Most schools are hard up for money with budgets always strained: there are always expenses to account for, new equipment to purchase, educational resources to update… the list is endless.
Naturally, the administrator in charge of controlling this budget has to take a hard line on expenditures deemed unnecessary. However, school admins being cautious doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to be found in new tech investment. Chief among these is digital signage – an engaging communication vehicle that draws attention and increases engagement in K-12 audiences.
Given how effective digital signage can be in distributing information, K-12 schools are ideal environments to implement these technologies. Many schools are already doing it, installing digital signage displays in classrooms and throughout the school campus.
Faculty hoping to bring the action into their own institutions need to know how to pitch digital signage correctly.
Administrators aren’t easily swayed so digital signage champions need to make a strong case for its use, be able to explain the value proposition and relay the ways it will pay dividends over time.
1. Know to Whom you’re Selling
Although K-12 faculty and staff aren’t salespeople, when acting as the sole champion of digital signage implementation, they’ll need to follow the same principles.
This means understanding your audience before you pitch digital signage to your school administrator.
Educators likely have intimate knowledge of the workings of the school admin they’re pitching to. This is valuable information, as knowing the administrator means knowing his/her pain points, possible objections, and budgetary considerations that will likely arise during a discussion about digital signage.
These factors will form the backbone of the digital signage pitch and must be planned ahead of time.
2. Come Prepared to Address Objections
Educators advocating for digital signage have a tough hill to climb. Many admins were brought up in the days of old-fashioned education – think chalk, numerous textbooks, and no digital screens in sight – and may not fully realize the value digital signage can bring to a school.
Faculty must anticipate any objections that might be brought up during the meeting.
For example, if a teacher is aware that an administrator is adverse to infrastructure investments that require maintenance over time, the teacher can prepare a report outlining the low maintenance cost of digital signage compared to reproducing traditional signage year after year.
Or, if administrators object that there’s no logical place for digital signage within the school, the teacher can have a prepared list of digital signage applications for the school setting:
- Digital screens in the classroom as educational resources, taking the place of old-fashioned projectors and televisions
- Digital bulletin boards in the lunchroom, hallways, or offices that keep students and faculty informed about school events and important announcements
- Digital signage at the school parents to provide important information to parents as they pick up their kids and visitors entering the building
- Digital scoreboards for stadiums and auditoriums, offering cutting-edge displays and opportunities for advertisement partnerships
3. Frame the Argument in their Terms
It’s one thing to offer a laundry list of digital signage applications, but there’s an important distinction to be made when you pitch digital signage to your school administrator: Perceived value is not the same as actual value.
This means that it doesn’t matter how great digital signage is or how many ways it can be applied in school if the school administrator doesn’t see eye to eye on the issues.
The idea here is that educators have to go beyond merely pitching k-12 digital signage if they want to see it implemented. To get administrators on board, the argument has to be framed in their own terms.
For example, when faced with a request for digital signage implementation, an administrator may go beyond how it can be applied and ask:
“How will digital signage improve student outcomes? Will it help their performance? Or will it just be a distraction?”
To which educators can point to the wealth of data showing the engaging power of digital signage, and how this engagement can be leveraged on educational resources to capture the attention of a tech-hungry student population. Yes, it’s a distraction – but it’s a distraction that works to the administration’s benefit by supporting educational goals.
The difference here is that in the face of opposition, educators aren’t simply stating that digital signage is important. They’re stating how digital signage can be brought to work in creative ways that play into the admin’s own arguments. In other words, they’re highlighting the benefits, not the features.
“There’s no money for digital signage. We have more important priorities to focus on.”
Tough talk, but the savvy teacher turned digital signage champion won’t be swayed. Rather than reiterating the benefits already presented, educators should reframe the discussion in the terms presented by the administrator.
Yes, digital signage is an investment, but technology is advancing far enough to make the initial investment affordable. Also, employee time and productivity will be better managed through flexible digital signage technologies that let educators adapt their lesson plans with the click of a button.
Plus, digital signage integration is becoming a foundational concept for forward-thinking schools. Digital signage might not be an identified priority in the budget, but a small investment now will put the school ahead of the curve. This, in turn, will make the school more desirable to prospective students and may increase grants and funding sources from other areas.
It’s not easy to pre-emptively address concerns before they’re brought up, but it’s an essential part of the sales game – and to pitch digital signage to your school administrator.
Pitch Digital Signage to Your School Administrator
Pitching digital signage to school administrators is a delicate process, but can be approached in a step-by-step way:
- Understand the administrator you’re pitching to and know his/her priorities
- Based on these priorities, be prepared to address his/her concerns as they arise with a prepared digital signage report
- When addressing these concerns, frame your arguments in ways that don’t just state the value of digital signage as you see it, but as the administrator sees it based on the objections he/she raises
When these three steps are managed carefully, you’ll have done your job as a digital signage champion and will have set your school on a competitive and forward-thinking track to success.