Intranet Tip: 5 Essential Tips to Write Compelling Content


In brief: Are employees missing important information? Learn how to make your intranet content more compelling.


The secret to a successful intranet is populating it with content employees want to read. DIALOG, a Canadian architecture firm, has an intranet brimming with engaging news stories. While we can’t curate your content for you, we do have five tips to help you write compelling intranet stories:

  1. Begin the article with an exciting headline: As our previous intranet tip outlined, no one reads news with boring headlines. Write out five headlines and choose the most compelling one.
  2. Embrace a conversational tone: We recommend keeping your tone informal by writing in an active voice, use contractions, ask rhetorical questions, and narrate in second person.
  3. Keep it brief: Employees are busy and won’t have time to digest large amounts of information. Keep your article succinct, to the point, and aim for a maximum of 500 words.
  4. Make it easy to scan: Only 16% of people read online content word-by-word1. Headlines, highlighting keywords, bulleted lists and brevity, make your content easier to digest.
  5. Include a visual component: Photos of staff or videos turn a boring webpage into something visually appealing that will help draw your readers in.

Intranet Tip 40 Screenshot-Blog

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Recorded Webinar: How to Create an Effective Intranet Strategy

Hero-BookBook Chapter 1 Webinar

Organizations have visions of increased employee engagement, productivity, and innovation as a result of implementing their new intranet. But how do you make this happen when there’s multiple stakeholders to manage, unclear goals, and disorganized content? Intranet strategy is the link between those visions and reality. In this 30-minute webinar, Gordon Ross, VP of Strategy at ThoughtFarmer, will take a deep dive into intranet strategy and help you turn corporate goals into real organizational changes with tangible value.

Learn how to:

  • Make strategic decisions by learning the background theory of how intranets work inside organizations.
  • Align your corporate strategy with your intranet strategy to help your organization deliver on it’s overall objectives.
  • Increase employee effectiveness by giving staff tools that help them get their jobs done.

This webinar is now complete, you can view the recording here:


Download the corresponding ebook


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Intranet Tip: Harness the Power of Your Most Influential Voices: the Executives


In brief: Engage staff and strengthen corporate objectives by encouraging your executives to blog on the intranet.


Candid conversations go a long way towards building a trusting work environment and increasing employee morale. A way to facilitate these conversations is to encourage executives to write blog posts for the intranet. Publishing blog posts after quarterly or annual meetings is a great way to extend the conversation. By opening up commenting, leadership can solicit feedback from staff, which in turn makes them feel more valued and engaged with big picture goals.

In the example below, you can see Assiniboine Credit Union’s homepage with a blog post from their CEO, front and centre. The first-ever blog post written by their CEO received an overwhelming number of comments and positive responses praising the level of personal communication, and expressing excitement for more. It quickly became a critical tool for disseminating information and opened the door to a new two-way communication system.


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Intranet Tip: Increase Intranet Adoption with a Scavenger Hunt


In brief: TRS increased adoption by running a scavenger hunt to demonstrate the benefits of their new intranet.


Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York (TRS), one of the largest pension systems in the United States, encouraged employees to explore their new intranet through a virtual scavenger hunt. They embedded a questionnaire on their intranet, connecTRS, with questions that could be answered by visiting different areas of the intranet. For example, one question asked, “Name two programs under the NYC Benefits Page.”

You can see below how TRS conducted the scavenger hunt. The result? This fun activity increased adoption and demonstrated that the intranet is a one-stop shop for everything they need to do their jobs efficiently.


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Intranet Strategy is the Link Between Vision and Reality

Get early access to Chapter 1 of Intranets 101: The Essential Guide to Launching an Intranet

102Organizations have visions of increased employee engagement, productivity, and innovation as a result of implementing their new intranet. And yet, all too often, they begin their intranet implementation journey without a plan on how they are going to turn these visions into reality. Intranet strategy is the link between visions and reality…the plan for turning corporate goals into real behavior changes.

The first chapter, “If the Intranet’s the Solution, then What’s the Problem?” provides you with a solid mix of theory and practical tools to help you define what problems you’re solving, and design an effective intranet strategy to overcome them.

About the Author: Gordon Ross, VP of Strategy, ThoughtFarmer & OpenRoad
gord-281x341As head of our professional services team, Gord helps clients battle murky internal politics, overcome archaic IT infrastructures, and brave mountains of stale content to re-emerge with an intranet that creates value for employees and executives.

Gord has spoken around the world on intranet theory, including the SXSW in Austin, IntraTeam in Copenhagen, and the International HR Symposium in Cartegena. And most recently… he is writing this book, Intranets 101: the Essential Guide to Launching an Intranet.

About the Book
We’ve worked with hundreds of intranet teams to implement intranets and while every organization is unique, intranet project teams tend to face common challenges: unclear goals, poorly defined strategies, difficult to measure outcomes, and disorganized content. Intranets 101: The Essential Guide to Launching an Intranet is a collection of common intranet launch problems and ideas for overcoming them.

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Intranet Tip: Adopt an Open-by-Default Policy for your Intranet

In brief: MD Financial Management embraced an open-by-default intranet policy, which reflects their corporate culture and promotes enterprise-wide collaboration.


Many executives are afraid of what employees will do if they are allowed to create content on their intranet. MD Financial Management went against the norm, and launched their intranet using an open-by-default policy. They felt if too many restricted governance structures and rules were enforced, it would stifle adoption. With support from executives, MD Financial Management allowed staff to shape their intranet. The results? They created a platform that reflects their corporate culture, and promotes engagement and enterprise-wide collaboration.

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Intranet Tip: How to Make Your Training Sessions More Effective

In brief: Make presentation slides accessible for employees to turn one day of training into an invaluable future resource.


Abila, a software company that builds accounting and fundraising solutions for non-profit organizations, uses their intranet to make training sessions more effective. They create an event page prior to the workshop that includes a plan for the session and downloadable slides for attendees. The result? A better prepared and more interactive group, and an effective workshop that turns one day of learning into lessons that can be easily accessed long after the session has concluded.

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Intranet Tip: 5 Tips to Write Engaging Headlines for your Intranet Content

In brief: Trying to get more staff to read company news? Use these five tips to create more compelling headlines.


80 percent of people will read a headline, but only 20 percent will read the rest of the copy1. Oxfam America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending poverty, increases the likelihood of their content being read by writing intriguing headlines for their homepage articles. We have five tips to help you write exciting headlines for your intranet:

  1. Numbers are easy for readers to digest. Including them in your headline suggests your article will be easy to scan.
  2. A headline is not a subject: Eliminate vagueness by clearly articulating what your article is about. No one wants to click into an article with an ambiguous headline.
  3. Pose a question: Asking a question in the headline will pique readers’ curiosity, compelling them to read on for the solution.
  4. Solve a problem: A headline that is solution focused lets your readers know they can expect to learn something.
  5. Write at least five different headlines: This will get the creative thoughts flowing, allowing you to pick the most exciting one to accompany your content.

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Intranet Tip: Increase Findability with a Quicklinks Portlet

In brief: Create a Quicklinks portlet to provide employees with easy access to the most frequently used resources.


LPK, a global brand design agency, made it easy for their employees to access frequently used information. They use Quicklinks to connect their staff to resources such as:

  • Timesheets
  • FAQ
  • Webmail
  • Bulletin board

Small engagement features, like this one, cut down on time spent finding information and make the intranet a centralized hub for important resources.

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Intranet Tip: Create Employee Lists Quickly and Easily from your Intranet

In brief: Quickly create employee lists right from your intranet by using the export button in your people directory.


Your people directory is an important tool for housing information about the employees that make up your organization. If you are hosting an event that requires name tags for staff, or a list of employees who are attending the event, ThoughtFarmer makes it fast and easy to create both directly from your intranet.

In the example below, you can see ThoughtFarmer’s people directory. The export button in the right hand corner allows you to transfer your people directory into a word, PDF, or excel document. Need a list only for a certain department, or employees who can speak french? You can export filtered search results as well.

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