Articles - Apr 13

COVID-19 : The Benefits of Digital Signage in Times of Crisis

Today we’re all living through a crisis where the lack of vital, accurate information can be the difference between life and death. The COVID-19 virus is changing everything about the way we shop, interact, consume information, and communicate.

One key element in the dissemination of information, that has proven to be an effective method for rapid communication, with an increasingly mobile population, is digital signage. Today, both private and public sector digital signage is playing a pivotal role in governmental crisis planning and management.

When facing an emergency, minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Being able to provide instructions, directions, and updates in real-time are crucial. This is especially true for governmental agencies responsible for protecting citizens.

Digital Signage and Digital-Out-Of-Home (DOOH) Networks

The use of digital signage and DOOH networks in emergencies allows agencies (question: what agencies?) to share critical information quickly and efficiently. These networks are typically used by businesses to share targeted marketing messaging, in public areas, and are growing in use.

DOOH networks today can be found in public locations that include schools and college campuses, libraries, retail locations, hospitals, airports, bus stations, highways, government buildings, sports venues, and more. (note: I removed the bullets, it was a bit much)

Because of the availability of DOOH networks, the volume of the public exposed to messaging is enormous, with digital signage reaching millions of people daily.

The Benefits of Digital Signage in Times of Crisis

Because it is entirely customizable in terms of messaging, digital signage is the perfect tool for emergency communication during crises like extreme weather or Amber Alerts for missing children. Many governmental agencies like the FBI and local law enforcement rely on donations (question: what donations?) of DOOH networks for relaying crisis messages in real-time during an event.

Note: remember in my notes, I had asked to highlight the benefits, such as, 1 reassuring the population, 2 giving direction, 3 effective <real time> communications… ”how to stay safe” Could we please rework the following titles? The goal here is to dive deep into the benefits of digital signage during crisis, with covid-19 as our example.

• Safety and Disaster Preparedness

Depending on the emergency, the needs, and available resources, the use of digital signage varies. Many state and local emergency management agencies are partnering with DOOH networks to broadcast disaster preparedness and public safety messages in real-time. A good example is the broadcasting of National Weather alerts for impending severe weather events like flash flooding or tornados.

• Public Schools and Universities In Crisis

Digital signage is an integral part of the crisis communication networks of educational institutions. According to Campus Safety Magazine, a report after the horrendous Virginia Tech shootings named digital signage as the most effective method for delivering emergency information to students inside campus buildings.

• Public Safety and Apprehending Fugitives

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, digital signage proved to be a useful and crucial element in keeping the public safe as events unfolded. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with Clear Channel Outdoors, used seven billboards along major highways in the Boston area for broadcasting real-time public safety messages. Using their existing connections with DOOH networks all along the East Coast, the FBI was able to broadcast photos of the suspects along with a contact number on digital signage from Boston to Washington DC.

In today’s uncertain world, the need for fast, effective public communication will continue to grow. Both manmade and natural disasters are facts of life in the world today. For many businesses, digital signage is a smart investment that can enhance your business as well as contribute to public safety in crises.

As the digital signage industry evolves and DOOH networks continue to grow, the use of digital signage for managing real-time crises will continue to grow, adding to public safety in our communities. Call us today for more information.


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About iGotcha

iGotcha Media is a digital interactive studio specialized in building memorable screen-based customer experiences. Solutions include screens, interactive kiosks, video walls, RFID technology, audience-measurement technology, wayfinding and payment solutions and in-store audio. We help our clients creatively communicate their value propositions. With offices in Montreal and Toronto, iGotcha Media's clients include Birks, Browns Shoes, Cirque du Soleil, Groupe Touchette, Loto-Québec, National Bank of Canada, Nissan Canada, Reebok, Rona, Toronto Congress Centre and VIA Rail Canada.

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