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Digital Signposts: Push vs. Pull

Dec 20, 2012 3:55 PM, By Vern Freedlander

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Enterprise communicators already have a number of tools available to get their messages out: Intranets, websites, SharePoint, social media, and others. All of these have one fundamental characteristic in common: They are pull technologies. The user must launch the appropriate application and then seek out and “pull” the content they are after. Often they may have to use a search engine to find the required piece of content. The channel concept is exactly the opposite, a “push” technology where the content that is deemed the most relevant to that particular user is constantly updated and presented leveraging multimedia and realtime data.

The idea of pushing content is more of a passive, broadcast-like approach to enterprise communication and is more effective. Instead of having to take the time to find a particular message, the relevant message is simply made available on the channel. This approach has many advantages: a centralized content lead can focus specific content at the right audience at the right time; stale, out-dated content can be quickly and easily dropped; the very best, most relevant content can be curated and then distributed; and important messages can be repeated as often as required. The channel concept also offers interactive features and the ability to distribute timely content to any screen and any device.

The most important aspect to consider is the channel breaks through the clutter and creates a much more efficient means of communication. Users no longer have to take the time to search for the content they need. Instead they simply launch their channel player and either have it playing in the background, use it as a screensaver, or refer to it on demand.

Integrators who work in the corporate communications space need to fully appreciate that their clients who use a push solution will be well rewarded with users who are consistently exposed to their brand and messaging. Content will be precisely targeted and ultimately allow corporate communicators to take their messages directly to their audience and not just hope that they will find it among the clutter.

Vernon Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a full-service provider of technology, network management, and content services for professional digital signage applications With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director, and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at

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