Help, I just inherited a workplace digital signage system!

Tag, you’re it! Suddenly you own the digital signage program for your company. Yikes! Where do you start?

Basically you need to know 3 things:

1. How does it work?
2. What is your content strategy?
3. Who can help?

How does it work?
If you’re lucky, you’ll have access to the person who owned it before you. If not, make a beeline for your IT department. They can tell you whether it’s a homegrown solution, and if so, who built it. They’ll also know if it was purchased from a digital signage vendor. The best case scenario is the latter because your vendor can provide training and support. So, whether you’re sitting down with your predecessor, your IT guy or talking to your vendor, here’s what you need to find out:

• How do you post and schedule a piece of content?
• What kinds of files are supported?
• How do you add, edit and manage users and assign permissions?
• What happens if it isn’t working?

Hopefully, once you get these basic answers down, you’ll be thinking, ‘I can do this!’

What is your content strategy?
At its best, digital signage is a very effective tool for marketing your messages to your employees in a way that will engage and inform. At its worst, it’s a bad bulletin board with repetitive or boring content that no one looks at.

Of course you’ll want your digital signage to be the best, so you’ll need to do some homework. What is the main objective for your digital signage program?  Companies often want to improve communication, build a culture of safety awareness, communicate consistently across the enterprise or increase engagement. By identifying that goal, it is much easier to map out the right content to support it. Here are some best practices:

• Understand your audience. Who are they, where are they and what do they need to know?
• Keep it visual. Pictures, illustrations and videos will grab your employees’ attention and help them retain your message.
• Make it personal. Don’t forget to recognize anniversaries, birthdays and milestones. It’s easy to do and it makes employees feel great.
• Have some fun. We all need to laugh more. There’s nothing like humor to attract attention and get people talking. Whether it’s cartoons, videos, games or contests, it’s the element of fun that is sure to increase engagement.

Who can help?
Don’t be a martyr. Great digital signage programs are all about care and feeding. It takes a lot of content to run 24/7. You don’t have to go it alone.

1. Get other contributors. Tap into the power of subject matter experts for content creation. HR, Safety, Corporate Communications, Marketing, Sales or Customer Service can help produce an effective mix of content.
2. Set a schedule so that everyone knows how often they need to post content, and you can be sure of having fresh content posted regularly.
3. Run a survey to find out what your employees want to see on the screens.
4. Form a creative team. Encourage employees to contribute pictures and videos.

Try out these strategies and in no time you’ll feel like an expert. Good luck!

Jude Carter
December 30, 2015

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