Product Story: Seamless News Distribution in a Few Clicks
Centralizing internal company announcements in a single app.
Co-written with Wieke Chaerunis Sudiono
Effective internal communication is crucial to any organization.
Most businesses rely on e-mail to deliver the most recent company news. But, employees often have their inbox barraged with messages and may miss the important news. Although the problem may appear trivial, research shows that poor communication within an organization can be costly. It’s vital to ensure that all information reaches the employees.
At DKatalis, we handle most HR processes using an in-house app called People Xperience (PX). Everyone working at the company is automatically enrolled in the system, allowing the back office admin team to interact with them. The People and Culture (PAC) Engagement team wants to leverage the app to communicate and/or reach out to the employees, in addition to the traditional e-mail blast approach.
The dream is for PX to be the one-stop app for all employee-and-company-related activities. Centralizing internal company announcements is one step toward realizing that dream.
Narrowing the issues
When distributing a company newsletter via e-mail, a few potential issues come to mind:
- Will I reach the right people that I want to target? E.g., all employees (new and existing)
- Will the information be received or go to junk mail?
- How can people find older newsletters?
- Will I exceed my provider’s send quota (and thus not be able to get the information sent out)? This is especially true for a general PAC mailbox.
These problems could be avoided if we reduce the reliance on e-mail and set up a dedicated channel for company news. With this in mind, we decided to implement a News feature on the PX app, aimed to tackle those issues.
First, by utilizing the aforementioned employee list within the system, we can ensure that the message will reach all employees. There’s no worry over having the message bounce back due to a full inbox or over quota.
Then, the visibility issue. With e-mail, the message could be easily missed and buried under other work e-mails. We decided to handle this by providing a dedicated way to access the newsletters so the employees can always find them “there.” We developed several methods of distribution:
- A fixed news banner on the app’s home screen
- A dedicated News section on the notifications feature
- Customized push notification for each published edition
Moreover, we set the news section to also show the 4 most recent newsletters. This way, employees can easily find older information they needed.
Pooling the newsletters in one specific channel also makes tracking distribution easier. Through app analytics, we can see how many reads and visits a newsletter gets and what the read distribution is over a time period from the publication date. This data allows us to deduce what topics matter to the employees, because we know which contents gain the most opens and clicks.
Lastly, the newsletter design. A beautifully crafted newsletter will not only captivate readers but also make the information more memorable. Hence, the News feature enables synchronization with third-party newsletter files, resulting in a beautifully and professionally crafted newsletter display.
Why the News feature?
Aside from spreading News across the company, this feature offers an important value: effectiveness.
The newsletter viewer is built to support third-party-generated content. While we currently only support the newsletter format of our chosen vendor, our system can be enhanced to integrate with formats from different vendors in the future. Moreover, we can also rely on the vendor’s analytics for tracking.
Then, the targeted audience is already at the core of the PX system, meaning that we are taking advantage of the data that already exists. We can skip the hassle of manually inputting or removing new contacts from the recipient list.
Anatomy of the News Feature
Now that you know what the PX News feature does, let’s proceed to the how. In order to understand the process better, we have to take a look at the backend process. There is an admin portal that is utilized for:
- Selecting the target audience
- Set the publish schedule
- Uploading a third-party generated newsletter content for different genres of information, allowing our users to quickly find the information they need
- See the list of published newsletters
After everything is done on the admin’s side, the result will be shown on the employee-centric app. Employees can:
- See a list of published newsletters in the news library
- See a big banner to display recent newsletters
- See the actual content of the newsletter
- Access any content from the newsletter
About the News Feature Design
The newsletter widget can be accessed on the homepage of the PX app. This widget is in the form of a stack of cards. The employees can:
- Access the latest news easily
- Access previous news by swiping the card in any direction
Providing clear and necessary company information is the important first step in improving the employee experience. Organizations must make their talents feel included, whether by reaching out to them in person or by establishing a dedicated channel. Giving employees a sense of belonging and control of their own future may lead to higher satisfaction and retention.
The need for an effective and efficient internal communication channel is more urgent now, as many companies adopt the work from anywhere policy. We have initiated this step by implementing the News feature that centralizes company information distribution and easy tracking.
Next, we are working to enhance the employee experience in learning and capability enhancement. Stay tuned!