Coming up with new and compelling content is an ongoing challenge for internal communicators. But there’s no need to shoulder the burden entirely yourself. Help is at hand from a source you’ve likely heard of but never used.
RSS is a simple way of adding useful or interesting content to your employee communications. It offers up-to-the-minute information on nearly every subject. If you doubt whether there will be an RSS feed with content suitable for you, consider that there are nearly 32 million websites using RSS globally right now.
Could your staff benefit from knowing current exchange rates? Would having the latest local weather alerts make their job easier? Or would seeing quirky facts increase their interest in and readership of your corporate newsletters?
RSS could be a treasure trove for your internal comms. But before you set sail to discover what it actually means, let us give you the tools and advice to navigate these unknown wateRSS.
What is an RSS feed?
In a nutshell, an RSS feed is a stream of information sent from one website to other digital channels (generally either another website or directly to users).
An information stream is triggered whenever the main site is updated (for example, a news article published, some content changed or a date/time being reached). The main site uses their RSS feed to make this new or updated content available as code for others to read or display.
To ‘translate’ the RSS code into nicely-designed content for users to read, an RSS feed reader or aggregator is required. There are a number of these available, but the best-known are probably Feedly or PolitePol (where you can create your own RSS feed for your company blog).
Incidentally, if you’re wondering what “RSS” stands for, its full name is Rich Site Syndication.
Benefits of RSS feeds
An RSS feed can provide internal communications value to both organizations and staff.
For organizations, information can instantly be made available to employees, bypassing any potential areas of contention through using social feeds. For staff, it’s an efficient way to read updates on topics of interest, without the need to visit different websites.
For you as an internal communicator, RSS is a way of enriching the content you broadcast to staff – informing, adding humor or just offering variety.
This content could be relevant to certain roles, for example call centre staff why need to be appraised of latest currency rates, stock prices etc.
It could be specific for certain locations, such as weather watch updates for field-based staff during the US hurricane season.
Or it could simply be general content of interest, like events that happened on this date in history, which international day is observed today etc. (If you happen to be reading this on 18th April, happy Banana Day!)
Popular RSS feeds
There are a wealth of options for RFF feeds, covering virtually every topic from serious news to frivolous jokes. The Google News feeds alone have more than 1.2 million people using them.
Some of the best RSS feeds we like are listed below.
Business & Technology
HR & Communications
How can SnapComms channels use RSS feeds?
The SnapComms corporate screensaver channel can include RSS feeds, whether from your organization intranet or an external website. Combining this feed with imagery and branding provides a compelling tool to get employee attention.
RSS feeds can also be incorporated into desktop tickers. This provides an eye-catching but non-disruptive way to advise staff of updates to your corporate intranet, for example, or to make information available from external sources.