[This guidance is for internal communicators and intranet publishers involved with news publishing. If you’re a resource creator (like HR, IT, or L&D), please discuss this with your comms rep.]
When you have a new resource to promote – perhaps a PDF or PowerPoint file to ‘get in front of’ most colleagues – don’t publish an intranet news story and link to the file. How will people navigate to the resource in the future? Nobody’s trawling through your news archive!
Publish the resource
First publish the file in the appropriate section of the intranet. ‘Appropriate’ means where colleagues are likely to expect to come across it, based on its topic and audience. So it’s not particularly about the owner’s function / department, but the best place in the eyes of end-users.
The filename should not have the version number or the date in it. You want the filename to be clean and clear, and relevant for the life of the file. Because the owner is going to keep it up to date!
Now, publish a reference page in this section of the intranet that explains the purpose of the resource file and offers it as a clearly visible link.
The link to the resource / file should disclose the file type and size, and might be the exact filename / title of the resource. This link might be somewhere in the first or second paragraph of the reference page as an in-body text hyperlink, or you might present the file as a faux button or ‘boxed link’ in the side column of your intranet page. (Yes, intranet pages should probably be two or three columns, rather than single very wide layout.) If you use SharePoint for your intranet, you’ll know what I mean about a button or boxed link – use the ‘Quick links’ web part.
Here’s an example in-body text link offering The Digital Workplace Manifesto [PDF; 5.5MB] which is info-rich.
Your intranet style guide should dictate whether your company prefers in-body links or supporting materials presented in the side column.
Publish the news article
Now the resource PDF / PowerPoint and its reference page are in place and available, you can publish a news story on the intranet home page and promote it across channels as you like.
Simply link to the reference page and direct people to open / download the file. Write your news story as normal, extolling the benefits of the resource and explaining who needs it and when. Mention where people can find it – the section, the menu they might use.
Far too many files (and too much knowledge) are lost in the news archive – resource creators need to retain ownership and maintain their resources in the right sections of the intranet. Promotion and news stories come after resource publishing.
(P.S. Don’t get me started on PDFs! I believe resources should be published as easy-access intranet pages – as a suite of topic-focused intranet pages – but I know there’s a reliance on Word, PowerPoint, and PDF.)