The College of Journalism and Communications, is one of the 16 Colleges affiliated to the University of Florida. The College traces its beginnings to 1925 and throughout its history; the strength of its programs, faculty, students and alumni has earned it ongoing recognition as one of the most accredited academic institutions in the US.
The College offers bachelor’s degrees in advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunication, and enrols approximately 2,300 undergraduates in these fields. It also enrols more than 2000 graduates on master’s and doctorate courses annually.
The University of Florida is ranked 14th overall among all public national universities in the 2014 US News & World Report rankings and has ranked within the top 100 universities worldwide.
The College of Journalism and Communications had always maintained a tradition of displaying all alumni awards in its main foyer in honour of its former students’ achievements. The College had accumulated a significant number of physical awards since its inauguration and was rapidly running out of wall space to mount its more recent accomplishments.
The College did not want to favour its recent achievements over historical ones, so to make smarter use of limited space it decided to investigate the possibility of implementing a digital signage solution to display all alumni achievements in alphabetical and chronological order
The College’s media relations division began researching AV suppliers and digital signage solution providers to fulfil their requirements. Seneca Inc. was chosen as the preferred provider because the packaged solution, which comprised media players preloaded with Signagelive’s cloud-based software, made the implementation of digital signage an affordable and straightforward process that required no technical knowledge.
To access the software, users simply had to connect the Seneca player to the display and Internet and then to Signagelive’s cloud-based platform. Once connected, users were given an activation code which they entered against their license number, giving them full access to Signagelive’s intuitive management software.
Following the success of its original project, the College has expanded its Signagelive powered digital signage network and is running a number of displays throughout the College to communicate relevant information to students, visitors and staff.
Two displays have been installed in the main student lounge. One is used as a digital message board and is maintained by the College’s different student organisations and the other is used by the student services office to run and manage announcements relating to lecture times, key dates and deadlines, scholarship opportunities or class holidays.
The College is also using digital signage to promote its internal media facilities and regularly runs campaigns associated with individual TV and/or radio stations, upcoming events and university-wide announcements on displays situated next to the main elevators.
Benefits of Signagelive
Signagelive’s cloud-based software has enabled the College’s PR and communications teams to plan ahead and schedule routine announcements in advance using its intuitive planning and scheduling facilities, freeing up their time to deal with more urgent matters.
Content relating to a specific event, for example can be uploaded onto Signagelive’s core management platform and parameters such as start and end dates can be built into the setup process so that there is no risk of displaying outdated information.
Staff are able to quickly amend or update these pre-planned schedules from anywhere simply by logging into Signagelive’s core management platform. If an urgent announcement needs to be made, a cancelled lecture, for example, this information can be quickly added to the system and configured to run on some or all displays, depending on the nature of the message.
Signagelive’s user-friendly software has facilitated its widespread adoption. No technical expertise is needed to use the setup and layout menus and the system has improved collaboration by providing the communications with a central repository to store and manage shared information.
Signagelive’s core technology is written in HTML5, the new standard for all cross-platform online applications. It comprises innovative features such as drag and drop functionality, QR code support and management integration for many different third party social media widgets including Twitter and Facebook.
Signagelive’s cloud based solution has enabled the UF College of Journalism and Communications to implement a campus-wide digital signage system at an affordable price. Since its implementation the College has significantly expanded and improved its announcement and messaging capabilities, reaching out to more people more successfully.
“The Signagelive system is simple to use and user friendly. It is easy to navigate through the setup layouts and playlists and its layout is helpful in keeping our assets together. In addition the ability to edit announcements from any location is a huge benefit. Urgent notices can be quickly updated or changed from anywhere and we are not tied to a specific computer to deploy new content or edit the assets we are sharing.”