Media distribution in the workplace

Jeremy Pollak

Jeremy is a co-founder and director of strategy and development for POMT, an Australian-based innovator delivering technology services and solutions for modern and flexible workplaces. Jeremy oversees the company’s strategy and direction, manages its consulting services division and shapes POMT’s product and services development. He is a pioneer in the application of technologies to support activity-based working and flexible working environments, successfully leading a large number of major projects within this space in Australia.

As a marketing leader looking to distribute digital media across the organisation, ownership is one of the hardest things to get right.

Media distribution and display is not a single end-to-end solution – and if someone tells you that their product does it all, don’t believe them. Instead, media distribution and display is a set of interdependent elements that cuts across multiple departments. As a result, ownership of the program can be a big issue.

First, who makes the decisions on the best technologies? What content management platform do you use? What sort of delivery methods will work: Digital messaging, such as signage and dashboards; video on-demand; IPTV; and live streaming?

Then, on which channels and devices do you deliver the content: Conventional TVs; dedicated signage screens; meeting rooms; room booking panels; specialist displays; messaging; desktops; personal devices; portals; and even print? What existing applications and internal systems, or third party services can you integrate as part of the solution?

And who owns, builds, supports and manages the overall solution?

Even at that point, we still haven’t considered content.

What are you going to distribute, who is going to see it, and when and where will they see it? And how are you going to create and manage all this content?

In our experience, a media distribution program is best tackled by a working group with representation from across the business and executive sponsorship. As a marketing leader in that working group, it’s important to remember you can’t own everything. But you can own the vision – because marketing is best placed to have a holistic view of the organisation.

Someone who is tackling all of these questions at the moment is Renaud Frisé, digital and social media manager at Primo Smallgoods. As head of digital in Primo’s marketing department, Frisé’s mission is to apply digital technologies to transform the way the company communicates.

With the diversity of Primo’s operations, media distribution has become a key focus for the business as the perfect tool for internal communication. The majority of Primo’s 3000 employees are working in seven major factories spread across Australia, and the workforce comprises 38 nationalities speaking 70 languages. Also, unlike the typical office environment, most of Primo’s staff don’t have access to a computer when they are at work.

Primo sees its own people as the best ambassadors for the company and brand as it continues to grow in the region. With ten times as many staff in its factories compared to those in its offices, reaching as many people as possible requires a different approach to normal internal business communication.

Frisé believes media distribution and display offers an ideal way for Primo to involve its people in what the company is doing and build employee engagement, particularly with its factory workers. However, he needs to consider a lot of variables: The location of screens throughout the company’s facilities; the timing of content to reach the right people at the right time; the most important languages to cater for across the organisation; the importance of safety and security messages; providing content relevant to each facility and group of workers. The list could go on.

Primo is also trialling Workplace by Facebook, exploring how its ability to provide real-time translation and live video feeds, publish photos and video, can be integrated with a broader media distribution and display solution.

“While a lot of our workforce might not have access to a computer at work, just about everyone has a smartphone and is an active Facebook user,” Frisé said. “Familiarity with a platform like Facebook should reduce the friction of introducing new tools and increase engagement rates.”

One thing Frisé has discovered is how granular you need to be during the planning and evaluation process. “For each site, you need to know all the break times, the main languages spoken, how you are going to connect each screen to the network, the different approval processes required for any localised content.”

Content development is the other key component for media distribution, and Primo plans to continue working with its content marketing agency, who has the right mix of digital marketing expertise and background in HR and internal communications.

However, for Frisé, the hardest thing will be implementing solutions for measurement and feedback.

How will Primo know if its people are engaged? Getting that right is the ultimate goal in determining the ongoing success of any media distribution program.

Tags: marketing strategy, media strategy

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