet displays in the main foyer of offices can attract the attention of staff.
- Letterhead and business cards: The intranet should be listed on all internal letterheads, business cards, newsletters, in fact any printed material that provides information.
- Gimmicks and novelties: A wide range of promotional products have been used to increase awareness of the intranet, such as t-shirts, stickers, balloons, mouse mats
- Migrating key applications: By migrating key applications, staff can be forced to access the intranet. Examples often include leave forms and other HR functions.
- Killer apps: Many successful intranets have a few 'killer applications' that drive overall interest and usage.
- Promoting via the business: The business owners of specific sections can be co-opted to launch and promote their content and shares the marketing effort more widely.
- Glossary: Implementing a glossary on the intranet, with terms explained specific to your industry.
- Staff training: Providing end-user training increases the usage and effectiveness of the intranet.
- Quote of the day: Any daily-changing information on the intranet, that is of broad interest, is a good way of promoting the intranet.
- Staff profiles: Highlight the profile of any staff member on the intranet, which also increases the sense of community within the organisation.
- Bulletin boards, discussion groups: Discussion groups, bulletin boards and other collaboration tools provide staff with a new mechanism for keeping in touch. While the majority of these online forums are likely to be devoted to professional issues, less formal areas, such as a 'buy and sell' area often prove to be very popular.
- Staff introduction: New hires can be trained to see the intranet as the primary information source in the organisation.
- Sending a welcome message: Relate a 'welcome' message to all new hires, introducing them to the intranet.
- Fixing browser settings: Some users may not be able to access the intranet, due to incorrect proxy or other network settings, and by fixing this overlooked flaw, further awareness can be increased.
- IT help desk: By gaining buy in from the IT help desk, they can be encouraged to promote and support the intranet.
- Naming the intranet: Having a memorable intranet name gives the intranet a clear identity, and makes it easier to refer to in documents, and in conversation.
- Providing telephone support: Offering unlimited telephone support may seem a daunting prospect for any intranet team, but it goes a long way to removing many barriers to staff usage.
- Gaining management support: Spend time 'selling' the intranet to management, and ensure that they understand its role within the organization.
- Training managers' PAs: Many senior staff rely entirely on their personal assistants (PAs) to look up information, and to use computing equipment.
- Maximizing the value of the homepage: Use the intranet homepage to present the most recent, and most useful, information on the intranet.
- Coordinated marketing plan: Integrated these ideas within a marketing plan, spelling out what the message is, who it is being targeted at, and how it will be delivered.