Intranet news: Employees don’t look back, don’t use subject tags or categories

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A quick glance at the metrics for an intranet site I used to work on showed that hardly any employees look at old news and didn’t use the subject categories to sort their views of news.

Of course it can vary from company to company but old news is just that on a company intranet. Old news is old news it seems. If they want to find something older they will naturally use search.

So if it’s on the home page, it will be looked at but once it’s gone that’s more or less it. No real surprise there to be honest as not many look at old news anyway. Of course archives are important but they have no real value to employees. Also categorising news items by subject also appears to have very little value as it is seldom used. Most intranets feature a number of stories on their home page and then when they move off, that’s it they are gone. Categorising or tagging can allow a news editor or intranet manger to customise/target the view of news depending on the audience so it can have some value there. But overall, it has little impact based on the metrics I have used.

However, depending on the number and pace of your news updates, what can be good is a regular email newsletter to show stories over a period of time (I would do one weekly). This is great for driving traffic to the intranet and gets to show people stories they might have missed or find that the email gets their attention easier. Of course the links from the email can be tracked using the likes of the Google URL builder so you can see what stories are getting clicked on from the email.

But the old comment about yesterday’s newspapers being only good for wrapping fish and chips is true on an intranet when it comes to news.