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What can digital signs on plasma screens add to your internal comms channel mix?

Screens can be much more than just a modern-day notice board. They can use video, infographics, PowerPoint, RSS news feeds, offering everything from corporate messages, reminders and news alerts to weather or traffic updates.

February’s InsideOut – the free magazine for IoIC members - consulted a panel of experts (including a channel manager, a digital software expert and comms agencies) to come up with 10 ways to make digital signs work for you...

The first three are:

1. Content is king:

As with all comms, the message is all-important whether it’s aiming to inspire, inform or remind. Jules Mascharenas, head of moving image at RadleyYeldar: “You have to create content and programme it accordingly. What function are those screens playing within which comms campaign? Use them as a heads up – ‘You’re going to hear about this in due course’ – or a reminder after you’ve launched something. You can inspire or intrigue people by posing questions or quizzes to get people talking. But, whatever you’re doing, you must think about

2. Keep it short:

No-one is sitting down specifically to read these messages so they must be attention-grabbing, a few words or a short video clip. Jules Mascharenas: “Most of our films for other comms channels will have music or voiceover or people speaking directly to you. That’s not really an option here. You’ve got to deliver that narrative by other means – that means text on screen. It’s really important to design that really well, to animate it. Otherwise it’s a PowerPoint slide… For a film on a digital sign, usually 10-15 seconds is the optimum.”

3. Think image:

Most of the time there will be no sound, so your imagery and/or typography needs to be eye-catching. Kevin Chapple, global IC channel development & content manager for RS Components: “As we’re an international company, we use a lot of info-graphics - it doesn’t need a lot of translation because it’s not text heavy.” Martin Brown, operations director at digital signage company Sabercom Ltd: “People are walking by or passing by and you have five seconds to capture their attention, so a scrolling image rather than a static one is probably best.”

IoIC members can read the other seven tips in February’s InsideOut, which also contains:

  • Cathy Brown of Engage For Success talking about how the acceleration of change is affecting engagement and comms
  • Rob Goffee, author of Why Should Anyone Work Here?, urges communicators to ‘Tell the truth…before somebody else does.’
  • The lowdown on a new 10-point report on creating trust in your workforce.
  • Jo Ann Sweeney accuses internal comms of not bridging the ‘chasm’ between what leaders want employees to know and what’s being communicated.
  • Dixons Carphone is the star of this month’s Spotlight.

To read or download February's InsideOut, Institute members should log in at the top right of this screen. You’ll then find InsideOut in ‘IoIC Knows’– simply click on ‘Publications’ in the drop-down menu.
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