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Digital Signposts: Cutting Through The Communication Clutter

Nov 26, 2012 11:25 AM, By Vern Freedlander, Vice President, Production, X2O Media

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People are busy, and they are only getting busier. The constant flow of emails and demands on time make it increasingly difficult for employees to wade through and pick out what is important, what can wait, and what is spam. In enterprise communications, this is especially problematic. How do corporate communicators cut through the constant clutter to get through to employees and communicate what is important and what is actionable? The on-going deluge of information has created a climate where staff simply doesn’t have the time to read long-form content such as detailed memos, case studies, or white papers; however, corporate communicators and marketers are still obligated to reach their stakeholders in a meaningful way.

In conjunction with this information deluge, we are witnessing the dramatic contraction of content: Facebook posts, which then morph into tweets, are replacing blogs. And now, according to Dr. William J. Ward, social media professor at Syracuse University, we are starting to see the tweet replaced by the “visual.” Often referred to as visual social media, tweets are transforming into Instagram and Pinterest content. The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is superseding the 140-character tweet. Marketers are getting on the bandwagon using high-impact visuals as a kind of teaser to draw audiences in and entice them to follow through to a website, article, or brand.

Embracing the visual and leveraging a broadcast-like, inhouse communication network can help corporate communicators get through to information-overloaded audiences. Channels of content made up of concise, highly focused, visually rich content pushed to any device and any screen can help break the logjam. Short packets of information that provide visuals, accompanied by key messages with an option to dig deeper, provide a unique communication solution. Unlike a website that must be sought out and requires navigation, the channel concept presents itself more like a 24/7 TV news network that is always on with impactful video, graphics, and imagery; constantly putting out the latest information. Signage integrators in the enterprise space need to appreciate the ever-demanding challenges faced by communication executives and how pushing media-rich content to the right audience at the right time can help them be more effective and successful.

Vern 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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