350 intranet promotion videos!

350 videosRecently I passed the 350 mark in my collection of intranet and Yammer promotion videos. Time for another modest celebration!

New trends

More and more intranets are promoting a section for video content, so I guess this is a new trend.
Otherwise, “simplification” and “user feedback” still play an important role in every relaunch, and so they should 🙂 .
Also, more and more intranets (but not all!) are social, and “usable on all devices” is starting to be the norm, rather than the exception.

Of course my collection is meant for your information and amusement, but I occasionally hear that people are using it as a serious starting point for their own video. In general, I can suggest the following steps:

1. Check what related organizations have done

Use the filter and see what your industry peers are doing, and what their intranets look like, if the video shows that. Most selections contains a variety of styles (talking heads, animations, demo’s, stories, serious, funny, etc. ) that may give you ideas about the sort of video you would like to create.

2. Determine your boundaries

Watch my list of rather extreme videos. Do you also want to create a full movie, a very silly video, have a hysterical voice-over, or would you rather stay on safer ground?

3. Watch metaphors for solving common business issues

If you are looking for metaphors of solving common business problems such as too many emails, or not knowing where the expertise is in your company, this selection may help you on your way.

4. When in doubt, create a demo

A well-made demo is always worth the investment, so if you have no other needs or wishes, a demo may be the best way moving forward.

  • you can show employees how to work with the intranet, reducing the need for extensive classroom or webinar training
  • you can show employees how they are supposed to work, if a new way of working is among your goals for the new intranet. In a demo video it can be done subtly and matter-of-fact.
  • it can be used for onboarding new employees for a long time after the launch
  • if you share it, we can see your intranet! 🙂

This is my selection of good demos.

I hope you can use these tips to create your own video. And please remember to put it online for others to enjoy!

It never ceases to amaze and delight me that so many people enjoy my videos. I even got sort of suggested for the Diamond Award of IntranetsNow 2017!

Treat!

And finally, to celebrate, I have a very special video: the one that was made to celebrate the launch of the new intranet of my former employer Sara Lee, in 2005. It has not been added to my collection yet – you saw it here first! It is “vintage”, so please ignore the bad quality 🙂

And then to think this all started as a whimsical blog post!

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (“350” added by me)

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300! (intranet promotion videos)

300-videosAfter some additions and, sadly, some weeding of videos that were deleted or put behind a password, I have finally crossed the 300-line!!!

Some things that have happened since my last video update:

  • You can now easily reach my video collection via http://ellenvanaken.video
  • The Scoop.It app for iOS shows all videos that do not like to be embedded, so if you hate that mention, use the app. (It is where my collection lives)
  • Some time ago I created a selection of videos for a company, as inspiration for their own video.
    If I can help you with something similar, please get in touch!
  • Martin White (@intranetfocus) has just mentioned me & my collection in his post about “some of the people who in various ways and for many years have transformed our understanding of intranets, team working and digital workplaces through publishing reports and promulgating good practice and who have to make a living whilst doing so.” I’m ever so chuffed!
  • Singapore’s public sector will start using Workplace by Facebook as their digital workplace. This will replace The Cube, which sported two promotion videos that I rather liked. So, before these are withdrawn, please have a look:

 

 

And remember, if you know a nice intranet or Yammer promotion video, or if you notice that one of my collected items is no longer publicly available, please let me know!

Image created by myself, typeface Snap ITC.

What do YOU call Home(page)?

HomepagesweethomepageThe first page I see when I open a browser on my work laptop is the intranet. That was the case in my previous job and in my current one. When I see peers open a browser window, I rarely see another page, like a search engine page; it is generally an intranet homepage that opens first.

When discussing our new digital workplace the other day, we wondered which page should open when you open your browser. With Office 365 you have a number of options.

  • One person wanted the intranet homepage to be the first page shown, like it is today.
  • Another suggested the Delve page, although he realized that will not be the best page for launch since it needs to fill up with relevant content before people will see the benefits. I personally like the Delve-page, but not as a browser home page. To me it feels too much like a “filter bubble”.
  • A third colleague thought that the SharePoint homepage would be the best option, since it would have all your sites in one place.
  • I preferred the Office 365 landing page since I think that is the best representation of the Digital Workplace. It has all the tools I need on a regular basis: Email, Yammer, Office, SharePoint. With the recent improvements, however small, I think there is a great potential to turn that page into a very useful dashboard to start your working day.

We clearly did not agree so I decided to ask the question in the Office 365 network on Yammer.

The results surprised me!

  • Most organizations have “a specific SharePoint page” as their browser homepage. I assume that is the “intranet homepage”, because the people who voted “Other”, mentioned their intranet homepage as well, but those were not (yet) on Office 365.
  • A surprisingly high number of organizations (19%!) leave the decision to the user. This is totally unthinkable in my corporate world so perhaps these answers were given by smaller consultancies.
  • A disappointing 14% had the Office 365 landing page as their browser opening :-(.

Poll

I have given my feedback about the new Office 365 landing page to Microsoft. I hope they will develop this quickly so I will get my way one day after all 🙂

BTW, since then we decided that the new intranet homepage will be the chosen page.

If you are on, or planning to move to Office 365, what have you selected as your browser homepage?

Image courtesy of atibodyphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Executive blogging? Hmm…

NoBloggingBlogging by senior management appears to be an ongoing struggle. I wrote about it earlier and remarked that it is not for everyone.
In my opinion, key success factors are:

  • You need to like doing it. It will cost a lot of time and effort, and if you do not like to spend that on writing, you’d better use your time in another way.
  • You need to add something new to the mix, something your employees have not already heard several times through your official channels.

Last week, I came across two other articles about executive blogging.

Do not blog if you do not know where you are going

Erika Parker posted “Executive Blogs: 7 Signs You Should Just Say No “

She also mentions that executives have to feel a need to blog. There should be something driving them, whether that is their personal opinions, a need to interact with employees or a need to change behaviours. If they feel they do it because they have to, they better find another channel or another way altogether.
And while it is not necessarily wrong to hire a ghostwriter, an executive has to feed that person with the direction, the tone-of-voice,  personality and topics. They can not leave it all to the writer. But remember: they should always post their blog themselves!

Do not blog about knowledge management

And if this all does not show enough that blogging by executives is not necessarily a simple thing that you “just do”, Nick Milton posted: “Why you should not ask your senior managers to blog“.

That sounds more forbidding than it really is. Nick warns that senior management should not blog about knowledge management, at least not about anything other than stating its importance.
In general, a senior manager’s blog will be too formal (an official communication), too hierarchical and too conceptual to be of practical use. It is not a good example to start informal company-wide knowledge sharing between peers.

Nick gives a few better options for using blogging as a method of sharing knowledge among employees.
I strongly support that opinion, just like I support blogging instead of publishing monthly newsletters.

I am almost starting to feel sorry for all executives.
If they have the drive and enthusiasm (which appears not to happen too often), then they are forbidden to blog about a certain topic. If wonder if any executive still has any motivation left after all this. 🙂

Perhaps you know of a good example?

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yammer Groups videos

YammerVideoI wish that Microsoft would create a Yammer training video whenever the interface changed. Yammer works exactly the same for all of us, so it would be nice if we all did not have to reinvent that wheel.

What differs between customers, apart from the masthead they use, is their reasons for using Yammer. This results in very interesting case-studies of the benefits Yammer can bring in that organization. I have already highlighted a few in my earlier post, and I will continue to add those to my collection.

But there are different themes for Yammer videos than demo’s or teasers.

This hilarious video from Virgin Trains tries to stimulate the use of Yammer Groups as opposed to the All Company Network.

By the way, their Yammer launch video (and the case study: getting an alpaca out of the train) is also worth watching!

And this set of 3 videos are about Community Management. They compare a Yammer Group to a party, with guidelines to match. I love the analogy, I love the characters, I love the warning at the beginning, and I want that Bat-device! 🙂

Part 1: Starting Out

 

Part 2: Managing and Maintaining

 

Part 3: Promoting and Expanding

Although the look-and-feel may not be suitable for use in every organization, the recommendations at the end of every video are solid and helpful for all of us who have a role in managing communities on Yammer (or other enterprise social networks, of course).

It’s discovering videos like these that make collecting intranet videos so much fun!

By the way, you can filter on “Yammer”  in my collection to see all Yammer-related videos. And as always, please let me know if you know any good additions!

Celebrating more than 200 intranet promotion videos!

FireworksUsually my intranet videos deal with a new or revamped intranet. This time I am getting a little meta by sharing some videos about celebrating the launch of the intranet itself.
I think having more than 200 videos in my collection is cause for a celebration. When I started my first investigation I was surprised to find more than 30 of the kind. But new ones are being uploaded every week and I have a backlog, so I think we will reach 300 soon! That is, if they are not withdrawn faster than I can upload 🙂

Not every organization can do this, of course. If you are a dispersed company it will be impossible to get everyone in one place to serve pastries with the intranet’s name on it. (Yes, this appears to be a theme). Perhaps you can have a webcast and have some non-perishable goodies distributed in time.

This one is from Skanska, a building and construction company from Sweden. Watch the cupcakes!

A similar one from KEARN, a Dutch health and social services organization. It is in Dutch but you will get the idea. There are special “intranet-ladies” that help you walk through the intranet, and there are pastries with the logo.

This intranet is celebrating its first anniversary! It is more a case study than a launch party, but I wanted to include it because celebrating and evaluating are a sign that the intranet is important. Especially after the first year you will be able to extract many lessons!
This intranet has won awards, an extra reason to celebrate.
EDP is an energy company.

I hope these examples will inspire you to make (and share!) a video of your intranet launch party as well!
See my complete collection here.

Image courtesy of satit_srihin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

8 Tips for advertising on your intranet

Advertising-billboardfullThe other day I learned (via Kurt Kragh Sorensen’s blog) that Luton Borough Council allows advertising from external parties on their intranet.

BT has done this for some years and earned a lot of money from it, according to Mark Morrell who was managing the BT intranet at that time.
I have always loved the idea, and I asked Mark some time ago for his experiences and suggestions. (You may know by know I hate reinventing wheels)

What were the suggestions that Mark offered?

1. Use only one page to display ads.
At BT they were displayed on the news page. Too many places with advertising and your audience gets distracted easily and it might lead to irritation.
In an international organization you could use a local facilities or employee benefits-page. (Ads are often locally applicable)
Luton Borough Council has two places, one on the Homepage (!) and one on the Employee Offerings page.

2. Find advertisers that fit your business.
You could think about organizations with whom you already have contracts, which fit to your core values, or where you can advertise yourself.
Luton Borough Council does not mention any restrictions for advertisers, but that may simply not be published.

3. Arrange special offers for employees.
A discount on insurance for your employees, a free private Gold Service from your preferred car rental company, or a discount for a local shop are much more acceptable than a generic advertisement for clothing.
If BT advertised on another intranet, they also offered a special deal, such as discount on a phone subscription, for instance.
Luton Borough Council is suggesting nice offers for their staff. That is why I like it: it is a form of employee benefits.

4. Be open about the profits. 
At BT everyone knew that the proceeds of the ads were used for improving the news page, and for a quarterly magazine on paper for employees. That openness, and the fact that everyone at BT profited from the advertising, decreased resistance (which was not large anyway).
Luton Borough Council does not state where the profits go, but I hope they communicate this internally.

5. Set boundaries.
BT had a maximum of 2 ads at once, each up to 2 weeks online. The ads were not shown on “prime real estate”, so they were not taking the place of business content and not drawing an overwhelming amount of attention.
Luton Borough Council has one of their spots on the Homepage, which I would find a bit too much.

6. Specify ad requirements upfront.
Provide information such as dimensions, file types, and the amount of animation that you allow.
Luton Borough Council provides some size details, and is also very open about their (modest) fees.

7. Implement a clear process.
How are you going to find advertisers? Who approves advertisers/advertisements? Who negotiates the rates? How do you deal with complaints from employees? How much time can you spend on this process?

8. Test and measure.
Test first whether it catches on and whether there are serious objections.
Then, keep measuring if people click the ads, if no irritation occurs and whether it is profitable.

When I posted a Dutch version of this blog, I immediately received an angry comment from a civil servant, that “he never wanted to see this commercialism infect his intranet”.
I hope the employees of Luton Borough Council have fewer objections. 🙂

I have never heard that other organizations allow advertising. If you know or do, would you please let me know?