Digital SignPosts: The Editorial Conversation

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There are two very distinct conversations that integrators have with their enterprise clients: There’s the technical discussion with IT, engineering, and AV, which focuses on hardware, software specifications, network structure, and integration. Integrators use their technical and project management skills to plan and deploy IT-based systems that use the latest technologies to deliver communications solutions. The other (and often more difficult) conversation for integrators is the editorial discussion. The audience for this discussion is very different from the other. Here, integrators are exploring content-based ideas with representatives from human resources, internal communications, marketing, and perhaps the executive suite. The topics they discuss are not technical; rather, they are focused on the actual messaging that will run on the IT-based infrastructure. The audience for this discussion is interested in items such as branding, culture, storytelling, and most importantly, engagement.

Integrators might not be content experts, but it’s important for them to understand two key trends that are changing the dynamic of enterprise communications: First, the decision-making power and budget control of corporate communications projects is shifting away from IT and toward the people that are actually in charge of the messaging. Second, as content becomes more dominant within the enterprise, corporate communicators require solutions that allow for the effective distribution and consumption of that content in ways that provide a financial return on engagement.

The explosion of corporate content production, content repurposing, and new distribution channels cannot be underestimated. A “perfect storm” of factors is brewing that emphasizes the importance and prominence of visual editorial content: more and more tech-savvy millennials are joining the workforce; the traditional intranet is increasingly unpopular; and video usage is growing as production costs continue to decline. Together these factors send an important signal to integrators to brush up on the editorial conversation. That is, make sure you really understand your client’s business and communication objectives, and be aware of the shifting power balance.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media [www.x2omedia.com], a Barco company. X2O Media is a leading software developer of real-time visual communications solutions that significantly improve communications throughout the enterprise. 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 vernon.freedlander@barco.com.

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