We have the best customers. Retriever customers understand the value of communication in their business, and we’re consistently impressed with their creativity as they find new ways to leverage digital signage for both internal and external communications.

One thing that’s true for all of our clients – and everyone really – is that we’re looking to find ways to add hours back in our week. No one has enough time and anything we can do to streamline our processes and do things in a more efficient way is one of the simplest ways to find some more time in your week.

Retriever was actually created as a solution to same time for our customers. DRM Productions has been helping businesses communicate more effectively for more than 35 years through a variety of media, and Retriever grew out of a need our customers had to communicate more effectively in the digital age… reducing hours spent on updating signage.

So here are a few tips to streamline your Retriever workflow to save you a little time (and if you’re already doing these time-saving things, great work!):

Schedule Publication and Unpublication

One of the best ways to take care of future you is to plan ahead when scheduling slides. If you schedule publication and unpublication, you won’t have to remember or take the time to turn off the slides that have expired.

For holiday-specific slides, take the time and schedule them out for a few years! One less thing to remember to do, and it will only take a few seconds of time to plan ahead.

If you’re not sure how to schedule, just watch this quick video tutorial:


Duplicate Slides 

If you’re recreating content for each playlist, or every time you make a new slide, it’s time to learn about the duplication feature. It’s actually really easy to do, and will save you time! Duplication is handy whether you’re trying to publish the same content across multiple playlists, or if you’re simply creating something similar – rather than spending time resetting colors and images, just duplicate the slide and tweak it for what you need.

This video shows you how:


Check Out the “What’s New” Category

Retriever users know the value of keeping things fresh both in the way things look as well as content. One easy and quick way to refresh your content is by simply changing the slide template and giving it a fresh look. We are frequently updating our slide templates, and rather than digging through each category, we put everything new in the “What’s New” category – check it out!

Whats-New-Category Retriever Digital Signage

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Why Your Existing Customers Go to the Competition Retriever Digital Signage

We’ve all been there. We think our loyal customers know what services or products we offer and then we’re caught off-guard when we find out that they’ve gone to a competitor for something we could do for them.

When that happens, a business questions their quality, pricing, or the loyalty of the customer, when in fact it might be another problem altogether that has lost the opportunity. More often than we realize, where we’re really dropping the ball is with communication.

When it comes to your loyal customers, they think they know you. They probably even think they know you well. So, unless you disrupt that perception with new information, they won’t even take the time to check with you or your website when the time comes to do something that they haven’t done with you before.

For example, imagine you own a high-end restaurant with a loyal base of clientele, and you also offer catering. Your restaurant business is booming, but you start to notice that several of your regular customers are booking their catering with another restaurant for all of their holiday parties. In casual conversation, one even says, “You know, you really ought to cater! We’d hire you in a second!” Of course, you inform them that you do offer that and that you’d love to cater for them in the future.

The reason opportunities like that slip through your fingers with even your most loyal customers is because you haven’t communicated that information effectively.

When you want to disrupt the status quo and get someone’s attention for something new, you need to catch their eye, be concise, and repeat the message.

People love to look at beautiful things – it’s why we put backgrounds on our computer and phone screens and decorate our homes and spend a fortune on clothing. Because we are drawn to things that look good.

We also love to look at things that are dynamic. The evidence is everywhere: video is a more effective tool than static imagery. In fact, Facebook reports that video is 5x more engaging than static imagery. So, if you want to catch someone’s eye, you need to make sure your message is delivered in a visual compelling way.

Then, once you have their attention, you need to be concise. You have seconds to communicate your message, so don’t waste that time with anything but the point. If you want your customers to know that you offer catering, tell them you offer catering, and how they can get more information. Don’t bury catering in a long list of other extended service offerings, or in a mixed message. Be concise.

Finally, don’t expect to tell people once and have it stick. On average, people need to hear a message seven times before they’re ready to make a decision about something. That doesn’t mean that your server should bring it up at the table seven times – but be creative with repetition and find touch points that will be gentle, non-pushy reminders of that information so that, when the time comes that your customer is ready to make a decision, you’re on the top of the list… just the way you are when they ask themselves, “Where do you want to go out to eat tonight?”

We’d love to help you find the breakdowns in your communication strategy. If that would be helpful, click here to schedule a free 30 minute communications consultation.

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Retriever Digital Signage

Not all digital signage is created equal. In fact, when it comes to making a decision about which way to go, it can be a little overwhelming to weigh the benefits and features of the various options on the market and make the right decision for your business.

If you know that digital signage is right for your company, then you realize that visually engaging communication solves a lot of problems you have – both internal and external. But, choosing the right approach can feel a little daunting.

As digital signage experts, we’re obviously a little biased – but for good reason. We literally created Retriever Digital Signage as a solution that our customers needed to communicate more effectively. But, we know that Retriever is just one of the options available, and ultimately we want to see you find the answer that best solves your communication problems.

With that being said, we think there are a few key features you should be looking for with whatever digital signage solution you decide to employ.

Engaging Content (without extra effort)

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your digital signage is to turn it into static signage, simply by not utilizing its full capabilities. Digital signage is an effective solution because it’s visually engaging, has the capacity to have relevant, fresh content every day (and throughout the day!), and can catch the eye with moving images and video.

If you have digital signage and are simply cycling through a slideshow of static images or text, then you haven’t leveraged the power of this tool in your business.


Everybody’s busy, but we know that’s especially true for our customers. Business owners, marketing professionals, HR professionals are constantly in need of hours back in their week – and tools that require a lot of energy and attention cause more harm than help. That’s why automated scheduling, syncing, and content is key to effective digital signage.

The user needs to be able to update digital signage everywhere from anywhere, whenever they have the time and be able to schedule publication and unpublication at any time. If your digital signage solution does not have this feature, one of two things will happen: 1) you’ll be wasting hours every week to keep it current, or more likely 2) it will turn into irrelevant, outdated content and people will stop paying attention to it.

Ease of Use

Yes, we live in the age of technology, but we believe that as technology advances, so should the user experience. If you’re tech savvy, that’s awesome, but the reality is that ease of use on the software and hardware side should be universally palatable for everyone – whether you’re a technophobe or a web developer.

Digital signage that is simple to set up, update and navigate means that anyone can be tasked with managing it, and it doesn’t have to become the responsibility of the IT department (or the person who’s become the self-appointed IT professional in your office).


If you’re making a decision about what digital signage is the right option for you, we want to help you find the best option. We’ve created a free downloadable comparison sheet comparing a variety of options on the market – feature for feature – to help you make an informed, smart decision.

Download the Digital Signage Comparison Sheet

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3 Symptoms of a Communication Problem Retriever Digital Signage

Excellent communication is critical for success in every business, industry, and job function. When businesses have a communication problem, however, they often focus on treating the symptoms of that problem rather than addressing the core issue.

Whether your communication breakdown is internal or external, ineffective communication is likely at the heart of many of the other issues you see in your business each day. Here are three symptoms that you might be seeing in your business that are indicative of a communication breakdown:

Symptom #1: Difficulty Implementing Changes

One of the simplest way to tell if you have a problem with communication is by evaluating your business’s ability to implement change. When you roll out a new procedure or initiative, how nimble is your team? Teams that communicate well are able to have productive meetings that result in actionable steps towards change. However, when a team doesn’t communicate well, change can be doubly hard.

What this looks like:

Your team has a meeting about a new procedure for time tracking. Following the meeting, one or two employees begin to abide by the new procedure, a couple of employees are partially in compliance, and a majority of employees disregard the change. You grow frustrated and send an email reminding everyone about the change. At the next staff meeting, you bring it up again. Compliance happens slowly, which is frustrating, and you spend a lot of time repeating yourself.

Symptom #2: Difficulty Attracting New Business

One of the most frustrating symptoms of communication breakdowns for a small business is when potential customers settle for your competition simply because they didn’t know you offered the solution they needed.

What this looks like:

You own a small, established retail business in a mid-size community with a loyal customer base. While at a social gathering, you’re introduced to someone who asks what you do and you tell them about your store. They say, “Oh my goodness! I had no idea you were there! I just purchased something from [your competitor], but if I’d known I would have come to you! I guess I’ll have to stop in some time.”

Symptom #3: Your Customers Don’t Know Your Full Offerings

Whether you’re a business owner or a marketing professional, you are constantly in the business of educating your customer. The reality is, every customer is on a journey with your business, and you’re responsible for meeting them where they are. When your customers don’t know about your full line of products and services, that’s a symptom that you’re not communicating effectively.

What this looks like:

You own a fine jewelry store in your community and have an expert jeweler on staff for repairs and custom pieces. Your customers primarily take advantage of your repair services and retail business, but you rarely get any custom orders. A long-time loyal customer comes into the store with a new custom piece that they ordered from an online artisan, and they’d like you to appraise it for insurance purposes. You’re grateful that they came to you for the appraisal, but disappointed that you missed the opportunity to do custom work for this customer, who may have come to you if they had known you offered the service.


If any of these symptoms sound familiar, we’d love to help. We are hosting a free webinar where we’ll give you seven strategies to dramatically improve your communication. Just click here to sign up!

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Clear Fork Schools Spotlight Retriever Digital Signage

At Retriever Digital Signage, we love seeing the inventive ways our clients leverage their digital signage to be effective communicators. The leadership at Clear Fork Schools uses Retriever to transform communication in their district… and do so much more.

Using Retriever Digital Signage in the Clear Fork school buildings has decreased the amount of wasteful paper reminders and updates, empowered their students, and further developed a culture of appreciation for all achievements and special moments.

By placing digital signage throughout the school building, a student’s eye is drawn to the screen and the message is received, thanks to the visually captivating design of the slides. Moreover, last minute changes are no longer a communications crisis, because digital signage can be updated instantly!

“With the technology that they’re used to, with the iPhones, the computers, the iPads — you name it, they’ve got it — this is just another branch of that technology and they certainly are attracted to it,” shares one of the teachers.

Schools like Clear Fork employing digital signage that equip their students with the ability to program the Retriever slides are providing experience in communications, learning skills valued by a 21st century workforce. The user-friendly interface ensures that anyone with computer proficiency is able to master the Retriever system, along with the freedom to take the interface to the next level with video and graphic design.

“It’s all about the kids, not just the athletes, the whole school, and that’s what’s really neat,” shares Kerri Gottfried, a softball coach for the district. “A lot of kids don’t see their pictures or their names in the paper, but they see their name on there for their birthdays, they see their picture if they’re in a play… it’s a great tool because it covers everyone and it makes them all feel important.”

Teachers and administrators know that promoting a sense of belonging to their students increases student engagement, attendance, performance and decreases behavioral incidents, but finding ways to do that can be a challenge for an already over-extended staff. Digital signage has offered a meaningful tool to celebrate birthdays, achievements in the classroom, extracurricular activities, the arts, athletics… every way you can imagine to celebrate your students, you can utilize digital signage to achieve maximum impact.

Additionally, Clear Fork has partnered with local employers to communicate special promotions, job opportunities, and volunteer opportunities. We love the way that Retriever is connecting the school district with the community.

How are you using your Retriever Digital Signage in a creative way? Reach out and tell us about it, and you might just find yourself as our next Client Spotlight!

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Is It Important to Look Good? Retriever Digital Signage

Culturally, we’re constantly making decisions about what gets our attention. With so many things vying for our attention, we can be choosy, and we choose what appeals to us.

If you have a message you’re trying to communicate, and no one is paying attention, ask yourself whether you’ve delivered it in a way that you would pay attention to it.

The importance of visual appeal affects how we perceive something, how we act in response to something, and how we remember it (Usabilla, 2017). In short, when something is interesting, it holds the viewer’s attention longer, allowing more time for the desired message to communicate.

“Studies of eye-tracking have indicated that people spend more time soaking in the pictures, infographics and visual content on a site than they do reading the text.” Furthermore, the impact of video on a web experience can drive traffic up by 41%! (USA Today, 2017)

You’ve probably experienced the power of visual appeal throughout your work and personal life.

If you’ve ever literally judged a book by its cover, opted to create a chart instead of only delivering a spreadsheet, determined which piece of possible junk mail to open, clicked on a digital ad, or spent even a minute on the internet, you’ve seen the impact of what something visually interesting can do to your level of engagement.

Learning to communicate effectively can be a huge challenge, but we’d love to help you become a better communicator. Click here to register for our next free webinar on the 7 Simple Ways to Dramatically Increase Communication in Your Business, where you’ll walk away with 7 tools to help you communicate more effectively and efficiently.

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Retriever Digital Signage

At DRM Productions, we’re all about helping people communicate more effectively. For 35 years, our business has been in service of helping people and businesses to communicate well, leveraging modern technology in service of great communication.

In fact, Retriever Digital Signage came about as a solution to communication problems our clients were having. Our customers needed to get their messages out in a more effective way than using bulletin boards, static signage, or other forms of print messaging, without having to hire a full-time tech support and graphic design team.

As the world changes, so does communication. Eyes are simply more drawn to screens than static signage in the digital world. If you want to get your message across, the first thing that you have to do is catch someone’s attention. We created Retriever as a solution that is visually appealing and content-rich, auto-updating with fresh and interesting content so that it is eye-catching and engaging for anyone within view.

The reality is, there are many solutions to the communication problems you might be having, but we’ve done our best to make sure that Retriever is the most feature-rich and user friendly option on the market. That said, as you consider your options you might be asking yourself what the alternatives are.

So, we thought it would be helpful to break down some of the key features of signage solutions on the market for you in this downloadable comparison chart. If you’re weighing your options, click the button below.

Check Out the Signage Comparison Chart

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The Biggest Challenge Facing Small Business Owners Retriever Digital Signage

As small business owners ourselves, we get it – ensuring that your customers and employees are happy with your business while maintaining an appropriate amount of growth and a healthy ROI can be a constant balancing act.

Small business owners wear a number of hats and may function in a number of roles on their org chart, so making the claim that there’s one singular challenge facing all small business owners is painting with broad strokes, to be certain.

However, we see our clients and our peers facing the same issues regardless of industry, business size, or experience. The biggest challenge facing all small business owners is communication.

After all, owners have to communicate effectively with their employees and their customers, as well as teach their team to do the same while still focusing on the business, the product, and the work that’s on their plate. Effective communication and processes around excellent communication is paramount – and poor communication is likely wasting a lot of time and money.

We’ve all been there: we’ve been in a staff meeting and rolled out a new process, and everyone paid attention and nodded and then went into the week and nothing changed. It can feel like your communication is falling on deaf ears!

So, you send out a company-wide email, and you say it again at the next staff meeting. The repetition and the frustration wastes more time and eventually one of two things happen: you give up or you spend even more time trying to implement change.

Eventually, the new process becomes a habit and you move onto the next thing, but shouldn’t one meeting be enough to effect change?

In theory: sure, it should. But the reality is that repetition is the mother of all studies, meaning, your people – employees or customers! – need to hear something repeated on average seven times before they’re ready to make a change.

Your time is valuable and you shouldn’t have to spend it repeating yourself, even if that’s what the people around you need. There should be a way to automate these new initiatives and streamline your communications so that you can use your time doing the things that made you want to own a business in the first place.

We actually created a webinar to help you streamline your communications, and we’d love to share it with you for free. In it, you’ll learn about seven tools that will dramatically improve your communications internally, saving you time and money. Register for the next session here. 

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Client Spotlight: Richland County Dog Shelter Retriever Digital Signage

The Richland County Dog Shelter has been able to leverage one of the best features of their Retriever Digital Signage to get the word out about the good work they’re doing.

Because the Richland County Dog Shelter is in a community where many businesses have deployed Retriever Digital Signage, they have been able to partner with local businesses to share slides and better reach the community beyond their doors, ensuring that every pet is able to find a family.

“It’s important that we have many outlets to reach out to the community. One of the top ways for us to be successful is to use the Retriever system. It’s a way that we can get the dogs here into the community that has provided us a lot of success, shares Dave Jordan, the Richland County Dog Warden.”

Partnering with local businesses that have a higher volume of traffic, like Mechanics Bank and Dunkin Jewelers, the Richland County Dog Shelter is able to get their message out to more people than they could reach on their own.

The shelter sends slides such as a “Pet of the Week” slide to area businesses, featuring a photo of an adorable animal in need of a home, to the businesses they’ve partnered with, which takes only a moment to be included in those business’s Retriever playlists, and is at no cost to either the Richland County Dog Shelter or the businesses they’re partnered with.

There are significant benefits to the businesses who partner with the shelter, as well. By incorporating community-oriented slides into the playlist, it keeps the playlists fresh and relevant, retaining viewer engagement more actively and ultimately getting their messages across more effectively too!

Additionally, businesses are able to showcase their core values through their community partnerships and share that with their customers, who may also hold some of the same interests and values. In partnerships like these, everyone wins – especially the animals!

Kristi Lord, Marketing Director for Mechanics Bank understands this, which is why she’s partnered with the dog shelter. “You’re helping the community, you’re helping organizations in the community, you’re helping animals, you’re helping families… it’s overall a very positive, great message to send as a business.”

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Four Great Ways to Express Your Gratitude to Your Team Retriever Digital Signage

The greatest asset of any business is the people who work there, but it’s easy to lose track of opportunities to show your team how much they matter in the day-to-day hustle and bustle.

While expressing gratitude and appreciation to your team feels like a soft HR concept, it actually has a significant impact on a business’ bottom line.

Expressing gratitude to your team will both improve your workplace culture and can help you retain your great employees long term. In fact, according to Forbes in a recent study, 66% of employees expressed they would leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated. (That number jumps to 76% if your workforce is primarily millennials).

So, how do you express gratitude to your team in a way that is effective and sustainable in your day-to-day business?

Here are just a few ideas that you can put to work for you right away:

Celebrate Small (& Big) Victories

When your team members have a win at work or at home, celebrate it! Did someone complete a complicated training program?  Make a record sale? Did someone compete in a race? Meet a goal weight? Did their child make honor roll?

Put into place a system for acknowledging the wins and letting their friends submit acknowledgments on their behalf, and sharing that with the whole team.

Your Retriever Digital Signage is a great tool for sharing these wins with the whole team in a super visible way that will not only inspire people to congratulate each other, but will also remind them to share other successes with your HR department.

Personal Notes/Emails

Words of encouragement, especially written ones, can serve as a needed reminder of appreciation both when they’re received and on the hard, long days. By writing down a personal note to someone, the words on the page carry a greater significance and permanence that can boost an employee’s confidence and remind them of their valued place on your team. Well worth the few minutes it takes to write a note!

Surprise Them

Few things put a smile on the face of your team like a welcome surprise. Surprises have the benefit of being unexpected, which means that no one feels entitled to them. Moreover, a surprise “out of the blue” staff appreciation can be incredibly meaningful for your team.

Just be sure it’s something the whole team can enjoy, repeatable scalable for the future, otherwise future surprises might pale in comparison to the time that everyone got a free car.

Some great surprises that are great for boosting a team’s morale that might work for your office include a catered lunch (just be sure to provide for your food restrictions as well), gift cards, a surprise paid half day off, chair massages, or live music in the lunch room.

Simply Say “Thank You”

Sometimes all it takes is a heartfelt “thank you.” Sure, people shouldn’t have to be thanked for doing their job, but gratitude is always appreciated and helps to motivate your team and give them a deeper sense of belonging as a part of your staff.

You can say thank you at a staff meeting, in your Retriever playlist, on a company email, or individually – however you decide, just remember that without a great staff, your business wouldn’t be able to do anything successfully! That’s something to feel grateful about.

If you’re looking for some more ways to create a culture of belonging on your team, we believe it all starts with excellent communication… so much so that we wrote a book about it! You can download it here, for free:
Download our Communications Guide

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