Work Happy Podcast: S2 – Bonus Episode

Internal news has been brought into the 21st century – gone are the generic weekly news emails, left to gather dust unread in employees’ inboxes. SharePoint and Viva Connections present an appealing arsenal of tools for internal communicators to bring teams together.

In this bonus episode of the Work Happy podcast, we’re taking a dive into Viva Connections, SharePoint’s helpful tools for boosting particularly pertinent new stories, and how auto-news digest uses data analytics to send personalised email updates to users.

This episode covers

  • How Viva Connections is creating a digital gateway for engaging with your users
  • Using News Boost to increase the visibility of key information amongst lots of news
  • Why a well structured intranet is the key to effective communication
  • Using Auto-News Digest to enrich the traditional email with personalised data to communicate important information more effectively
  • A sneak peek of future developments in Microsoft’s ecosystem

What is Viva Connections?


“Viva Connections is a long awaited collection of features, and it’s really a culmination of all the things that Microsoft have been working on over recent months and years to try and solve the disconnect of a remote workforce.”

Getting news into Teams


“The biggest advantage of Viva Connections is that, if you’ve been publishing really rich and informative news articles, unless the users have been coming along to SharePoint to your intranet homepage to read them, it’s not getting the message out there as it needs to. So I think getting it into Teams is really key.”

News boost


“News Boost is one of these really sought after features, being able to push the most important news to the top if it’s something that’s really critical for your users to see.”

Audience Targeting


“Microsoft is doing a lot for Viva Connections to be able to do audience targeting in the dashboard and everything like that. I think the key to this, above any fancy feature supporting you in doing this, is having an information architecture that makes sense for your organisation.”

Thinking about structure


“It’s a relatively painful thing for organisations to start thinking differently about this organisational structure and intranet structure to be a little bit more flat and say, ‘Okay, we don’t need reams of sub-sites and nested sites, with really complex permission structures. Maybe now think about having a site for every unique topic or audience.’”

Getting personal


“You can actually use the analytics behind these news articles and send every single user a personalised email with just the articles they haven’t read, and I think that’s really powerful. As a comms channel, yes, it’s still an email, but it’s personalised, and it’s pointing them back to the news in SharePoint rather than just sending them the news in an email.”

Make it make sense


“If you’re going through a modernisation of your intranet, trying to embrace all of these new features within SharePoint, maybe think about the structure that you’ve got. Does it make sense for things like communications to users?”