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Your Modern Strategy for Managing News in SharePoint

Matt Kohn

November 18, 2022

SharePoint news posting can occur all over the place. In modern SharePoint, it’s important now more than ever to have a strategy that scopes your news. We’ll explain how it works, what you get out of it, and what issues it saves you from.

Intro 

For most users, creating news posts in modern SharePoint can be pretty easy to figure out. However, for administrators in charge of managing a wide variety of news across an organization, developing a strategy for organizing the content and the owners is critical to avoid cluttering and blurring together the news your audience consumes. 

In some cases, a smaller organization with one manager creating content may only need one SharePoint site for general news. In larger organizations, when the news categories expand there comes a need for sorting and cataloging content into buckets of categories. Plus, when it comes time to add more contributors and create news for different topics or departments, that shared site can become overrun with users manipulating others’ content or adding page templates of their own. We are going to show you a promising strategy that coincides with the way Microsoft expects you (but doesn’t tell you) to manage your news. 

Where exactly do news posts get created? Page libraries are where you create news and they’re used to host two things for your communication sites: Static Site Pages, and News Posts. Although it seems cluttered to intermix published site pages with promoted news posts, it does make sense to manage them all in the same repository. 

Published Site Pages & Promoted News Posts in the Same Pages Library
Adding News Links from the Web Part
Editable News Link Properties

Designating Your News Sites 

Remember managing news is more than just creating it wherever you please. When it comes to this specific news strategy in SharePoint, you should consider every established news category at your organization as its own communication site. For example: If you have four unique news topics such as Human Resources, Technology, Employee Engagement, and Director Messages; then you should create four site collections and name each one with those site titles.  

News Site Creation for Hub under Followed Sites

One main reason you’ll benefit from breaking out these sites is that news creation is usually a shared effort, but you don’t want all of your authors bumping into each other in the same page library and cluttering it up. Make each news curator the owner of their site and allow them to build in their own space to ensure the integrity of their content. This is especially important when those owners want to configure their own page templates and have more control over the standardization of their look & feel. 

It's nice when departmental site owners, like safety officers, for example, can perform double duty by managing their safety resource pages and their safety news announcements in the same site collection. In other cases, the Technology site may be exclusive to creating Technology related news posts, but it's shared between the IT and Facilities department owners for collaboration on news content. 

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Modern News Web Part Sources 

Speaking of the news rollup, we should talk about the news web part itself. This is the only web part that I currently recommend for surfacing news in SharePoint because it allows you to refine the source of your news and update the layout easily. 

You have three options to target as your news source: 

  • This Site: Only displays the news posts and links that exist in the page library of the site that the page you're putting the rollup on. 
  • All sites in the hub: This option only appears for news rollup on a site in an enabled hub and automatically grabs all news from associated sites in one click. 
  • Select sites: This lets you search for and pick sites that you frequent or follow. This is good for manually controlling the scope of combined news categories or ignoring content from some sites. 
  • Recommended for current users: This is a feature that considers where each user is working and visiting in SharePoint and surfaces relevant news for a unique news experience. 
News Source & Site Selection

It’s good to review each of these news source options and see how they bring in content to help make your decision on how to configure rollups in each area of your hub site or other sites. 

Additional Layouts & Refinement 

Now that we’ve configured your content sources, the news web part gives you plenty of layout options and ways to refine the look of your news. You get different options for each selected layout, so if you're undecided then it’s always smart to go with the default settings. 

News Layouts and Options

When you break your news out into multiple sites based on category, the big benefit you get is the site title where your news comes from displaying right in the rollup on each post. You can even click on it to jump to the site for all of that news. 

Top Story Layout with Categories by Site Source
Filter News by Keywords in Custom Topic Column Property

Conclusion 

Hopefully, this blog gives enough explanation and ammo to convince yourself and others that this strategy is the best way forward to organize your news efforts. Once the sites are identified, created, and assigned owners, news publishing at your company should commence like clockwork. Microsoft is clearly in the business of automating not just the creation, but the organization of your news as well. So, take this opportunity to set your strategy and simplify your process to fully reap the benefits! 

Supplemental Links 

Create and share news on your SharePoint sites 

Use the News web part on a SharePoint page 

Recommended for User News Source 

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