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Resolving to Improve Your Intranet Health in 2013

Aaah … January. The holidays are over, the weather is dreary and people are making resolutions. What about you? Vowing to lose weight, quit smoking, work out more? While you’re at it, maybe it’s time to gauge the health of your intranet site. Maybe you’re due for a redesign or need some help increasing engagement and readership. We at Domus can provide a few hints and suggestions to get you started.

Resolving to Improve Your Intranet Health in 2013Let’s start with the aesthetics. The layout, look and “feel” of the site are just the shell. The navigation and design are equally as important – eye-catching, visually interesting graphics and images and easy-to-use links are the first elements that the user notices. But your intranet needs more substance in order to survive and thrive … you need to remember that it’s more than just a pretty face. Add some brain to the beauty!

So how do you ensure that your appealing façade doesn’t become stale or obsolete? How do you continue to impress your readers and keep them coming back for more? Content. Interesting, engaging, relevant and useful content and the regular flow of it to your intranet are absolutely vital.

When it comes to content, there are 10 characteristics to keep in mind:

  1. Useful: your stories can be very pretty and polished, but it’s essential to provide valuable information that your readers need to do their jobs. Otherwise, there’s no tangible reason for them to visit your site.
  2. Accurate: what good is providing information if it’s wrong?
  3. Complete: what good is providing information if it’s not comprehensive?
  4. Up-to-date: what good is providing information if it’s outdated?
  5. Trustworthy: transparency and honesty is paramount. Your readers shouldn’t learn more about your business from an external website (CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters) than they do from your internal site.
  6. Easy to read: learn from USA Today. It’s not the widest-circulated print newspaper in America for nothing. Readers love the colors, photos and graphics.
  7. Concise: in the age of Twitter and Instagram, communicators need to get their point across in 140 characters or less. While your intranet isn’t that restrictive, you should get to the point and move on. Plus, your readers are busy! They don’t have time to read rambling missives.
  8. Targeted to audience needs: this is perhaps the most important point to keep in mind. It’s easy to get wrapped up in posting “perfect” content. That’s nearly impossible. Instead, adopt a targeted approach by focusing the largest majority of effort on the most important information and gradually less effort to content that is not as important. You’ll save time and energy and increase ROI.
  9. Delivered in a suitable format: what’s the best way to get your message across? A standard article? A blog? A photograph? A video? An infographic? Think of new ways to creatively tell your message.
  10. Cross-linked: everyone doesn’t go to the same place for their information. Link from multiple pages to ensure that your readers get what they need as easily and quickly as possible.

You can draw your readers in with an appealing homepage and simple navigation. But in order to keep them coming back, you need to provide some substance in the form of engaging and interesting content. That combination will provide the sustenance your intranet needs to flourish and prosper. We at Domus can guide the way.

Lisa Sawicki is a Senior Account Manager at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://www.domusinc.com/. For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at betty.tuppeny@domusinc.com or 215-772-2805.

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