Defining your intranet role in one sentence

It’s the weekend and you are sitting at a dinner party, to the left you have Paul the policeman, across from you is Harriet the teacher, and at the end you have Bob the bus driver. After Bob finishes a hilarious tale from his week at work this feeling of dread washes over you as you know what’s next. ‘So, what do you do?’ All eyes are upon you and you’re thinking there is no way I can explain this without their eyes glazing over and you losing their interest for the rest of the evening. So, what do you do? We may all be able to explain what we do in a long contrived statement (or in some people’s case a speech), but can you explain your role in one sentence?

We know if you’re reading our blog you work in the intranet, internal comms or digital workplace fields. And, we also know if you are a regular visitor of our blog we are continually trying to make sense of our roles in this exciting field. But what we have noticed is that it is hard to explain exactly what we do.

Do you try and tackle it in a very clear and concise statement? Or, do you just skip past the specific details and say, ‘I manage our intranet; our internal website.’ We at Intranetizen find that professionals in the intranet and digital workplace field are lacking that elevator pitch. The time is now to set this straight. How do you define your role in one sentence?

To people who already understand elements of our field

  • I’m responsible for the user experience (that’s how useful, usable and enjoyable things are) of our companies digital communication and collaboration tools (email, intranet, instant messaging, etc).
  • I manage all the tools that help employees to communicate and collaborate with each other no matter where they work or live.

To your colleagues

  • I’m the glue between business and technology. I create digital communication and collaboration platforms that meet employee and business needs to help people learn, work and share together.
  • I am here to help you be better connected to your colleagues and to be more efficient.
  • I look at the problems you are facing and see if my role and the tools I manage can solve them, or at least play a part in making your day easier.

To your grandma, parents, or anyone at a dinner party

  • I help people do their job by looking after the company’s internal website and social network (a bit like Facebook) – so people can get answers to work questions quickly and know all the important stuff that’s going on.
  • I manage my company’s intranet – like our internal website and network. That means talking to the people who use it, to understand what they need, and to the tech guys to get new stuff built.
  • I try to simplify the tools people use at my organisation so they can do their job.
  • I work with computers.

We are all about simplifying tasks or systems for our colleagues. It is time we simplify the explanation of what we do. How would you explain your role in one sentence? Let us know in the comments below.

There are 6 comments

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  1. Nicole

    Like many others in the greater technical communications area, I’ve always struggled with that question. My job title doesn’t even attempt to reflect what I do, especially to people outside the company, so it’s no use telling people that.

    As above, I find it depends on the audience. For people outside my company, I tell them I’m an information manager. I make sure that people have the information they need to do their jobs, and that it’s correct, up-t0-date, and in the right place. Although, someone once asked me if that meant I was a receptionist. I was not impressed.

    For people inside the company, I tell them that I manage our intranet (I call it by its name) and that seems to satisfy them.

    Whatever I tell anyone though, I always get the guilts that I’m underselling myself. I do so much more than “manage the intranet”. I’m an information solutions provider, but that means even less to most people.

    • @danaleeson

      This comment and others like it is exactly what inspired this post. We massively undersell what we do and we need to stop!

      • Cathy Koch Patti

        Thank you for this article. I have been struggling with this very issue for 9 years. I love some of your idea starters. We do undersell what we do. Too often emphasis is placed on public websites, and internal sites are of critical importance to organizations too. Thanks again. I’ll be visiting this site often.

  2. Merinne

    Bizarrely, I often still tell people I’m a librarian because that’s my professional qualification, so I don’t often have to deal with the “intra-what?” blank looks. I do think there’s a fairly hefty overlap between library services and the intranet, however, as both are about helping people access the knowledge/resources they need to do their work. A useful compromise is to say “I work in information”, as this sounds sufficiently obscure and grand that non-intranet people will be impressed as well as confused!

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