Beware the Internal Communication Nightmare
It was nearing the end of the year and the internal communications team were pleased with their progress. Just last week they had launched their new intranet and as they approach their first review meeting, they felt quietly confident that they had succeeded with their mission and surpassed their goals. They had produced lots of content and spent months carefully planning the information architecture and migrating all their data onto the new system. It had been a success by all accounts.
As they poured into the meeting room, the once gleeful mood abruptly changed. The piercing cold eyes of c-suite executives bore deep into the souls of every one of them as they took their seats around the table. The room fell dark and silent. From deep within the eerie quiet, a deep voice boomed and the worst three words that could have been uttered filled the heavy air: “Zero site traffic.”
Speechless, the Internal Communication team looked around desperately for an exit. Fear etched across their faces and knuckles white, they gulped in unison. “How could it be?” they wondered helplessly. All those months of hard work and not one user?!
The air around them became thick and heavy and their vision started to swirl. Hearts beating fast, alarm turned to panic as they realized two things: 1) they weren’t leaving this room alive, and 2) they’d forgotten to plan an intranet launch!!!!!
Moral of the story: Don’t let all your hard work planning and implementing your intranet go to waste, be sure to plan an effective launch strategy that will get traffic moving through your platform from day one.
The Gruesome Tale of the Faceless Men
It was a cold October morning the roads glistened with frost as the new salesman skidded into the office car park. His knuckles were white and his face ashen. The same question he had been asking himself all night span round and round in his mind: “Who was the lady in the grey dress?”
His head hummed with the remains of last night’s whiskey. It had been his first office party and he’d made one friend and a lucrative one at that. They’d talked all night and she’d offered him some sincere advice on getting ahead in his new role. Before he had left, she’d invited him to join her for lunch the next day where they could talk more about potential promotions and other industry secrets. The salesman gratefully accepted, filled with excitement about the fruits this stroke of luck would bear. The only issue was, in all their hours of talking, he had forgotten the nice woman's name.
As he sat at his desk, the same question spinning in his mind, an idea came to him and he reached quickly for his laptop. All would be ok. His new office, with all its modern equipment, would surely have a people’s directory on their intranet that would tell him exactly who the lady in grey was and which department she worked in. Without further ado, he began hastily typing the intranet address into his browser before selecting the People’s Directory, conveniently placed in the top navigation so it was easily accessible from any page. He blinked in horror and disbelief as the page loaded in record time.
A wall of faceless men stared back at him. Grey shadows hovered where friendly smiles should be, sending an eerie chill down his spine. Slowly, he moved his cursor towards one of the faceless men. As he clicked he took a sharp intake of breath. Before him, where the faceless men had once sat, appeared an empty screen. Blank space filled the page where a jovial description and list of skills should have been. None of the profiles had been updated! John could not believe his eyes. His face began to grey as the realization that he would never know who the grey lady was or how to find her for lunch finally set in. He hung his head and accepted the futility of his actions. Like a ghost, the grey lady was gone.
Moral of the story: A People’s Directory is only a useful tool if you invest the time to populate it and keep it up to date. Set up photo days, encourage staff to update their profiles at least once a year and make setting up an intranet profile a part of the on-boarding process... or beware the return of the faceless men.
Secure your own intranet fate
If you have been affected by any of these stories, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Unily where we can make your intranet dreams come true.
Intranet horror stories part three
Another year, another rendition of some of the scariest communication and branding gaffes that can happen within digital workplaces. Below, for those brave enough to read onwards, we unravel some of the most horrific intranet blunders and provide words of caution for internal comms teams the world over.