back to school digital signage ideas

There’s nothing like the first days of school to reset your routine and start some great habits for the new year. This school year, engage your students with your compelling and interesting digital signage. We recommend incorporating these elements:

Sporting Events

Whether it’s details for attendance, highlights from the last game, or great photos from recent events, your digital signage can keep up-to-the-minute details about your sporting events well before the school paper hits the press.

Arts & Cultural Events

Get your whole campus engaged with the upcoming concerts, recitals, theatre performances, and share highlights from each. You can even easily showcase student art on your Retrievers, drawing people into the gallery or the upcoming art show.

News Headlines & Weather

Retriever Digital Signage Weather

Keep your students connected with the community and run local headlines and weather updates. Through our built-in integration with Richland Source, it couldn’t be more simple!

Twitter

We’ve made it simple with Twitter integration to show 5 of your recent tweets on your screens. Whether or not the students follow you online, that content can recycle onto your screens for maximum impact, with minimum effort!

Emergency Information

Emergency Alert Retriever Digital SignageWhile you never want to be in a campus-wide emergency, it’s helpful to know that you can quickly and easily deploy an emergency alert via your digital signage as a part of your emergency action plan. Simply select one of the “Alert” slides and drop it in the “Alert” position on your signage, and you’ll have disseminated critical information in a matter of seconds.


Can we help tailor your digital signage strategy to fit the needs of your student body? Or, perhaps, you’re ready to take the next step with digital signage? Either way, let’s connect.

 

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Students Create Digital Signage

Employing digital signage across your campus is the smart way to get and keep students engaged.  If you really want to keep students engaged, get them involved in the content creation for the digital signage. After all, who knows better than students what students want to see and will respond to?

By engaging your students in your digital content creation and management, you not only take the burden off of your administrative staff and faculty, you give your students experience with a valuable skill in communications, graphic design, and content management. What’s more, no one is more on pulse with the student body than they are. The messaging will be authentic and engaging simply because it’s coming from their own.

Overnight, trends in communication among teens and young adults change as new social media channels and messaging apps come on the scene. It’s unlikely that your administrative team is on top of these changes in the way that students are, not to mention that students have great eyes for appealing design and content.

As trends and viral content hit the student body, your students will know about it and can integrate it into your digital signage. Imagine if your student body had embraced the Mannequin Challenge within the first day it went viral on your digital signage? Students will clue into what’s happening when the content is relevant, knowing both registration deadlines and having fun!

Choosing a proactive messaging strategy, rather than a reactive one, keeps students engaged with your digital signage on a daily basis. What’s more, when you give students the responsibility for your campus digital signage, they will feel a sense of ownership which will breed new, creative ideas beyond all of our wildest dreams.

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Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 9.45.11 AM

Whatever your message may be, it’s always a good time to spruce up your photos or videos. Since most of us don’t have a graphic designer on our team, and even if you do, a few handy and free (or close to free) tools can really change the game when it comes to eye-catching displays.

Here are a few of our favorite resources:

Canva

Canva

Canva is graphic design for everyone without all of the expensive tools. With many great preset templates, a tremendous stock photo library, and great customizable features, Canva’s a simple way to step up your signage game.

Create a slide by selecting their preset “Presentation 16:9″ template, then customize from there. (Pro tip: be sure to download your design as a .JPG file!) When you’re ready to upload to your Retriever, simply choose “Pictures” as your slide type and upload under “Slide Details.”

 

Unsplash

Unsplash

 

Unsplash is a beautifully curated collection of stock photos available for commercial use without photo credit. Use our custom templates and simply drop in a photo that perfectly communicates your message, without spending a dime! Bonus: Unsplash offers a weekly newsletter featuring the best images of each week that you can subscribe to and save yourself a search!

 

Pexels

Pexels

 

Catch the eyes of your audience with beautiful video content in your digital signage, without breaking the bank for pricy stock videos. Once you’re ready to turn your video into a sharp slide, drop it into your favorite video editor and add all of your important details. 5 minutes, and you’ll be set to go!


If you’re not looking to do all the hard work yourself, reach out! Our skilled team of creators is ready to help make your digital signage dazzle with beautiful images and videos! Click here to contact us.

 

 

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Malabar-farm-restaurant-2

When a small restaurant is great, the owners have to plan for a comfortable wait time for guests as they arrive without a reservation. Adequate seating and space is job one, of course, but once a restaurant’s guests have settled in, you have an opportunity to engage them before they ever see the menu.

Malabar Farm Restaurant is a beloved regional favorite in North Central Ohio. Set on the farm of  the Pulitzer Prize winning author, farmer and conservationist Louis Bromfield, its picturesque view and outstanding upscale cuisine sets it apart as a local treasure.

Co-owner Kim Williams shares, “We have limited seating, so often I have people waiting in the lobby. Although our wait time isn’t long, it’s usually between 10 and 20 minutes, that’s still time I can use to give them information… I like to use the Retriever to advertise the fact that we cater weddings now and the different venues available.”

malabar_retriever1

During wait times, Williams also utilizes the Retriever screens to promote current and upcoming specials, encourage reservations for holidays, share featured menu items, and celebrate important occasions for her guests.

“I can celebrate anniversaries and birthdays for guests, which they think is awesome, to see ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ on my Retriever screens. The guests really like it,” shares Williams.

Having Retriever screens on site also allows Malabar Farm Restaurant to exchange advertising with other local businesses. By simply trading slides with other area businesses, both businesses expand their audience with no additional expense and maximum impact.

Williams testifies, “The Retriever is so easy to put my information on. Everything is at my fingertips. I just put my picture on that I want or they have preloaded items you can choose from… They’re very easy to put on, you can move the slides around, change the order that they’re in, it’s really quite something!”

While service needs are rare, occasionally an issue arises. DRM Productions prides itself in being available and ready to help in a pinch. “I very rarely have issues, but when I do, they fix it straight away. I can call, text or email and they’ll fix it as soon as I notify them,” shares Williams.

If you’re ready to optimize your guests’ wait time, we’re ready to help! Click here to get in touch.

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Pet Adoptions increase with Retriever Digital Signage

The Richland County business community is coming together to partner with the Richland County Dog Shelter to ensure that every pet finds its family, thanks to the Retriever Digital Signs throughout the region.

“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, Richland County Dog Warden.

The Richland County Dog Shelter partners with high traffic local businesses like Mechanics Bank and Dunkin Jewelers to promote pet adoption in the area. Featuring slides like, “Pet of the Week,” and tips for pet safety, area businesses can easily help spread an important message with minimal time commitment (it literally takes just seconds) and no additional cost.

Pet Adoption DRM Retriever

“It’s handled, it’s prepared, it’s ready to go. It’s done really well. They’re professional-looking slides and fit the mix of everything else that we have on our Retriever system. And, it’s easy to use. It’s a great story to see a dog find a forever family through our Pet of the Week program,” shares Kristi Lord, Marketing Director at Mechanics Bank.

Mixing in community-oriented slides, like the Pet of the Week from the local dog shelter, also helps to increase viewer engagement with your promotional slides, while making your community a better place in a very simple and affordable way.

When a community resource like the Dog Shelter is able to leverage community partners, adoptions increase and everyone can enjoy the success. “We had a retail customer looking at a ring. As she was looking at the ring, she noticed on the Retriever this dog for adoption – the Dog of the Week. She became more interested in the little doggy than she was in the ring, and said, ‘I will be back.’ She went to the dog shelter, adopted the dog, and then came back and bought a ring from us,” shares Jay Wineland, owner of Dunkin Jewelers.

When local businesses partner with community entities like the Dog Shelter, it gives a brand the opportunity to live out their brand values in the community and sends that message to their customers. Kristi Lord shares, “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.”

See the whole story here:


Are you ready to get connected? Find out more about Retriever Digital Signage by shooting us a quick email.

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healthcare unified message retriever digital signage

Whether you’re in Marketing and Communications or Human Resources for a healthcare system, one of your biggest challenges is ensuring a unified message and brand across numerous locations. Spending your days carting signage from location to the next is a waste of your time, but it has to be done… doesn’t it?

There’s actually a better way. After all, it’s the 21st century and your time can be better used if you’re actually hard at work rather than chauffeuring materials from one place to the next. That’s where digital signage comes in.

Retriever Digital Signage simplifies your life by putting the controls to signage in every location at your fingertips – easily managed from your desk in a matter of seconds. The Retriever platform is remarkably simple to use, and equipped with easy access to features like scheduling, duplication, and a robust set of creation tools to make your job simple. Once you click “publish,” every location where you have placed a screen will sync, buying you back valuable hours.

A few features that we love about the Retriever Digital Signs, that we know you’ll love too:

  • You can customize each screen with a unique message, sync them all to be the same, or mix it up – it’s up to you! Target specific populations with messages most relevant to them, while also maintaining brand consistency.
  • Employ some of our pre-built trivia, weather, and news slides to keep your patients engaged with your messages while they wait, without all the work.
  • Maintain brand guidelines with super-customizable slides, colors, and fonts, or upload a completed slide – it’s up to you!
  • Schedule out your publication and unpublication easily and with as much frequency as you need.
  • Many healthcare providers employ digital signage for both internal and external communications, all easily managed from the Retriever platform.

Preview the Retriever Platform here:

Ready to learn more about Retriever Digital Signage? Click here to get in touch.

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Communicating with students DRM Productions

Fans of the television show “The Office” remember a hilarious idea that the character Ryan, ever the entrepreneur, came up with called WUPHF! – a way to send a message to every communication portal a person had:

Today, it feels like we need to WUPHF! to get anyone’s attention long enough to get the message across. As recently as a few years ago, students still checked their email but today’s student is far less likely to read important emails sent by the university and professors.

Moreover, the clutter of paper throughout student spaces is more likely to cause students to blanketly ignore all of the posters rather than to slow down and read through the mess to determine what is relevant to them. So, how does a university reach their students with an effective means of communication?

Digital signage is an eye-catching, clutter-free way to effectively reach students with an important message that they’ll notice. Multiple digital signs spread throughout campus ensures that students will encounter the same message multiple times for maximum communication impact.

Today’s college student has been mentally programmed to look at screens all day long, and to filter out what isn’t important.  By keeping your Retriever Digital Signs relevant, students will engage with important messages on a regular basis and will know what’s going on around campus, without the WUPHF!

The Retriever platform is easy to program and schedule, as well, so it’s easily managed by any department and anyone from student workers to campus volunteers. Duplication of a slide t0 multiple screens is simple and takes only a few seconds.

Are you ready to communicate with your students again? Let us help. Click here to connect to get more information on the Retriever Digital Signage solution.

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DRM Productions Communicate Well: Choice Words

Whether you’re writing a quick promotion for a digital sign or an e-book, words are important. They’re vital to getting your point across clearly and effectively.

Have you ever had a misunderstanding with a friend or loved one via text or email? I frequently use the words “pal” and “buddy” to refer to my friends in casual conversation. However, I once offended an acquaintance of mine in a Facebook comment because I called him “pal,” and he took that as an insult. A word that meant one thing to me was perceived differently by someone else – words matter.

Read these two sentences:

The verdant bed was abundant with produce.

The green garden was full of ripe vegetables.

These two sentences mean the exact same thing, don’t they? Then, what’s the difference? Which would you use if you were writing literary fiction? Which would you use if you were talking to a farmer? Right. Audience makes all the difference.

When it comes to choosing vocabulary, you have to consider who the audience is and how they’ll perceive what you’re communicating. What words do they use? What are some buzz words that will grab their attention? How does this demographic respond to promotional language?

This is not to say that your vocabulary shouldn’t also reflect who YOU are, but consider the way you alter your vocabulary choices every day: you speak differently to your children than you might to your peers, you speak differently to a religious leader than you might to someone who cut you off on the freeway. Each word choice you make says something about who you are, and who you perceive the listener to be.

So, take an inventory of your written messaging and ask yourself:

  • Are the words you choose more formal or conversational?
  • Do your word choices tend to be positive or negative? For example, “pooch” might skew positive, whereas “mutt” might skew negative, and “dog” would be neutral.
  • Does your messaging sound more old-fashioned or hip?
  • General or specific?
  • Do you swear?
  • Do you use first person language such as “I” or “we” to refer to your business?
  • Do you talk directly to your reader, saying “you” do this or that, or do you use “we,” “some people,” or “one” when describing what people do?

Then, ask these same questions about your target customer. Look at emails, Facebook pages, blogs, etc. that represent that persona. Do your word choices match theirs? Are you speaking in a way they’ll perceive you correctly? If not, what are some tweaks you could make?

If you’re ready to upgrade your communications strategy and tell your story better, we can help! Click here to get in touch.

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Communicate Well: Substance

We’re all guilty of it: just creating content to for content’s sake. After all, a decade ago businesses didn’t have to manage multiple social media channels, write blogs, create videos and more along with their actual work. So, maybe your social media posts have gotten a little fluffy, or maybe you’ve just been recycling old blog posts as new ones.

Despite the challenges, developing a content strategy that’s full of substantial content will be worth the effort. One of the keys to great content is shareability – sparking within the reader or viewer that they need to be sure that their loved ones see it.

We’re still living in the land of clickbait, where insubstantial content gets lots of clicks because, “You won’t believe what she does on number 42.” We absolutely think it’s wise to write eye-catching copy to lure your reader into your content, but if it’s a huge letdown once they get there, everyone’s time has been wasted.

Instead, create great content. As you plan, consider what will be meaningful, relevant, entertaining, and insightful for your audience. What will educate or excite them? What expertise do you have that you can share with your audience through great content?

“The internet is only going to become more crowded. And as the human attention span dwindles, that makes it even more important to create content that engages and maintains your audience’s attention.” – Meaghan Keaney Anderson, VP of Marketing, HubSpot

 

Try this experiment: look at the last 5 content items you’ve shared on your own social media channels. Why did you share them? Who did you share them with? What set them apart? Odds are, they made you laugh or they taught you something new. Perhaps they boldly said something that you hadn’t read anywhere else.

Here are a few tips for developing substantial content:

  1. Research before you write.When you determine the right topic, surf the web and see what is already out there and what content is informative and engaging to you as an expert on this. Then dig deeper to see what actual research is out there to backup what you have to say. Saying something substantial often means that you’ll be referencing other sources to support your argument.
  2. Identify a problem, then outline the solution. 

    If you can identify a problem your potential customer has and then outline the solution to it with your content, they are more likely to share with a friend but also to engage with your business. If you can make the process entertaining and enjoyable, even better. Think of your digital presence as an extension of the experience they will have at your place of business.

  3. Have something to say. 

    One frequently-made mistake businesses make when it comes to content is that they’ll identify a problem, synthesize the possible solutions, but never position themselves as the expert. Boldly make a statement! You are the expert, and you have permission to take a position. Your insights will reward you.

  4. Be succinct. 

    Rather then thinking of your content as a buffet dinner, think of it like a gourmet meal. It doesn’t need to be falling off the plate to be excellent, in fact it’s better to be succinct and jam-packed with rich insight.

Ready to have a conversation about developing substantial content? Get in touch here.

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Communicate Well: Brand Voice DRM Productions

For a small business, sometimes getting any content out is nothing short of a miracle. After all, you spend your days thinking about your clients before yourselves and next thing you know, months have passed and your own marketing has been neglected.

Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have an in-house marketing professional or an agency telling your story so that you can focus on your line of business. But, if you’re like many business owners, you have probably felt out of sync with your messaging at one point or another.

Developing a consistent brand voice that represents you well is key to an effective communications strategy. Simply put, a brand voice is how your company expresses itself. A thoughtful strategy on brand voice can unify a marketing department of hundreds and at the same time can direct your Vice President of Everything to ensure your business is always represented well.

Some things to consider when developing your brand voice are your style, your tone, and the type of content you’ll be putting out. Take into account who your target audience is and what will appeal to them. For example, if you’re a 20-something entrepreneur who’s trying to reach senior citizens, you’ll need to adjust your brand voice to ensure that you’re building trust with your target audience. This may mean eliminating slang, a bit of formality, and an understanding of your target audience’s use of the internet.

When you think about style in brand voice, once you’ve identified your target, consider:

  • What level of vocabulary will you use? (Are you reaching experts in a field or new parents?)
  • Should you use slang?
  • Should you allow cursing?
  • Should you use contractions?
  • Determine the ideal length of sentences and paragraphs. Is this a scholarly article or a blog post?
  • How substantial should your content be?

Tone is the attitude of your writing. People always pick up on the tone of a piece, even if it’s as short as a digital sign. When you consider tone, think about these things:

  • How formal/informal should your tone be to reach your desired audience?
  • What undertones do you want to send out (enthusiasm? expertise? trust?) and in what ways would you like to do that?
  • What feeling do you want to evoke in your reader?
  • Will you use humor, and in what ways?

These are just a few considerations for developing a brand voice, but if you can answer all of these questions for your business you’ll be well on your way to managing a cohesive brand voice on all channels of communication.

And, if this feels a little daunting, let our experts help. Since communication is our business, we can help you develop and launch an expert strategy. Get in touch and allow us to guide you.

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