The idea is not necessarily to replace the social intranet, but to give corporate communications, and the people it is trying to reach, a voice that can't get lost in the stream.
Communications efforts are a key part of creating an informed, engaged and productive workforce,” said Daniel Kraft, President & CEO of NewsGator. “With Social Sites for Internal Communications we've created a turnkey way to transform that effort; to go beyond the static portal experience and create targeted, highly social and persistent dialogues that inform and engage.”
It's a landing page, a gateway to the intranet (hopefully a social intranet, but you never know). The idea behind the Internal Communications Solution is a balancing of user needs with corporate needs. NewsGator says that corporate communications is the second largest champion of social initiatives beyond IT. This is because it knows it needs to move beyond one-way, push notifications and into real engagement with employees.
My first thought was that NewsGator has built a social intranet, and technically, if an organizations has nothing in place today, it can be.
As part of SharePoint, you can take only pieces of this new solution, or take the entire thing and have an experience that provides value to employees by ensuring that they have a direct line to corporate communications (i.e improved engagement).
Social Sites for Internal Communications
Out of the box this solution offers the activity stream on the left plus corporate messages, in the middle is the image rotator and under that, a blog rollup. Now you know that NewsGator provides all these things within Social Sites, but if you have images stored elsewhere, or you have blog running outside Social Sites, you can configure the solution to point to those locations.
The Value in the Stream
The value in the stream is that you can learn about things easily and much quicker than counting on emails (note however, that the messaging functionality outlined below also works for mobile and email notifications). But that activity stream can get pretty noisy (hence some of the improvements with Social Sites 4.0).
Within this feed, corporate communications gets a few things that ensure its messages are heard, such as a persistent “What’s Happening” Tile that everyone has and can’t delete, promoted posts in the stream and real estate on the landing page to broadcast messages or campaigns.
Social Sites for Internal Communications - Conversations
There's a console for communication professionals that enables them to create posts (with scheduling), target them to specific groups or promote messages so they stay at the top of the stream. There are also analytics so it can see if posts have been received and how well they are received.
Internal Communications Solution - Analytics
The ROI of Employee Engagement
Anyone who thinks that employees just need a regular paycheck and they are happy is likely to be wrong (particularly with knowledge workers), but engagement is just a fancy word for most organizations who can't quite figure out what it takes to make employees happy and want to help the organization succeed.
Social business is about many things, and employees are at the top of that list. Corporate communications plays a role in how satisfied employees are, so a solution like Social Sites for Internal Communication makes a lot of sense. It's certainly worth a closer look if you've invested in SharePoint, and want a way to use it to improve corporate communications.