Sharing News posts from different sites in your site can help you create a good News experience for your audience, as you can share other people’s News without having to publish it yourself. It will also help other publishers by increasing their audience.
We used this extensively in my last role. Communications picked up interesting News posts from other parts in the organization to share that on the intranet Homepage. Reversely, local News publishers sometimes added corporate News posts to their own News.
It is easy to do but there are some things you may want to know.
1. There are three ways to add news posts from other sites to your News
a. One-time only: use the Add News Link
This way you will add one post to your News feed. The item will be displayed on the News web part as if it has been published in your site, it will have the name of your site on top of it.
This link will create a new page in your Site Pages Library, but upon clicking the title or image from the News web part, you will be taken to the original post in the original site. So, you are NOT making a copy, just a reference.
How to do this:
Go to the News web part, click New and select “News link” instead of News post
Enter the link to the News post in the popup. The popup will automatically populate with image, title and description from the News post. You can adjust this where needed. Click “Post” at the bottom of the popup to publish.
After you click Post, the post will be added to your News web part as if it has been created by yourself.
In the Site Pages Library, a new page will be added that contains only the Page Details, but not the complete item. That still lives in the original site.
You can imagine that this works well for the occasional post that you want to add. Keep in mind that, when the original publisher deletes the post, your linked news item will give an error message. You may want to check out my post “SharePoint Holmes and the Missing Message” for the details.
TIP: This is a good way to republish an older post from your site. By adding the News Link it will show up as a new item, on top of the feed. This is much easier than fixing the position in the web part which is rather cumbersome.
b. Permanent: Add one or more News sources
In the News web part, by default the News from “this site” will show, but you can select other sites to show their News.
Go to the page with the News web part and click the Edit button. In the web part settings, you can choose “Select sites” and then check the sites you want to add to your News web part. Generally the sites you use frequently will be visible, but you can also search for them.
When you have selected the site you will immediately see their News mingled with your own, depending on Publish date.
Unlike the “News Link” options, posts will show the name of their original site above the title, and no reference page will be created in your Site Pages Library.
c. Permanent: all sites in the Hub
In case you have a number of sites that belong together, e.g. together they form the Intranet or the global HR information, you can create a Hub site to bring them all together with navigation, design, search, News etc.
Gregory Zelfond has a good explanation in this post, so please give that a read if Hubs are new to you: How to create Hub sites in SharePoint online.
In this case, I have turned the Intranet site into a Hub site and associated 2 other sites with it. You see that each News post has the name of the site where it lives, on top. Again, no reference page is created.
(By the way, you also see that the post I used in my earlier blog now has lost its image, a clear sign that something is wrong!)
2. You can add Team sites to the mix
All three options above can be done with both Team sites and Communication sites. In the screenshot below, I added a Team site to the Hub and the News post I created is incorporated.
3. Mind permissions!
Make sure that any posts or sites that you include in your News web part or News Digest, is accessible for your audience. You may want to check with the site owners about the site’s permissions.
This is especially the case with Team sites which are likely to have more strict permissions than an organization-wide Communication site. Team sites may contain updates from important projects, that you may want to share, but make sure everyone can read them, otherwise you will have to create your own post.
4. You can create a digest from combined News
Regardless of where the News lives, you can turn all News posts that are in your web part into a News digest. In the screenshot below I left out the ERP item, where the original has been deleted, but you see that all others can be included in the News digest. But…please verify that everyone has access to all sites! (see 3.)
5. You can add a News web part to more pages than one
You will most likely have the News web part on the Home page of your site, and you want that to be as interesting as possible.
But you can create as many News web parts in your site as you want or need, and configure them separately using option 1b. This allows you to keep track of other posts and pick out any interesting ones.
EXAMPLE 1: Suppose you are a multi-national organization, and each country has a News site for that country. You can create an extra (hidden) page with a Web part, select all the country sites as your Source, so you can keep track of what is going on in each country. You can then use the info from that web part to add News to your own site, or send a News Digest about what is happening in the various countries.
EXAMPLE 2: You can combine the News of different Project sites to keep track of their News (assuming you have permissions) and then make a selection as a Project Update digest.
These are just examples to give you an idea about “keeping track of News” without having to add it to your Homepage.
Below you will see a screenshot of how I added an extra page in the Intranet site, where I added News from two completely different sites than used earlier.
Do you have any tips or experiences to add about Combining News? Please let me know!