Visual Communications Strategy, a Guide to Success

Guest Post by Lisa Cohen

A successful Visual Communications project requires expertise from far-flung fields. For the typical business, centralizing that expertise means creating a team of people who don’t often work closely together. Members from at least three departments are needed: IT, Facilities and Communications. Each department has its own fiefdom. IT owns infrastructure and hardware. The Facilities department owns the very walls and surfaces the screens are mounted to as well as access to power and data. The Communications Team (Employee Communications, Marketing and HR) owns the content, the message and the look. Factor in all these groups, plus other internal stakeholders, throw in a few vendors, and things can get complicated pretty quickly.

It’s not a small task to get everyone on board and fully committed. But once that happens, the real challenge comes into play. How do we get from point A to point B? Each fiefdom hunkers down to develop a game plan. But often, these game plans don’t work together. A disparate set of plans for launching a new Visual Communications project might get you to launch day, but can leave you with limited options for managing, updating and maintaining your network. You need more than some plans. You need a comprehensive strategy.

These networks are complex, and many people need to agree on the best path forward. The best approach is to develop and share a Visual Communications Strategy that supports business goals and includes clearly defined user experiences for a variety of audiences as well as a detailed roadmap for success. 

This is why I’m so excited to lead FWI’s Visual Communication Strategy engagement. During this engagement, my team works with groups across your business to develop your custom Visual Communications Strategy. Through collaborative workshops, we find answers to these frequently asked questions: What are the screens for? How will they help our business? What is the user experience? How do we leverage data and technology? How does Visual Communications fit into the larger communication strategy? Which specific apps do we need? Who is responsible for what? What is the time frame?

The Visual Communications Strategy Guidebook summarizes our engagement and is a comprehensive resource that can be referenced time and again. Because each Visual Communications Strategy is completely customized, I see clients move forward with confidence, work more efficiently, save money and realize a more substantial ROI. Even if your network is well established, your organization can benefit from a Visual Communications Strategy. In fact, one of my first tasks at FWI was to develop our very own Visual Communications Strategy.

Imagine that, creating a Visual Communications Strategy for the leader of the Visual Communications industry! Our network infrastructure was solid, our screens were up and relevant content was reaching targeted audiences. But there was room for improvement. After holding workshops with key stakeholders, the main takeaway was that our various groups wanted to expand their content that directly supported business goals. So our Visual Communications Strategy focused heavily on content—identifying relevant FWI Store apps, and defining net new apps for creation. More employee photos were used in engagement-focused apps, the Coffee Bar apps were made more relevant and we expanded the number of department-specific KPI apps in use. These initiatives led to increased employee engagement, a stronger office culture, increased productivity, as well as an overall awareness of the brand, company goals and values.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Visual Communications Strategy methodology, please feel free to read through our recent white paper.

Lisa Cohen joined Four Winds Interactive in December 2015 as an Enterprise Program Manager. Lisa is passionate about digital communications and is currently FWI’s leader for Visual Communication Strategy Engagements. Before joining Four Winds Interactive, she worked for 13 years at Bloomberg LP in New York City managing environmental media.

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