Blog: Frank Kenna 

Frank Kenna (bio)
President and CEO
The Marlin Company

Monday, 17 November 2014

I write a lot about digital signage content because that's what digital signage is all about — getting the right content in front of your employees. Here are three high-level questions to help you figure out how good your content is (or isn't).

1. How relevant is the content to your objectives? Many digital signage administrators starting out use lots of "eye candy," that free or low-cost content floating around on the Internet. Sure it looks nice, but does it actually help you communicate your objectives? No. What it does do is help drive readership (see point #3), but that should only be one ingredient for effective digital signage. Your issues and objectives should directly drive most of your content.

2. How easily can you create and display the content? Once you've identified what your important objectives are, who's going to develop the content? Someone needs to own it to make sure there's fresh, relevant material on a regular basis. These admins need software that's easy to use and lets them post content quickly. Or they can access turnkey but issue-related content.

3. Will people actually read it? If they don't, what's the point? For example, posting an Excel spreadsheet with dozens of rows and columns won't cut it. You need to pick an important piece of data and focus on that, perhaps by creating a chart illustrating the point. Make it applicable to their jobs: If they're on the factory floor, show them production metrics, not sales or profit numbers. And at least 25 percent of your content should be non-business stuff, such as news, sports, weather and trivia.

Answering these three questions will get you well on the way to an effective digital signage system that really works. Whether you're searching for digital signage or already have a system installed, a little thought about content creation goes a long way.

Posted by: Admin AT 02:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Monday, 29 April 2013

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

The headline above, a favorite of Warren Buffett, is a quote from Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet and philosopher.  Buffet refers to it when talking about reading annual reports but not realizing what they say at first.   I think it's also a good one to consider when thinking about what your employees "see" when they read your workplace communications.

Think about it: when employees look at your digital signage what do they see?  More importantly, what do they remember?  Because it's all about information absorption and the resultant change of behavior.  With that in mind, here are some points to consider in your communications:

* Does your digital signage have content that changes on a regular basis?  And by that I mean fresh content each day.  If it doesn't, your employees won't even see it after a while, no less remember anything.  If you had a TV in your house playing the same commercial over and over again day after day, would you pay any attention to it?  Of course not.  In fact, you'd probably want to throw a brick through it.  Don't alienate the people you're trying to educate.

* What are you posting in your digital signage that employees actually want to see?  Let's say your most important recurring issue is getting corporate announcements in front of employees.  Keep in mind that they won’t pay much attention if that's all you post, even if it does change daily.  There's got to be something in it for them.  So spice it up with some fun and interesting stuff like sports or entertainment news that will attract attention.  Then they'll read your announcements.

* Repeat your message in fresh formats.  For example, if your company has a change of direction that you need to communicate, one memo or PowerPoint won't do it.  You need to repeat the message using different methods and timing, such as a memo this week, a photo of the CEO along with an article next week, and projected sales figures the next.  

* Consider your communication strategy prior to actually starting to communicate.  How important is this particular subject? How much time do you have to communicate it? What methods will you use, how often will the message change, and what's the actual schedule?

Just a little thought and planning will make your employees really "see" your message, not just look at it and instantly forget.

Posted by: Admin AT 04:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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