Digital internal communication: 12 tips.


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This short presentation contains 12 tips for commissioners of durable intranet projects. Sustainable intranets are not about mere presenting content, but about organizing it.

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Digital internal communication: 12 tips.

  1. 1. Digital internal communication 2 1/2 12 tips for communication policy 12 tips for communication policy <ul><li>Luc de Ruijter </li></ul><ul><li> / </li></ul>
  2. 2. 1. Intranets are not the goal <ul><li>Many websites offer something different from what users expect. Make sure you deliver what users want. </li></ul><ul><li>Intranets are supporting communication solutions (in themselves intranets solve little). </li></ul><ul><li>Before building a website, start with making an analysis of needs and expectations. </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations are not technical requirements. </li></ul> 2010
  3. 3. 2. Start with content, not with graphic or UI-design <ul><li>Intranet (and internet) users in general come for content, not for design. </li></ul><ul><li>Effective design stems from knowing what needs to be designed. </li></ul><ul><li>Form supports functionality and content. </li></ul> 2010
  4. 4. 3. Internal digital communication is supporting <ul><li>Internal digital communication supports the people in an organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Intranet is social when the people are at its center. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to make investments in intranet successful, the ‘owners’ of intranet need to have a different attitude than that of an online sales person. </li></ul><ul><li>Whoever regards intranet users as internet audiences is missing the difference (and creating (communication) problems). </li></ul><ul><li>Audiences exist within the context of formal, directive communications. </li></ul> 2010
  5. 5. 4. Content is more sustainable than technologies <ul><li>When an IT-system is replaced (much) content migrates to the new IT-system. </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational content is durable; technology is temporary. </li></ul><ul><li>Whoever finds sustainability important invests in content; </li></ul><ul><li>Whoever thinks expensive investments aren’t a problem, invests in IT-hypes. </li></ul> 2010
  6. 6. 5. Information connects, systems segregate <ul><li>Consistency in communication is about connecting information. </li></ul><ul><li>IT-systems of one supplier often ‘don’t relate to’ systems built by competitors. </li></ul><ul><li>The more systems are used in digital communication, the more silo’s you’ll end up with. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on connecting information, more than on connecting IT-systems. </li></ul> 2010
  7. 7. 6. Choose IT-systems based on digital communication policy <ul><li>Don’t make communication policies based on IT-systems. </li></ul><ul><li>IT-systems are never the solution of a communication problem. They simply support the solution. </li></ul><ul><li>Whoever makes communication strategy based on purchased technology makes that policy subordinate to the technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Internal digital communication exceeds IT-policy. </li></ul> 2010
  8. 8. 7. Structure your content before you have it automated <ul><li>An old IT saying goes: ‘garbage in, garbage out’. This is still applicable. </li></ul><ul><li>When you do not invest in understandable content structures in the backend, you should not expect usable or useful structures in the frontend. </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency in digital communication has nothing to do with design or text editing and everything with structure. </li></ul> 2010
  9. 9. 8. Navigation structure is not content structure <ul><li>Navigation structure isn’t content structure, but just a representation of the latter. </li></ul><ul><li>Complex navigation structures are a symptom of badly organized content. </li></ul><ul><li>Badly organized content has less value. </li></ul> 2010
  10. 10. 9. All communication supports business goals <ul><li>Communication is never a goal. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication needs to support business goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication efforts that are not consistent with organizational goals will lack support from users or audiences. </li></ul> 2010
  11. 11. 10 . You can’t support collaboration with persuasive messages <ul><li>Collaboration is supported with effective (digital) tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Tools are not (journalistic) media. </li></ul><ul><li>Shared tools should be owned by the organization, not by a department. </li></ul><ul><li>Tools enable users to do stuff, and not just read about doing stuff. </li></ul> 2010
  12. 12. 11. Service is best communicated with service <ul><li>Effective online service has much more communication impact than any written message or article about the service. </li></ul> 2010
  13. 13. 12. Lack of basic for an intranet is a result of that same intranet <ul><li>Digital internal communication policy needs to be supportive instead of sender driven. </li></ul><ul><li>When an organization isn’t supported with relevant tools, the feedback will communicate lack of basic. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating basic for media that aren’t needed or wanted, is a waste of energy, time and money. </li></ul> 2010
  14. 14. Digital internal communication 2 1/2 2010 My book (in Dutch) contains several examples and guidelines to improve the quality of internal communication in the digital domain. My vision and strategies hang somewhere between Web 2.0 and 3.0. The 2 1/2 refers to the need for less hype, and more substance in communication discourse. (in Dutch) http://
  15. 15. Luc de Ruijter <ul><li>Luc de Ruijter (1964) studied history after finishing his teacher’s training in arts and history. After being a publisher at NWO for a couple of years he taught himself in new media and started in 1998 as a webmaster. In 2000 he became freelancer in new media. </li></ul><ul><li>Since 2003 De Ruijter focusses on intranet. He published his first article about intranet and changes in communication in the same year. His first book “Intranet works! About the changing role of intranet and communication” (2007) already discusses changes in the way we work with information. His second book descends on this line and offers concrete methods to create structure in information in order to improve quality and coherence in online services and communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Meanwhile De Ruijter works as strategic advisor in digital internal communications. In this role he develops content strategies, concepts for integrated digital communication, and working websites in general (with an emphasis on working ). </li></ul><ul><li>He lectures Internal Digital Communication at HAN University in Arnhem, The Netherlands. </li></ul><ul><li> / </li></ul> 2010
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