Workplace Digital Signage: Getting Started Right

I’m always surprised at how many companies skip one of the most critical steps in launching their workplace digital signage programs. Plenty of attention is paid to choosing the right hardware and software. Then there’s a bunch of discussion around digital signage content (though usually not enough). But almost no attention is paid to promoting and “advertising” the program itself.

Whether you have 1 screen or 100, or you’re using it for safety or corporate messaging, all programs have one thing in common. They are delivering important information that employees need to read. So in the end it’s all about engagement. If you’re doing it right, your content will be highly visual, and designed to grab attention. So, do yourself a favor and give the whole initiative a boost by setting the stage properly.

Here’s how you do it. Start out by answering these questions:

1. Why are you doing it? Tell everyone what your objective is. Only you can answer this. (At least I hope you can.) Maybe it’s to build a culture of safety awareness. Or it’s to improve communication as a result of low scores on employee surveys. Or it’s a way to communicate HQ stuff consistently to all while still making local information available.
2. What are you calling your program? Give it a great name that aligns with your objective. Make sure all your screens display that name and your company logo in a banner across the top. Then be sure to use the name, or its abbreviation. Whatever you do, please don’t call it “the TV”.
3. What will they see? Give them specific examples of the kind of content they can expect to see. CEO videos, weather maps, lunch menus, KPIs, HR announcements, job postings, etc.
4. Why should they care? Visual communication is a fun way to stay informed and learn about what’s going on. Everyone has the attention span of a gnat. This is another way to grab their attention, engage, entertain and inform.
5. What has changed because of it? One of the best ways to drive engagement is to regularly post certain information that can only be seen on the screens. Information or pictures that were previously sent by email, included in a newsletter or posted on a bulletin board can now go on your digital signage screens. Birthdays, recognition photos, new employee announcements, sales standings, etc.
6. Who is on the content team? Let everyone know who is posting content. Make it easy for your employees to provide feedback and share ideas.

Now that you’ve got your story together, it’s time to spread the word.

• Blast it out across all communication channels: email, Intranet, social media, newsletters and bulletin boards.
• Announce it in company meetings.
• Use the screens themselves showing a PPT or video “advertising” the objective and the benefits.
• Send out a survey to solicit ideas, feedback and even volunteers who might want to contribute photos, videos, or creative support. (You’d be surprised at how much untapped creativity abounds in your company. No doubt you and the content team could use the extra help!)

And remember, it’s never too late to re-launch or re-invigorate an existing digital signage program.

Jude Carter
January 21, 2016

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