Here’s What You Need to Know About SharePoint Communication

Posted by Sophina Dillard on Wednesday, 9 August 2017 0

Communication in our world is vital, especially if the world we’re talking about is preceded by the word ‘business’. Even more, it seems that our demand for instantaneous broadcasting increases as we stray farther and farther from the delays in communication that marked the 20th Century. With instant messages and mobile phones within arm's reach, we’ve come expect ‘real-time’ to mark everything we do.

Thankfully, SharePoint is here to help us out with their communication sites that make spreading information a breeze.

SharePoint Communication Sites

Create beautiful, dynamic communication sites

First off, don’t worry if you’re not a savvy SharePoint user — SharePoint communication sites are very easy to use. For example, new sites can be created and shared by anyone within an organization in seconds by clicking on ‘Create site’ on SharePoint home in Office 365. Once you do so, you’ll be presented with three configurable template options for the initial site design:

1. Topic: Select this template when you have a lot of content to share (e.g., news, events, press release, etc.)
2. Showcase: Select this template when you want to feature a product, event or team member with photos or images
3. Blank: Select this template when you want to start on a blank slate

After you create the initial site, it’s time to create the pages. As you’ll soon see, you can select from single to multi-column layouts (and adjust), use dynamic web parts from other Office 365 services, add content and pull data from other services, and all-around customize as you please. In terms of organizing content, just drag and drop — that simple.

Some of the Tools You’ll Love from SharePoint Communication Sites

Moving forward, the tools at your disposal are perfect for designing sites for campaigns, upcoming events, product launches, and other situations in which you want to transmit a message:

Section Layouts: Use single or multi-column layouts to arrange information on your pages (e.g., one column, 2 columns, one third left column, one third right column, etc.)

Web Parts: Use web parts to pull content from other Office 365 services to your pages. Four such web parts that are particularly useful for audience engagement are:
The Hero web part highlights important information
The People web part showcases notable team members
The Events web part calls out important upcoming events
The Stream web part presents a gallery of videos from a Stream channel
Others include Power BI, News list, Bing maps, Quick chart and more

Theming: Use theming to preview and style your site

Top Navigation: Use top navigation to facilitate your users’ time on your site and make it easier for them to arrive at important pages you want to showcase

Site Usage: Use site usage to keep up to date with how your site is doing; you can review reports, catch trends, find active readers, etc.

Final Thoughts, Extra Information and TL;DR

Because SharePoint communication sites are excellent for disseminating information (hence the ‘communication’ in the name), you’ll get the most out of them for events, product launches, weekly or monthly reports, or the like. And because their emphasis is on ease and immediacy, you know for a fact that your information will reach its intended audience on time, every time.

As for the extra information and tl;dr:

Creating sites is simple and anyone within an organization can do it
SharePoint communication sites look good everywhere — PCs, Macs and mobile (full sites, pages, news, navigation, search and more are natively functionable and engaging on all devices)
Collaboration is simplified when you connect with Office 365 groups
You can embed documents and videos, and dynamically pull data in real-time across Office 365
Organization is simplified with drag & drop functionality

Good luck creating sites!

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