Announcements

Table of Contents


Business case

Various customers have shown there is an increased desire to share news within the existing digital Workspace. It must be possible to specify news according to target groups, to ensure only relevant news is shown. Besides this, there is a desire to offer flexible formatting for a news article.

There are alternatives, such as SharePoint, but these are outside the confines of the central digital Workspace. This causes an additional threshold for end users, and as a result news is barely read, if at all. Employees both miss information, and don’t feel involved with the company. We have received this signal from various customers.

To provide our customers with an easy, user-friendly way of sharing news with the company, we created Announcements as part of The Hub.

 

About announcements

Announcements are part of the Hub. With announcements, you can share information to groups of employees. Announcements are divided into categories to quickly distinguish between the different types of communication. It could be about the opening of a new office location, a promotion or retirement of a colleague, IT related news about the digital adaptive workplace, or anything else you would like to share.

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Social interaction

As most customers have either a large group of mobile workers or a hybrid workforce, it is crucial to create and maintain social interaction between colleagues. This helps to strengthen your company culture and increases the retention of employees. That is why we added a few functions to announcements that allow organizations to create social interaction in their digital workplace.

Employees can respond to announcements by specifying a comment, mention ('@') or reaction type (such as a 'like', a 'love', etc.). And employees can keep track of (“Follow”) fun or important announcements receiving notifications in their Activity Feed when those announcements have been updated.

Each Announcement will also display a view count, showing how many unique users have viewed the announcement.

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Create announcement

You’ll notice that the process of creating a new announcement is very user-friendly with an intuitive design that simplifies the creation process. If you have sufficient permissions, easily follow three steps to create an announcement and you’re done.

Announcements can be created from the Hub, which has the following icon: hub.png

To create announcements:

  • Click on the Hub icon from the navigation menu on the left in the workspace.
  • Click on the plus icon from the Hub live tile.
  • Click on the "Create" button at the top of your workspace.

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When filling in the content for your announcement, a title is required. Click on the plus icon to add elements such as subtitles, paragraphs, images, video and lines. You can also define the grid, such as the number of columns, big left-/right column, etc.

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Add form

You can embed a form within an announcement. This requires the embed code of a Microsoft Forms form.

  1. When editing the announcement, add a Grid element and choose Video, which will allow you to submit an embed code
  2. Copy the embed code of the form
  3. In the embed code, replace "max-height:100vh" to "max-height:100%"
  4. Paste the edited embed code in the Video embed code screen of the announcement to embed the form


Save as draft

If you inadvertently close the announcement, it will automatically be saved as a draft. Or if you find yourself unable to complete your announcement or wish to have it reviewed before publishing, ensure you save it as a draft. Both the category and title are mandatory for announcements to be successfully saved as drafts.

 

Delete announcement

Announcements can be deleted from:

  • The Manage Hub items window, accessible via the Manage button in The Hub: simply select and delete the announcement

 

Update announcement (announcement status)

Announcements can be updated/edited from:

  • The Hub icon from the toolbar; go to the announcement and click on the pencil icon in the upper right corner.
  • The Manage Hub items window, accessible via the Manage button in The Hub: simply select and edit the announcement

You can filter announcements by three types of status. Only planned or published announcements can be edited and updated.

  • Planned: Define a publication start-/end date and schedule the announcement weeks, or even months, in advance.
  • Published: The announcement has been published. You can edit/update the announcement, or even extend the publication end date.
  • Draft: The announcement has been saved as a draft. Drafts can be edited from the Manage Hub items page to be published, planned or deleted.
  • Archived: After the publication end date, the announcement will be archived. Archived announcements are presented in read-only mode and cannot be edited. Only Workspace admins and category owners/editors can view archived announcements from the Manage Hub items page.

 

Images & videos

Default placeholder

When no image or video has been uploaded, a default placeholder will be shown.

Note: it's not possible to change the default placeholder.

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Image

  • Supported file types for images are PNG and JPG. There is no preference for either one.
  • The optimal resolution for images is 800 x 450 px.
  • There is no size limit. However, larger files may take longer to render. Recommended file size a maximum of 5 mb.

Video

  • Videos must be added with a video embed code, using iFrame code.
    • You can upload the video to YouTube and use the 'Share' functionality to generate the Embed code. Insert this in the Video embed code field to add the video.
  • There is no maximum resolution or file size for videos.

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Permissions

A workspace administrator can assign permissions to, for example, a Communication Manager who is allowed to create new categories and announcements. This can be done from the Workspace admin settings page under 'Group management'. Or, if you want to limit the level of permissions, you can make the Communication Manager a 'Category editor' or 'Category owner' who is then allowed to share information within a specific category.

Some companies choose to make everyone a category editor, for example, within a 'Marketplace' category in which employees can share ads, maintaining social interaction.

Be cautious about who you allow to create announcements, because giving too many people control might lead to a notification overload.

For a more detailed explanation about permissions, please read the article: About the Hub.

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Best practices

Category types

We often see three types of categories:

  • A category per location.
  • A category per department.
  • A category for the entire organisation.

With these category types you can, for example, separate personnel news from the organisation news.

Note: It is not yet possible to post an announcement in multiple categories at the same time (for example one category for multiple locations). But you can however submit a Feature Request.

 

'Must-read' vs. 'Nice-to-read'

If an announcement is a 'Must-read', use the pop-up function. This way, you ensure that people will not miss the announcement, for example to announce scheduled network maintenance at the office. But be aware of the fact that publishing direct pop-ups may have a large impact on the user experience.

If an announcement is a 'Nice-to-read', do not use the pop-up function. From the Hub tile, everyone has a clear overview of all announcements. From there, they can read and react to announcements. Think of social interactions between colleagues, such as childbirth, anniversary of 10 years of service, etc.

 

Pin announcement

Pin the most important announcements, so they appear at the top of the category page. Only 5 pinned announcements will be displayed at the top, but you can click on "Show all pinned announcements" to view them all. Only 5 announcements can be pinned per category. The two most recent pinned items will be shown in the live tile. 

 

Tags

Add tags to your announcements. Tags help to identify what announcements are about, so users can find the right information faster.

 

Save as draft

For example, if you find yourself unable to complete your announcement or wish to have it reviewed before publishing, ensure you save it as a draft.

 

Hub live tile

The Hub live tile offers different layouts, default views and you can choose to add the live tile more than once to Workspace. We mention some general best practices for the the Hub live tile in the article: About the Hub.

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