Basecamp for the basics

Employee communications channels

SharePoint

Purpose Typical audience Pros Cons Can you do it yourself? Thinking points
The perfect ‘digital destination’ when used for providing comprehensive content on a given topic All DSM colleagues with access to SharePoint With a little practice you can create a SharePoint site – which is also available via mobile devices There are some limitations to what you can create - and you will need some SharePoint skills Yes (you can always find a super-user to lend a hand) If colleagues are contributing content, make sure you set a few ground rules

What is this channel?

SharePoint – what we also tend to call Intranet, our internal web pages - is a great channel for bringing together basic information in a single location. It’s ideal for everything from FAQs to news and guidelines. It’s easy to update. And every DSM employee has access (although they may not always use it of course).  

What and when is it typically used?

Think about your audience; can you share your messages properly and reach them via this channel? Check out the comparison notes below and weigh your pros versus cons. This will help you decide how to spend your time/ money for the best result.

Benefits

  1. Ideal for providing a basic set of information.
  2. Easy to guide people to (via a simple link).
  3. With a little training you can do a lot yourself.
  4. Accessible via mobile devices.
  5. Storage and one-stop-shop of latest documents /news /FAQs /functionalities to build-in centralized administration.

Challenges

  1. If you’re unfamiliar with SharePoint you may need external help – which means extra cost.
  2. There are some limitations to the customization of SharePoint sites.
  3. There are not many colleagues with a lot of knowledge of working in SharePoint to advise you.

How to use this channel

  • Decide what information you want to include and why.
  • Work out where you want your content to appear. Could it be integrated into an existing site collection? Ask the owner if you can add a page. You can also create a whole new SharePoint site.
  • Check out the different components and options available in SharePoint to find the best fit – and if you have a knowledgeable colleague…ask their advice!
  • Either build the SharePoint site and pages yourself (if you know how) or hire external support.
  • Maintain your SharePoint site and when you appoint content owners, ensure your content owners will.

Things to keep in mind

  • Keep your site up-to-date. There is nothing worse than a ‘cob web’, so always delete old sites.
  • If others are responsible for content, agree upfront on how it will be managed.

KPIs for this channel

How will you know ‘what success looks like’? Measuring the response to this channel /tool could give you a better understanding of whether you’ve reached your communication objective. KPIs can be qualitative or quantitative. Here are some ideas:

  • Check if you have access to the site analysis statistics - or ask the site owner to check for you (eg, number of visits, most downloaded documents).
  • On any given site or library, identify the items that have had the most views in a period (7 days, 30 days). 

Final thoughts

If this a stand-alone initiative, then go ahead! However, if this is part of a wider initiative, you might want to take a step back and look at the broader communications perspective. A good starting point is our 9-step approach to creating your communication plan - which includes an overview of all the internal channels and tools.

Read more

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