Blog: Keith Kelsen 

Keith Kelsen (bio)
Chairman & CEO
5th Screen Digital

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Is socializing the corporate environment killing the digital signage screen for corporate communication networks?

The purpose of internal communication digital signage networks are to help connect the disconnected employee and to help communication between HR and employees, management and labor, to help get everyone on the same page and backroom training. They are also used of course in the lobby with a differently targeted message.

This is a case where digital signage may have seen its day, and the pocket screen may be the killer.

We are now seeing a new wave of corporate communications where employees within a specific corporate group are using Facebook-/Twitter-type applications within the corporate environment.

It works like this. If I am in sales then I can share what I am doing with the rest of the group and what wins, meetings, prospects I am pursuing ... real-time ... and in turn anyone that is part of my group can comment, like, etc. my posting. This goes a long way in to making employees feel part of a team. In addition, I can also collaborate with my team on documents live in the cloud.

So now each individual is updated real-time on their smartphone or desktop with key messages from key players and have their own group that is focused on their mission.

One can post pictures, video and of course text and audio.

In addition some companies are requiring that you follow a few key players such as Human Resources, the CEO and Corporate Communications. This happens in a live, real-time environment.

It's personal, engaging and connected.

Now some rules need to apply, and some companies have put in best practices and rules around postings to remind everyone that this is a corporate social mission network not Facebook.

If you were born after 1980, you are digital; you think in a digital world — and that thinking is different than someone who grew up in an analog world. I for one am a digital wannabe ... but I often have wondered what happens when the digital generation who are texting, creating instant opportunities, instant social meetings and getting instant gratification reaches the analog business world?

Well there you have it ... Yammer, which is just one of the corporate-mission social software applications that bring teams together quickly and in real time, is used by 5 million people and more than 200,000 companies worldwide, including 85 percent of the Fortune 500. A company's network is stored in the cloud, they have instant access to all of their coworkers, conversations, shared files and notifications ... not by email but in real time.

So how does that kill the video screen? Well I leave that up to your imagination, but it just got a whole lot easier for me to share my messages to my colleagues (and not get bogged down in email) within a micro business mission network and not have to create a playlist of content to get there.

Keith Kelsen is the author of "Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage — Content Strategies for the 5th Screen." More information about the book and the book's companion website can be found at His company, 5th Screen, is at Follow him on Twitter @KKelsen.

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