A fresh look at digital signage for internal communications
— December 3rd, 2015
It goes by many names. . . corporate TV. . . electronic signage. . . e-boards. . . LCD screen. . . but whatever you want to call it, digital signage has been a part of internal communications for a long time and will continue to be. I will show you why and how in my upcoming Newsweaver Best Practice webinar December 9th.
Many doubt this channel’s impact. And I will admit - I was once a skeptic. At the time, the resolution was poor. The content was hard to create. It needed to be continually updated. But, I was not thinking of it as my job and my responsibility to engage and connect with employees through this channel.
From the employee’s perspective
If you have researched and talked to employees like I have, you know digital signage is a valuable communication tool for them. It serves as their corporate lifeline. Digital signage is an easy way for employees to quickly catch news and data throughout the day. Perhaps while they are walking in between meetings - or grabbing lunch in the cafeteria.
And this is the value digital signage brings to internal communications. Companies can share content and information with employees without them needing to be at a computer or on their mobile device. Often these are what some call the “disconnected workers”, those employees whose day-to-day life isn’t spent sitting at a computer all day. And while digital signage is valuable to this audience, don’t assume it’s not valuable to your “connected workers,” too.
When I launched a digital signage network for Rolls-Royce, the plan was targeted toward the manufacturing workforce. And it worked. We delivered content right where people were, and it reduced the burden on frontline managers who have so much to communicate already.
You still need to be engaging and relevant
Yes employees appreciate this channel - but you’ll only draw eyes and attention if the content is interesting, informative and/or entertaining. If what you put on digital signage isn’t any of these things, it will fail. Just like your intranet, email, enterprise social network or any other technology platform. Without great content, a platform is just a platform.
The importance of repetition - and a multichannel approach
As communicators, we have our own natural biases when it comes to communications and how we like to send and consume messages. That’s because we are employees, too. But we can’t let our biases impact how employees decide to receive and digest content.
One of the knee-jerk criticisms I get about digital signage is, “But isn’t it redundant?!” My answer, “You’re darn right it is.” There’s a reason companies invest in multiple methods and platforms to communicate. The more channels communicators have to manage, the more opportunities they have to engage their employees. There’s not one channel to cover all bases. Any great plan should have redundancies - or repetition of information built in. You need to take a mulitchannel approach, playing to the strengths of each channel - and plan to repeat messages across your channels.
Sign up for the December 9th webinar
When Newsweaver asked me to do a webinar about digital signage, I jumped at the chance. Since 2007, I’ve spent a lot of my professional time in the digital signage world, but in two separate halves. In one half, I work with communicators on how they can best take advantage of this dynamic tool. And in the other half, I work in the digital signage industry to educate on the value of internal communications.
On December 9th, I’ll share my thoughts on the role of digital signage as a valuable employee communications tool, some tips and advice on how to manage content and what content to show, and also the direction I think communicators should be leading the digital signage industry towards. You’ll hear about the “curse of knowledge” and about the value of redundancy. We’ll also talk about the 4-1-1 of digital signage content and the irrigation effect.
For those of you who currently manage digital signage networks, you’ll hear tips and advice on how to perhaps better structure or manage your content strategy. But those who don’t, the webinar will hopefully create renewed enthusiasm for digital signage and build some confidence that it’s not one more thing you HAVE to manage. It’s one more tool you GET to manage.
Thanks to the 700+ who have already signed up and hopefully many more of you will.