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%.
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)
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.
[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.]