When you need to communicate something, signs work. Just look at the U.S. advertising expenditures on signs and billboards, which totals $17 billion annually. People don’t spend that kind of money on things that don’t work.
But saying that something works, or works effectively, are two different things. Take the sign pictured above I recently spotted locally. I’ll give the sign maker credit for being very clear about what they do, but would anyone really sell their house, their biggest lifetime investment, to someone who stuck a hand-lettered sign on a street corner?
There are similarities here to workplace communication signage; a $4 billion industry according to our research. Companies have long used both print and digital signage for the same reason that big advertisers do; because it works. But doing it effectively is tricky. So today I thought I’d write down a few tips on how NOT to communicate in the workplace; in this case using digital signs:
Don’t try to do it yourself.
When we look at our new customers and list what competitors we were up against in the sales process, the biggest category by far is ‘do it yourself.’ Typically, these companies tried a patchwork approach using TV screens they had laying around with some unused computers. They throw a copy of PowerPoint on them and think they’re done. But like the sign above, the result is usually unprofessional, the messaging looks hobbled together, and the content doesn’t change often enough.
Don’t get dazzled by high-profile vendors.
You should search for a vendor that matches up as closely as possible to what you’re trying to accomplish. There are hundreds of digital signage companies out there, of which only a tiny slice is dedicated to workplace communications. That’s where you want to shop. While it might be fun to work with a vendor that installed the NY Yankees jumbotron screens, they won’t have the right product to solve your communications problems.
Don’t force-feed your messaging.
As noted, the sign maker who did the work in the above photo nailed the messaging. You should too. For example, if you want to post KPIs, don’t upload a spreadsheet with 25 rows of data. Pick the top 2-3 stats, create charts, and display those. Don’t post a year’s worth of coming events; it’ll be too cluttered, and no one will remember them. Instead, post events for the next couple of weeks, and keep it updated as a regular feature. You get the idea – short, bite-sized learning.
With a little extra effort, doing it the right way will make a huge difference in your communications effectiveness. And once you’re up and running, it will be much easier and cost effective to manage.
START With Workplace Digital Signage the Right Way
Deliver the important workplace and home safety messages that keep your employees informed and motivated with Marlin’s Electronic Communication Station (ECS). Address key issues like teamwork, quality, diversity, and job safety along with news, sports, and weather to keep them engaged and coming back. Learn more here.