Fresh Perspectives June 2024: Key Takeaways

We were buzzing with excitement as we wrapped up another incredible Fresh Perspectives event last week. Held in the heart of London, this event series just keeps getting better, and we were thrilled to see so many familiar and new faces coming together to share insights, best practices and a few laughs.

Sneak Peek into Fresh Intranet’s upcoming Q3 release

Jarbas Horst kicked off with a sneak peek into Fresh Intranet’s upcoming Q3 release. Our Senior Product Manager took the spotlight to delve into the exciting new features that are set to enhance your Fresh Intranet experiences.

First up Jarbas announced support for ‘custom fonts’ in SharePoint and Viva Connections. Rolling out this August, you’ll be able to up your branding game to make your intranet look just like your website. So, if your company has a specific font as part of its branding concept, Fresh will help you reflect it in your intranet.

Want to have an overview of all the content planned and published, including posts for Viva Amplify? We thought so, that’s why we’re introducing an Editorial Calendar to help you do-away with content planning in Excel. From August your content editors will be able to use a calendar view to see what content is scheduled or in draft mode, making content planning so much easier.

Finally, if you’re frustrated that you can’t share intranet announcements in Teams, from the next release you can. Using the new Push Notifications in Teams, you’ll be able to target specific user groups, regions or languages, reaching both desk-based and frontline workers in Teams desktop or on the Teams mobile app.

Using data to inform internal comms strategies

We were joined by guest Pete Johns from SWOOP Analytics, who delivered a fantastic session on how to use data to underpin internal communications strategies. His insights on using analytics to drive decision-making had everyone scribbling notes and brainstorming how to implement these ideas back at their own workplaces.
He introduced a simple model on how to use data to improve internal communications as follows:

WHAT: Identify what the data is showing.

SO, WHAT: Determine the implications of these findings.

NOW WHAT: Decide on actionable steps to improve based on the insights.

Pete suggested conducting experiments significant enough to provide valuable insights and small enough to be implemented quickly to test and refine internal comms strategies. Learn more about using analytics to enhance your intranet game.

AI, SharePoint Premium and your intranet

Advania UK’s Chris O’Brien, just back from delivering best practice advice at a Microsoft conference, shared his top tips on how to use SharePoint Premium (the unsung hero behind a successful Copilot for Microsoft 365 roll-out) to improve your content management and governance within your intranet, key things to note:

  • Intranet Content Management: Use SharePoint Premium’s AI functionality to tag content more effectively, helping to improve the findability of documents and information on your intranet.
  • Intranet Governance: If you’re not sure who can access what content on your intranet, the data governance functionality of SharePoint Premium is about to change all that. It provides detailed reports on content sharing and access, helping you to manage permissions and ensure data security.

From outdated and on-premises to a sleek, modern Fresh Intranet

We were joined by client Andy Hall from Forvis Mazars, who shared his intranet story of turning an outdated on-premises system into a sleek, modern intranet on Microsoft 365 using Fresh.

He emphasised the importance of user engagement and executive buy-in for successful transformations. Look out for his case study on the Fresh site coming soon!

Why do intranets fail?

It’s a question we get asked a lot, and Customer Success Manager Leon Bent addressed it nicely, sharing key reasons why many intranets struggle to meet expectations:

  • Lacks purpose: Without a clear purpose, intranets fail to align with organisational goals.
  • No one owns it: Lack of ownership leads to neglected content and functionality.
  • Poorly governed: Inadequate governance results in disorganized and outdated information.
  • Executive engagement is low: Without leadership support, user adoption suffers.
  • Inadequate search: Poor search capabilities frustrate users.
  • User experience is poor: A clunky interface deters regular use.
  • No personalisation: Generic content fails to engage diverse user groups.

Leon said if you address these issues, your intranet will become a more valuable resource for your employees and will improve employee engagement.

Governance, governance, governance

Intranet governance is our Success Manager Sonja Wandrey’s favourite subject, and she shared a framework which will underpin the long-term success of your intranet as follows:

  •  Set clear policies and guidelines: Ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.
  • Introduce content lifecycle management: Regularly audit and update content to keep it relevant and engaging.
  • Get buy-in from the executive: Engage leadership to promote and use the intranet, driving wider adoption.
  • Ensure user-centric design: Focus on creating a user-friendly experience with personalised content and easy navigation.

Personalisation and intranets

The session ended with a timely reminder from our Success Manager Beilul Brhane about the importance of intranet personalisation. Segmenting audiences, targeting comms and introducing content subscriptions are all part of the puzzle.

Target news, events, announcements, tools and links for a better-personalised employee experience.
When an intranet delivers personalised experiences, it can live up to its fullest potential by making content relevant and useful for each individual user. Personalised intranets help employees quickly find the information they need, enhancing their productivity and overall user satisfaction.

Key takeaways from the event

1. Make data-driven decisions: Use analytics to inform your internal comms strategy.
2. Integrate AI: Embrace AI tools like FreshMind and Copilot to streamline operations and improve governance.
3. Improve user engagement: Focus on creating engaging, user-friendly intranet experiences.
4. Introduce governance: Establish clear policies and guidelines to keep your intranet content organised and up to date.
5. Get executive support: Ensure leadership is on board to drive adoption and success.
6. Continuous learning: Stay updated with the latest features and best practices.


If you missed this session, don’t worry. Contact our intranet experts to arrange a demo of our latest features or to receive best practice advice on intranet governance, personalisation or how to use AI in an intranet context.