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Content Has Many Masters

Nov 8, 2010 9:21 AM, By Vern Freedlander, X2O Media, vice president, production

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When it comes to digital signage in corporate environments, it’s important for the system integrator to realize that many different departments within an organization will all want to contribute to, or perhaps control, the messaging. Somebody, however, has to be the ultimate gatekeeper and have editorial control of the content. It might be the HR or public affairs department or the CEO, but the editorial buck has to stop somewhere.

A good analogy is a newspaper newsroom. While writers write the content, it doesn’t go straight into the newspaper. There is an approval process, and it is up to the editor to rework stories, approve them, and make sure the content conforms to the paper’s editorial and style guidelines. A corporate digital signage network is no different. There needs to be a built-in content approval process supported both technically and editorially. For example, if the HR department wants to add an item on the company’s upcoming wellness program, what mechanisms are in place to check the materials? Is the writing accurate and up to standard? Are the accompanying images appropriate and cleared for copyright? How long will the content appear on the network? Who will have final approval?

A system integrator needs to think through this sort of editorial workflow and put technical solutions in place that allow content to be assessed, edited, scheduled, and approved. Who takes on the role of gatekeeper in a large organization can be highly political, so it is important for system integrators to get a strong sense of the lay of the land.

Vern Freedlander is the vice president of production services for 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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