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In one of our company meetings recently a friend of ScreenCloud mentioned the term “information radiator”. At which point, at least five people in the room got out their phones and wrote this phrase down.
Why? Because it put into words exactly what we’re trying to create at ScreenCloud, using screens and what we think will be a huge trend in communication for 2019.
Passive vs active information consumption
When it comes to how a company communicates with its employees, most of the methods require the recipient to do something. To open an email, trawl through the company intranet, read a Slack message. Most “employee communication tools” are designed as a “pull” method where employees have to be active in order to receive the communication.
Yet in marketing, for centuries, we’ve been using the “push” method of communication to share information. If you think about the adverts you see on digital billboards, on the back of newspapers, on taxis, even the logos on clothes, they’re all passive methods of communicating a message. They push the message out, and they wait for it to be seen.
And, well, they work.
As digital channels like social media and search engine advertising have grown in popularity over the past decade, we’ve become obsessed with attribution. How many clicks, views or conversions something has. In TV or billboard advertising, attribution is really difficult.
Most brands can’t tell how many people have bought their hand cream from seeing a TV ad, but they know that somewhere along the way, it worked. Otherwise, why would TV advertising still be around?
We believe that the future of employee communication, at least partly, will be designed, just like outdoor advertising, around passive consumption.
What are information radiators?
Digital screens are one form of what we call “information radiators”. They push information out in the same way a radiator pushes out heat. The benefit, as shared above, is that employees can engage with this information throughout the day and as they go about their regular business.
Examples of how these information radiators might be used include:
- A screen which shares information about what specific companies are doing within a coworking space, designed to build collaboration and help different teams to meet.
- Company announcements and reminders, shared on screen throughout the day in lunch areas, or above a bank of desks.
- Ambient content like weather forecasts, currency rates and news feeds, shared within an office lobby.
- Statistics on customer service response times and ticket numbers, served near the customer service team and used to spark meetings, or discuss progress.
We have used many of these methods ourselves in the ScreenCloud London office and we were all surprised by the amount of information retained. No employee is working for eight hours per day with their head down, focused solely on their own screen. There are many moments where you need to stretch, take a break, have some water cooler time. During these times, screens help to push out interesting content that can be viewed.
In settings where there isn’t interesting, relevant information being pushed out, employees might fill this time with their own social media channels, or even a stretch of boredom. Which poses the question: why not provide teams with information that they can enjoy or learn from? Your information may help to keep them engaged and according to reports, employee engagement is the number one company challenge for 2019.
In the year ahead, we think more and more companies are going to adopt the power of the information radiator to keep their team updated with company news and engaged in internal communications, without adding yet another channel to the ever growing list of tabs.
Will you give it a go? Check out the 14-day free trial of ScreenCloud and begin building your own information radiators today.