Michel Rauw is responsible for internal communication within the Communication Division, and Robert Roman is responsible for the visual and technical aspects of both internal and external communication. As a team, they managed the project that focused on digital display screens used by the three institutions housed in the Galilee building.
After the three institutions moved to the Galilee building, it was important to rethink the use of digital display screens (LCD screens). You were the ones in charge of this huge project …
MR: Initially, only Robert was working on this project. That made sense, since he was already publishing communications on the digital screens even before the FAMHP moved to the Galilee building, and he designed specific templates for that. I joined the project because I was interested in the subject and thought I could contribute my expertise.
RR: Given that the FAMHP had some experience in this area at the time of the relocation, we took the lead on this project. This decision was of course made in agreement with the FPS Public Health and the RIZIV-INAMI. We were in charge of setting up procedures to use digital display screens, create templates …
Such a large project covers a lot of aspects. How did you organise the work?
RR: First of all, we had to understand what we were talking about: where were the screens physically located, who could see them and, depending on the target audience, what information would we display? I also had to understand the system of information dissemination itself: it was very different from the one I used before, in the Eurostation building. We also had to understand the way the three organisations work, as each has its own way of communicating. This synergy required a lot of consultation, because each had its own way of doing things and we had to find common ground that would satisfy all parties involved.
MR: As already mentioned, only Robert was working on the project. I quickly joined him out of interest. We then started to draw up a procedure for the digital displays together. So we started to draw up a procedure for digital display screens. Similar to a set of rules: of what can and cannot be published, not only in terms of content but also in terms of form. We then presented and explained this document to the other synergy partners.
Is the management of the displays so complex?
MR: We’re talking about two hundred and fifty screens, scattered throughout the Galilee building. Some are located in the hallways, others in the meeting rooms. Others at the reception of the building or in the cafeteria. Obviously, the target audience for each type of screen is different. And the information that is displayed is not the same. For example, we decided not to use the screens in the meeting rooms for the digital display of our communication.
RR: And we also made sure that all identified problems were to the external company in charge of managing the screens. As we ran the tests and identified the bottlenecks, we were able to address these issues. Quite often, the other synergy partners also came to us. The exchanges needed to improve what the screens had to offer – or even to correct mistakes – were time-consuming.
Once the screens were identified, the next question was of course: what information would be displayed on the screens?
MR: Yes. We specified the information we would display according to the location of the screen in the Galilee building. You don’t in front of a digital display screen as you do in front of a television. So we had to determine who would stand in front of these screens: an employee of the FPS Public Health or an external visitor. Internal information will be of no interest to an outsider who entered the building to attend a meeting. Therefore, such information should not be displayed on screens he or she can see.
Did you have any other criteria to determine the content?
MR: We asked ourselves how long the viewer would look at the screen. For instance, people stay longer in a coffee lounge than in a hallway. All this information was used to define the content to be displayed: basic information or a slightly longer playlist. So some screens are viewed by an external audience, some by an internal audience that is just passing by, and some by a static internal audience. At the moment, we don’t display much on the screens for external audiences, basic internal information on the screens in the hallways and more extensive internal information on the screens in front of which people can linger.
And once the content has been defined, what was the next step?
RR: The Communication Division of the FAMHP provided the specific templates. We ran some tests when the Galilee building was still empty and developed templates in order to publish the messages. It’s a time-consuming process that requires understanding the system, testing, coordinating with other organisations … When people start to come back to their physical workplace, we might change what is being displayed based on their behaviour. Working with digital display screens is never a static process, it evolves with the target audience.
So the way the information is presented also required a lot of work from you?
RR: Yes, we often have to change the visuals and offer something modern. So we thought about content that is both relevant and enjoyable to watch.
MR: The screens allow us to display a wide range of content: videos, messages, campaign visuals, animations, automated content like weather, Twitter feed … Without exaggerating, it’s worth making good use of the possibilities we have.
How do you organise the publications? Do the three organisations systematically coordinate with each other?
MR: No, we do not systematically consult each other. However, we often met between March and June 2021, in a working group with members of the other two organisations, to reach a consensus on some issues. From June 2021, the screens were operational. Until approximately November 2021, the FAMHP published all messages: those of 1FM, our common facility service and all messages from the FAMHP. The FPS Public Health and the RIZIV-INAMI did not use the system yet. Since then, the administrators of the three institutions decide on what content to display. We suggested a model but they can decide otherwise. But it is up to them to create it.
RR: The first display for 1FM was about faulty blinds and we chose a beautiful image. We received a lot of positive feedback: people thought it looked good, that it was visually appealing. It is always nice to see that our work is appreciated.
How was the cooperation with the other organisations?
RR: While we made a lot of progress on our own, within the Communication Division of the FAMHP, all decisions have been made in consultation with our synergy partners during meetings. I believe no one had an issue with that: this was the easiest way of working for everyone. Everyone had the right to speak, no idea was discarded. Even if, as in any cooperation, there were some difficult moments, a sense of mutual respect prevailed in order to find a solution beneficial to all.
MR: And the other communication services fully realised the amount of work we put in. They appreciated it and told us so. This recognition was also important to ensure smooth cooperation.
This project is clearly a success – both in terms of feedback and outcome. What are you personally most proud of?
MR: I’m very happy that I was able to complete this project successfully – especially the process – without having any experience in the field to begin with. I had to learn everything on the job, and in the end, I think we were able to provide a professional and high-quality service. This would not have been possible without the good coordination with Robert. I am also extremely happy with this successful cooperation.
RR: I am also proud that I was able to work with Michel in such an efficient and fruitful way. A real team effort! The analysis and the commitment we had clearly contributed to the success of this project. Finally, in our recent meetings, we were able to enjoy the fruits of our labours: our work is both functional and professional. We are a well-oiled machine and we are now fine-tuning our procedures. I will be even prouder when all of our colleagues will be able to fully enjoy efficient and attractive digital display screens the moment they return to the Galilee building.