Doing Internal Communications

I once had a client ask me if we could “do governance.” Sure. It’s like “doing life” or “doing parenting.” It’s hard and ongoing and takes a heckuva lot of effort so that things go well. Or go at all. How about “doing internal communications”?

This past week I had the honor of chairing ALI’s “SharePoint for Internal Communications” conference. I’m biased, with Rogue having participated in four ALI conferences to date, but the organization is all about creating focused conferences with valuable content. Opportunities like those that ALI provides are important because they give us a chance to find our people. Why solve a problem that’s already been solved? Why make decisions in a vacuum based on abstractions when you can meet real-live people who have done the thing? Why work alone when you can collaborate and save time? That’s what networking helps us accomplish.

“Doing internal communications” is a lot like those other enormous tasks I mentioned above. It takes strategy, planning, execution, and repeat. And let’s be real… it’s never really “done.” It goes on and on. The constant changes in an organization create job security, but they put an enormous workload on the internal communications teams that are responsible for sharing them. These folks are often the product owners of newsletters, vlogs/podcasts, and corporate intranets, which are excellent tools for internal comms–but like any tools, they must be used to be effective.

As conference chair, I had the opportunity to participate in all the workshops, hear the general sessions, and facilitate interactive sessions. Some of my key takeaways involved the importance of creating personas in building out an intranet that is functional for your workforce (thanks to Mayo Clinic!), implementing O365 capabilities that make sense in the context of our clients’ organizational cultures (sometimes turning off others! Shout-out to Doc Auto), and understanding the similar struggles of mid-sized organizations all the way up to a hulking 65K person enterprise when it comes to intranet implementation and adoption (hi, Thermofisher!).

We look forward to sharing the problems and solutions we learned from the conference (with our own spin, of course) in blogs to come. Many thanks to ALI and the conference participants for hanging with my bad jokes and segues, and for coming along on a journey of trust as I asked you to do arts and crafts, play logic games, and video yourselves for everyone’s benefit [corporate #vlogs are the future, I promise!].

Go to a conference, learn a thing, use your network to help improve your O365 intranet implementation.

Thanks for reading!

M

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