Lockheed Martin is a global aerospace and defense company. Its Aeronautics division was looking for a company-wide communications platform to provide news and information to its non-wired workforce. To accomplish this, they launched Velocity News Network (VNN), a branded internal digital signage network, at facilities in Fort Worth, Texas; Marietta, Ga.; and Palmdale, Calif. Displayed on 46-inch LCDs, VNN brings staff in common areas, cafeterias, and break rooms a rotation of “stories” — pieces ranging from eight seconds to two minutes and featuring video and/or motion graphics — that relay internal messaging such as human resources updates, features about company programs and projects, and important company announcements.
“VNN has become an invaluable communication tool to keep our widely dispersed workforce engaged and up-to-date with the latest company information,” said James Lavine, Manager, Multimedia at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “A lot of work went into the creation of the network by a dedicated team of Lockheed Martin professionals, and it’s exciting to see their efforts recognized with such a prestigious award.”
Targeting employees without company email or access to the Internet, Lockheed Martin’s VNN was installed across multiple corporate campuses within the U.S. to provide broadcast-quality news stories in order to keep all staff members updated on company information and policies. Using the X2O platform’s easy-to-use tools, VNN content producers can efficiently build visually appealing stories without compromising onscreen production standards, and deliver them in the highest quality to more than 140 displays throughout the network.
Initial challenges in creating content for VNN included identifying the type and length of content that would engage non-wired workers during short breaks between shifts, determining the regular traffic patterns and dwell times and spaces of this audience, and understanding how to balance internal and external content in a way that would attract and maintain employees’ interest. In creating content, the communications division was limited by several factors. The 10-minute breaks taken by workers make it impossible to present information in any long-form piece. Because content is consumed during workers’ free time, it is important that it engage by informing and entertaining viewers. In addition, the production values of the content needed to be high in order to convey information with authority. Finally, use of a “news network” model made it important to maintain broadcast-quality production values and image quality, even without the producer/director chair typical of true news networks.
By the end of 2011, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics installed a total of 127 screens on its digital signage network. Through implementation of this network, the company has been able to move farther into the digital age of communications, establishing a more effective and contemporary means of informing and educating its non-wired employees in a timely manner. Departments across the company have sought out the opportunity to run content on the network, recognizing its success in engaging a wide range of employees — and a subset that can be difficult to reach — more effectively than other modes of communication.
In 2015, the Velocity News Network was honored with a Bronze DSE Apex Content Award in the Business, Industry & Government category.
The annual DSE Apex Content Awards recognize originality in content applications tailored specifically for the many and varied global DOOH audiences. This year’s 28 Apex Content Award finalists were selected from a field of 60 entrants from six countries vying in 11 major digital signage categories. Nominations were individually assessed and juried on the basis of originality in content applications developed specifically for digital signage by three independent panels, each with three industry professionals.
Lockheed Martin’s VNN was also recently recognized with a 2015 DIGI Award for Best Content, Corporate Communications.