SharePoint Crisis Management Template for Covid-19


It’s amazing how the Microsoft tech arenas are working in a variety of ways to help fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. From virus outbreaks like COVID-19 to unexpected weather emergencies, it highlights the importance of establishing and keeping open lines of communication. Their main goal is to ensure that everyone stays briefed on the situation and any business impacts.
In order to address crises, meetings moving online, daily guidance email updates being sent, and dedicated sites emerging to consolidate news, related resources and topical Q&A, Microsoft has published a helpful crisis management communication site template where SharePoint admins can easily provision the template to our tenant from the SharePoint lookbook.
I’ve tried creating multiple COVID-19 site using this template as a starting point. I found this as very helpful and reliable resources can be added to these pages easily. And you can re-use the template, or you can add the available webparts.
If needed, you can set this site as your organizational news site by running the PowerShell script.
Let’s see the steps to add this template to your tenant. Our assumption is that you have tenant admin access.
Click the Addto your tenant in this lookbook link.
Select the options and accept. On the next screen, verify your email ID and site title.
Confirm the contents being created as part of the template.
The site will be provisioned.
Once the Site is provisioned, click the site URL and you are ready to customize the site as per the requirements.
Going left-to-right, top-down, the crisis management site uses the following web parts,
  • Hero – use this to highlight the most important, or newest, content on the site. The one in the example uses the carousel layout.
  • Text – use the rich-text editor to add and update the main intent of the site, or an important message. You can use and adjust color, font size, hyperlink, and tables.
  • Quick links – call out primary resources. These can be internal sites, pages, documents, videos, FAQs, and can be external links, too.
  • Yammer Conversations – create an associated “Crisis Management” community and take questions and manage feedback directly from the site.
  • News – publish daily and weekly news posts. They will appear here on the site and flow into everyone SharePoint start page where News from sites appear.
  • Twitter – pull in feeds from public Twitter handles; the above example (per COVID-19) highlights @CDCgov and I also suggest: @CDCemergency & @WHO.
  • People – indicate the right people dedicated to the specific crisis. This is tied to Azure Active Directory and on-hover, visitors of the site will be able to see all their contact information.
If you want to set this as your organizational News site, please follow the below steps:
  • Run the following command to designate the site as an organization news site:

    Set-SPOOrgNewsSite -OrgNewsSiteUrl <site URL>