When AxisTV was first installed at Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, student Brian Lee saw its real potential.
“When it was originally installed I thought it was a great idea, but it was being underutilized. We could use it for better communications,” Lee recalls. “You’d see repeated slides or outdated ones. I didn’t know whether there was anyone actively devoted to it.”
So when he joined the Marketing Department as a Graphic Designer, he wanted to make a real splash with the campus digital signage. Once he started focusing on it, it wasn’t long before the learning community was reaping the full benefits of the investment.
With a new look supported by a fresh batch of new templates, AxisTV was relaunched in time for students’ arrival for the start of the school year. “We were able to show orientations, check-in schedules and locations where they should be and when. And because we could schedule them to be time sensitive, it was really perfect.”
Lee has also made full use of his media training to give the screen designs impact. For example, their system uses a standard weather feed, but he made it their own by designing unique icons and combining it with seasonal photos of the campus.
Today the system is invaluable for marketing events and keeping the community informed of schedule changes. “We have two channels that we’re running in our two main academic buildings,” explains Lee. “We run the daily chapel schedule, and we provide class cancellations or relocations. If a professor is ill or can’t come for some reason, the faculty secretary can post that right away so the students know not to go or to go somewhere else.”
Lee also prepares print materials, but digital signage is a central tool for him. “Any time we’re working on an upcoming event, I automatically think of how we’re going to advertise on the screens and what I’m I going to do with the 16×9 layout. So it’s become part of our advertising culture.”
VFCC doesn’t use hard metrics to measure success. Nonetheless, they are seeing return on involvement. “We feel we’ve succeeded if students are informed, if an event is well attended. It’s where we announce things first because we know students will see it.” He then adds, “And we know they’re seeing it. If there’s some problem with the information they see there, they let us know! They’ll pop in the same day.”
VFCC sees even more potential in growing the system.“We’d like to expand it to seven channel players in the main administration building and residence halls, and then tailor that content for each audience.”
Lee says that a media player in the administration building, the first place prospective students see when they come to see the campus, will also serve the community. “That content will be different from what we normally display for students. The system can present tour schedules, welcome messages, even the visitors’ names.”
He emphasizes that the most important thing is to keep the audience in mind. “You have to know who your primary audience is and always tailor content to them. It’s easy with informational things or advertising and marketing to get lost in the mix if you publish everything everywhere. You’re better served if you remember who needs to know what.”