Internal Communication ~ 9 min

Internal Comms Intranets: Are They the Best Communications Solution?

Communication Team, Experts in Internal Communication, Sociabble
Communication Team Experts in Internal Communication

Internal comms intranets have been one popular way of trying to keep employees informed and on the same page. But are they effective on their own, and is there a better way to keep workers aligned and in the loop? In this article, we’ll provide answers and solutions.

Internal communication has been changing rapidly in the past few years, with digital communication tools taking on a newfound importance thanks to the rise in remote work and hybrid office scenarios. Companies have long used intranets as a way to centralize and manage company communications. But are they still useful in this new working environment?

The short answer is yes, they are, although they become even more effective when paired with the right employee communication platform. In this article, we’ll explain why and show you how internal comms intranets can become integrated into a modern internal communications strategy.

What is the definition of a company intranet?

That’s a good place to start: what, exactly, is an internal comms intranet? The term pops up enough, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted that everyone knows what it means.

Essentially, an intranet is a private network that operates within an organization and is used to share information between employees.

It is usually accessed via the internet, or an internal server hosted by the company. Internal comms intranets provide a secure platform for sharing documents, communicating with colleagues, and collaborating on projects. They can also be used to store digital assets such as images, videos and audio files.


Internal comms intranets are often created using content management software that allows users to easily customize their pages, manage permissions, and update content in real-time. At their core, they exist to make communication and management run more smoothly within an organization, which is something all companies can benefit from.

If you want to know more about employee comms read our full guide on : what is internal communication.

What is the impact of intranets on internal communication?

But how did internal comms intranets come about? Well, for starters, they’ve been around for a while. Intranets were first implemented in companies in the mid-1990s, when internet technology was becoming increasingly popular.

By providing an online platform for collaboration among users, companies were able to improve and streamline their internal communication processes.

Initially, intranets were used mainly to store and share documents and corporate information around the organization, but as technology has advanced, they now also provide a range of features such as discussion forums, team workspaces, task management tools, and other essential applications.

What are the advantages of an intranet?

Intranets are still widely used for internal communication, as they offer a secure and cost-effective way to share important information and news between departments and staff members.

Unlike emails, intranets can be easily updated in real-time with the latest company news, without the need to notify everyone individually.

Additionally, modern intranet for internal communication solutions come equipped with features like task management systems platforms, allowing teams to collaborate more effectively.

Intranets also serve as a hub for important documents that employees need access to on a regular basis. They function a bit like a digital HQ for staff, you might even say.

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What are the limits of an intranet?

Intranets do have a few limitations when it comes to achieving effective internal communications. They can be helpful, but they’re not perfect.

Here are some of the most common shortcomings:

  • Internal only.

Because an intranet for internal communication is limited in scope to the organization, and because it is a private network, there is no way for external parties to access and contribute information or collaborate on documents. 

  • Expensive to maintain.

Some companies may find themselves struggling with implementation costs and technical issues, as large intranets can be difficult and expensive to set up.

Most intranets look outdated and are functionally outdated too. And even when they are up to date, they are very expensive to maintain.

  • Not always up to date.

If the content stored within the intranet pages is not regularly updated, it can quickly become outdated and the information it contains irrelevant.

  • Difficult to navigate.

From a user point of view, information can be difficult for staff to find. As it is not possible to target employees or to personalize communication, a corporate intranet for internal communication is often a place employees can find all sorts of news and information.

But finding specific information that is relevant for their specific job, that which adds value to their tasks or problems, however, can be difficult.

  • Top-down only.

One of the most obvious limits of intranet software is that it allows only top-down communication channels, instead of encouraging feedback, bottom-up and peer-to-peer communication.

If the goal of a company is to engage with employees, create opportunities to gather feedback, and engage conversations, an intranet may not be the best solution. 

  • Desktop only.

Last but not least, many intranets are not available on mobile, as they do not support mobile access.

Which leads to another major inconvenience, as deskless workers cannot access intranets easily, or at all, so they’re cut off from company information and major announcements. Frontline and some remote workers are basically left in the dark when it comes to internal communication.

stats intranet internal comms

What is the best solution for employee interaction?

Information is just part of the deal—you also need engagement with the noted internal communication channels for a company to function at its best.

Encouraging employee interaction is an important factor in strengthening engagement because it facilitates communication, improves teamwork, and encourages creativity.

Allowing employees to interact with each other fosters a sense of community and trust, while also providing a platform for exchanging ideas and feedback.

Additionally, when team members are able to collaborate effectively and receive constructive criticism, they become more invested in their work, leading to increased productivity.

Ultimately, by encouraging employee interaction, companies can build strong relationships between employees that will result in greater job satisfaction and high morale. It’s a win-win.

Encouraging employee interaction means providing the right engagement and collaboration tools that allow them to engage, beyond the private network of the company intranet.

As we have noted, intranets may not be the best solution, as they are not available for everybody in the company, they have limited bottom-up and feedback internal communication features, and the relevant information may be difficult to find. 

But since an internal comms intranet is also a very good tool to inform employees, the ideal solution would be to combine the existing intranet with another more engagement-oriented platform.

The best way is to rationalize and unify your communication channels with a tool that allows users to find and receive the important information they are really interested in, as well as comment and engage with ongoing online conversations.

internal comms intranet strategy

Sociabble as the most effective tool for integrating with an internal comms intranet to engage all employees

Sociabble is an employee communication tool designed to inform, align, and engage your entire workforce.

A total communications solution, you can easily:

  • Reach everyone with targeted content and create a strong corporate culture while measuring your success.
  • Keep your employees engaged while improving employee retention and building a strong company culture.
  • Boost the reach of your marketing messages and make your employees real brand ambassadors with an employee advocacy program.

However, if you’d like to take your communications to the next level, Sociabble can become even more effective as a means of integrating your existing intranet into a larger communication framework and strategy.

Sociabble is not just another platform or channel that complicates the communication ecosystem; it integrates your existing intranet and optimizes the user experience, because Sociabble provides a direct access point where employees can interact with your platform through the tools they’re already using on a daily basis, for example, via SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and Web widgets.

intranet app ecosystem

And with Sociabble, you can manage the pushing of Sociabble content into other platforms, especially Content Management Systems.

You can accomplish this in the following ways:

  • AUTOMATED, defining rules in its “Bots” interface to automatically push content matching the criteria to the chosen destination. 
  • MANUALLY, in addition to the social networks of your choice, sharing content to a pre-configured Website or Intranet can be done with the push of a button.
  • SOCIAL WALL, both automatically and manually, your personalized Social Wall can be fed content to be displayed on external media, such as a public web page or a large screen in a
    common space. 

Sociabble, the employee platform, is also available as a responsive mobile app, that can easily be deployed to employees who do not have professional mobile devices.

Frontline and remote workers will be able to access and note the company’s information on their own mobile, in a secure and compliant fashion.

Moreover, thanks to the content management features, frontline and remote workers can receive the important information that is actually relevant to them, for example, that concerns their location or their job.

Sociabble also gives employees the chance to react, comment, and engage with conversations through the secure chat feature, overcoming the communication barriers they often face, and encouraging knowledge sharing.

If you want to take your internal communication in the workplace to the next level and get your employees engaged, just like our clients Coca-Cola CCEP, Primark, and Renault Group already have, feel free to get in touch. If you have an existing internal comms intranet and want to get more out of it, we can help.

Just click here for a free, personalized demo. We’re happy to discuss intranet solutions specifically tailored to your organization’s needs.

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