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Making strategic use of your employees' 'second screens'

| by Frank Kenna
Making strategic use of your employees' 'second screens'

You may be wondering what I mean by a "second screen." It refers to the smartphone or tablet that people use while watching a primary screen. For example, a recent Nielsen report stated that 86 percent of smartphone owners use their devices as second screens while watching TV. If they're doing it with their TVs at home, then they're doing it at work with your digital signage, too.

So how can you take advantage of this phenomenon? That same report notes the importance of the "three Rs" — reach, resonance and reaction. Let's take a look at each factor and see how you can make them work for you.

Reach – The reason you use digital signage is to broadcast your messages to as wide an audience as possible, right? Knowing that many of your employees have a second screen, you want to be thinking about ways your messaging can also appear there. One way to do this is to use QR codes on your content. For example, let's say your HR department posts a piece on your revised 401k plan. Put a QR code on it that's set to download the piece onto the employee's device, who can then forward it to a spouse at home. That's a great way to increase reach beyond the workplace.

Resonance – Using the QR code idea above also helps with resonance, because bringing that content into the home will cause discussion and action on it. Or another example could be to set the code to redirect the employee's device to a related website for more information. The website can have much more information on a subject than you can fit onto a piece of digital signage content, causing more time spent on the subject and more thorough understanding. For instance, using the 401k example above, the code could open a website on the employee's device that explains the investment choices and real-time performance of the plan.

Another idea is to have a contest on a particular subject. Let's say you have a health issue with people lifting properly. Ask employees to take photos of proper lifting with their devices and email them to a particular email address you've noted on a piece of content. This will make the photographers much more involved with thinking about lifting, and the resulting photos will make your subsequent content much more resonant because they're from, and of, fellow employees.

Reaction – Most managers want to get feedback from their people. Using the second screen is a good way to do this. One way is to simply put a "respond to" email address on any piece of content that you post. This works well since any employee can use this even if they don't have a smart device. Or use a QR code and set it to automatically open a blank email pre-addressed with the correct email address. Or set it to launch a brief survey.

Using these concepts can make a real difference in connecting with your employees, and getting your messaging widely distributed and better understood. Give them a try!

Topics: Content Management, Corporate Communication, Mobile Interactivity

Frank Kenna
Frank Kenna III is CEO and President of The Marlin Co., which helps improve safety, employee morale, productivity and performance through its workplace digital signage products. He is responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction and developing new ideas to help implement workplace communication programs. www

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