💾 Tech Demand, Holograms (Again), #commspets
🍻 To comms! The cause of and the solution to all of life’s problems.
Customer expectations are outpacing technological innovation. What is possible is not what is actual when it comes to interacting with company offerings. To use a personal example, why do I have to navigate several sites and portals to keep track of the several bank accounts I need to maintain for my paycheck, retirement, mortgage, investments, credit cards, etc.? Why can’t it all happen in one place?
“Digital empathy” needs to be put into practice, argues Dan McKone in the Harvard Business Review ($). McKone proposes four principles for improving customer service:
Offer customers more control: Customer experience isn’t something that’s done to you. It’s something the customer should proactively calibrate.
Keep it so intuitive, it’s mindless: Tolerance for owner’s manuals is nil.
Provide visibility at points of customer agitation: Transparency about a process, such as a progress bar, improves peace of mind.
Organize with a holistic philosophy: Digital and real life experiences are blurring. Think of how companies monitor their Twitter feed for customer complaints.
Why am I talking about customer service?
Your readers are your customers. Harnessing the latest technology (like emerging A.I. or personalization tools) could be the key to generating the power, advocacy, and loyalty you need to drive the R.O.I. that justifies your job.
Make it easy for the audience to consume, use, and act on your content.
Communications efforts that do not appear to be useful to your audience today may squarely address their needs tomorrow. Just like telephonic and music consumers did not demand the yet-to-be-invented iPhone from Apple, we cannot expect our audience to lead us toward innovations they don’t need right now.
Consider some of the technology that is available to us today that we aren’t seriously considering for comms: robots that can wander through offices, audio chat platforms like Clubhouse, multiplayer video games, Roku, and the metaverse. Who’s to say that any of these technologies can’t one day be used to further corporate communications?
🐵 You can regain employees’ attention by recognizing the potential reasons why they might be ignoring your comms. (ContactMonkey)
🦾 Nearly 70% of people using ChatGPT at work haven’t told their bosses about it, survey finds (Insider)
🐌 The Simple Power of the Slow Reveal. “Leaders can encourage an emotional reaction to data by using the classic storytelling tool of building suspense.” Instead of using a single slide that shows every bit of data all at once, make the numbers “thrilling” by revealing the data bit by bit. (MIT Sloan Management Review)
🤣 From boosting morale to detecting burnout, companies like Google are discovering the surprising benefits of incorporating memes into internal communications. (Entrepreneur)
—The Bloomberg Way, the guide for Bloomberg News’ journalists
An Insider reporter became a hologram to understand how the technology might shape the future of work. Rebecca Knight spent time with Andrew Dorcas, the senior vice president of sales and marketing for hologram tech company ARHT.
Dorcas said the most common use cases for ARHT’s technology in the workplace are high-level executive meetings, company town halls, keynote talks, and employee onboarding. Clients include Novartis and DHL.
“But I doubt the awe would last long,” Knight says. “At the end of the day, a talk from the top brass is still just that. It’s still work, no matter how futuristic.”
Longtime Mister Editorial readers will remember that in September 2022 I made the case for internal comms to experiment with holography because the technology exists but is not yet fully developed and not mainstream, which means holograms have the potential to be a disruptive technology.
Big Tech—Facebook, Microsoft, and Google—are pouring resources into leading commercial and consumer holography software, hardware, and experiences. Mainstream television entertainment companies are investing in and experimenting with the technology. And startups (like Voxon) are starting to offer their first line of hologram products to affluent customers.
Holograms appear to be edging their way into consumer and enterprise experiences, but whether they will stick around remains to be seen. The costs need to come down dramatically. The base model HoloLens 2, for example, costs $3,500. Magic Leap prices their first set of glasses at $2,300 and Voxon’s initial offering, the VX1, will set the consumer back a staggering $9,800.
What about holograms at the office? There are two companies that specialize in creating meeting experiences using holography. Organizations as diverse as WeWork, DHL, Moneris, and NATO are using ARHT Media’s HoloPresence technology for internal corporate communications.
I interviewed ARHT’s Andrew Dorcas (🔒) about the company’s hologram technology, its uses in corporate settings, and additional benefits to beaming busy execs around the world. Dorcas says:
Our product is not for the brainstorm or internal company meeting. It’s for the event where you want to present an idea where action is expected as a result.
Town halls are a great means of getting top brass closer to regular employees because employees get to ask questions in a much more compelling and meaningful way. Body language is over 50% of communication, after all. Our technology allows that realism to come through. You can’t hide from someone who is standing in front of you.
DHL is a great example 👇. Their CEO hosts a quarterly town hall with employees using our technology where he also makes time for Q&A. They have also used HoloPresence™ for annual meetings and an Americas conference. All of these events were internal only. Another company, Moneris, has used our technology for their sales conferences.
I’m not saying holography is inevitable for internal comms. But I do think hologram technology is worth looking into, if not for practical use, then at least to help drive creativity and innovation within your internal comms team.
I make the case for experimenting with holograms in comms in the final chapter of the aforementioned mini-book, Innovation in Internal Communications: How Internal Comms Professionals Can Overcome the Innovator’s Dilemma.
🐶 🐱 🦎 🐟 Share the pet love on Twitter using the #commspets hashtag.
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Disclaimer: Besides running Mister Editorial, I am the editor-in-chief of Digital Publications at Lam Research. The views in this newsletter are my own.
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