New Tools to Cut Communications Clutter

Each work day, employees are bombarded with information – posters, bulletin boards, banners, meetings, emails, flyers, intranet stories, desktop items.  You name it, everywhere your employees look, they are surrounded by communications clutter.

And the advent of new technologies hasn’t helped.  Remember when email was the new, shiny object that would allow us to reach employees quickly, effectively and at no cost?

Nowadays, most employee communicators are happy if their email newsletter open rate is above 30%.

Reducing communications clutter is a personal passion of mine — which is why I was particularly interested in two exhibitors from this year’s IABC World Conference, Media Tile and SnapComms.

Media Tile

Digital signage isn’t a new concept to the manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality industries, where employees don’t sit in front of a computer all day. 

In fact, back in the mid-1990s, I tried to convince my company to make better use of the TV monitors in the employee cafeteria – currently showing soap operas and game shows – with a service that could broadcast a slideshow of information and announcements instead.  Sadly, I was not successful.

That’s why I almost walked past the Media Tile booth without a glance.  But once I’d chatted with the rep, I was glad I stopped.

What makes Media Tile unique is that their digital signage does not run off a company’s network, so it doesn’t requires any IT support.

No, that was not a typo…no IT support needed. It’s not a cable or satellite TV system, either.

Instead, the monitors connect via a secure cellular network (such as Verizon Wireless, AT&T or Sprint), and the software is compatible to both current 3G and 4G networks.  In short, all you need to install and run Media Tile’s digital signs is an electrical outlet and a location where you can get a signal on your cell phone or PDA.

Better still, you don’t have to be a web designer to create and update images.   The company provides a web-based portal that helps communicators create and upload content, develop playlists and schedule specific updates.

(Media Tile – www.mediatile.com)

SnapComms

The folks at the SnapComms booth were a bit surprised when I literally stopped in my tracks to watch their demo. The reason – they were showing another conference attendee how their system can be used for internal crisis communications.

It was love at first sight.

SnapComms is a desktop client that allows employees to customize the information they want to see, but gives the administrator the ability to push out critical information.

It’s like your personalized Yahoo! or Google homepage, in a corporate environment.

SnapComms lets employees sign up for specific RSS feeds of interest to them (work-life programs, departmental news, industry and competitor updates, etc.) and pulls the feeds into a customized “newsletter” template.

There’s also a scrolling banner, a ticker that can be activated to notify employees of network outages, special events, etc.

And in the event of a crisis, the snap alert tool will activate a pop-up alert onto every employee desktop to notify them of breaking news.

Additional tools include a library of customizable screensavers, a polling feature and a suite of social media-like tools that reside within your firewall.

(SnapComms – www.snapcomms.com)

I’ve got to believe that either one of these new tools, if used properly, will go a long way toward cutting the clutter and streamlining employee communications.

Susan

[Disclaimer:  I did not receive any compensation or consideration for mentioning either Media Tile or SnapComms in this post.  However, I did take one of SnapComm’s mint candies.  Yum.]

About Susan Rink

Susan C. Rink is president and owner of Rink Strategic Communications, LLC (www.rinkcomms.com) and a partner in Triple Play Consulting.
This entry was posted in Employee Communication Technologies, Employee Communications - General and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to New Tools to Cut Communications Clutter

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention New Tools to Cut Communications Clutter « Take Note: Employee Communications Strategies That Work -- Topsy.com

  2. JB Haber says:

    >>> currently showing soap operas and game shows.

    These days the TVs are showing either Faux News or ESPN.

  3. JB Haber says:

    Sorry to bother you again, Susan. But if the Media Tile people are reading this, they should know that their “Contact Us” page “could not be found.” I was going to ask them to make their font larger on their web site. You’d think a sign company would understand the concept of large (enough) type and significant contrast (why the gray type?).

    • Susan Rink says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Jon. I did get a note from someone at Media Tile about my blog — I’ll shoot him a note with your comment.

      Susan

      PS – You made me laugh with the “Faux News” comment!

  4. Gordon Young says:

    Great post — I just shared the MediaTile info with a group of 24 project managers as a way to broadcast team-specific info across sites without requiring team members to chain themselves to their desks or PDA’s. They seemed very interested. Thanks for the great info, Susan!

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