There is a view in some organizations that an intranet is only for staff, so you can publish what you want. But quality content matters as much on an intranet as on a public Web site.

Get your content right to begin with. Keep it right by removing out-of-date content.

Your intranet is not a dump. It is not about the volume. It's not “have gigabytes, must fill.”

View your content as an asset, not a cost. It's not a document management challenge, so don't see the problem from a storage point of view. It's publishing. It's about finding that small set of content that drives productive actions from staff and management.

Do you have a process whereby every single piece of content on your intranet gets read at least once a year?

Those organizations that can't do this are admitting that their intranet is unmanageable. Tetra Pak, a global leader in packaging systems, is not one of them.

Mats G. Johansson is responsible for Web content management in the Tetra Pak technical service area. The readership is approximately 4,500 people. In 2002, Tetra Pak decided to get serious about content.

First off, a style guide was created, covering such things as style and tone, length of summaries, a description of how the content should be laid out, treatment of pictures, etc. (A style guide is an essential first step in achieving consistent content quality.)

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image of Gerry McGovern
Gerry McGovern ( is a content management consultant and author. His latest book is The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online, which teaches unique techniques for identifying and measuring the performance of customers' top tasks.