A Rebel’s Guide… Why A Rebel?

By Brad Parler
Digital Communications Administrator, Blinds.com

parker-ds2-0915 The eight most detrimental words for the creative process, in my humble opinion are: “We have never done it that way before.” To get to places we have never been often we have to do things that we have never done. At CorpComm Expo (CCE), I’m presenting a talk on the Lessons Learned: A Rebel’s Guide to Digital Signage. Why do I see myself as a rebel?

I’m not outright anti-establishment, and I’m not trying to overthrow any systems or ruling parties. In fact, I’m becoming more active by taking a role on the advisory board of CCE. You have most likely never heard of me in the digital signage speaking circles or in any trade websites until about a year ago (if you were watching really closely). I see myself as a rebel in this space because I foment and encourage creative disruption that enhances both the process and the creative result. I’m outright attacking the status quo of digital signage media creation and leading a rise in opposition to dull, mediocre media.

parker-ds-0915I believe that we are in the midst of a digital content revolution, which is rooted in the maker and re-mix culture where user created content is king. User created content inside corporate communications breaks the typical top down flow of messaging. The breaking of this flow flips the table and creates a place for dialog. The media of this movement will no longer be a megaphone; rather, the content I envision is a means for holistic engagement, not forced participation.

Blinds.com started its digital signage project with six netbooks and PowerPoint. Today, the network is made up of more than seventy screens and two video walls. There are many things I wish I would have known before I started the process of rapidly expanding our network size, and I will do all I can to share with you the things I learned along that journey.

Not only did I plan and build out the network and infrastructure this project required, but I am also the sole member of the creative team who creates all of the content that is displayed. The key win for me was when I started looking at media creation from the standpoint of deeply dynamic messaging, without sacrificing production value.

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At CorpComm Expo, I will be sharing what I’ve learned through the process of delivering a variety of real projects. Attendees will not only be interested in what worked, but those in a similarly modestly staffed situation will also want to know what a “department of one” can accomplish with the right tools.

So, why do I position myself as a rebel? It is because I feel very strongly that we need to have a shift in the way we look at content: the way in which it is produced, the reason that we produce it and for whom we are producing it. I believe that the way in which we present our message will determine how deeply that communication is received. I am looking for others who will join me in this content revolution and together we can work to raise the bar of what is considered the norm and rid the world of mediocre media.

brad-parker-0815Author Brad Parler will be presenting a general conference session at CorpComm Expo 2015 entitled, “Lessons Learned: A Rebel’s Guide to Digital Signage,” on Thursday, October 1st from 3:00-4:00pm at the Georgia World Congress Center. For more information about CorpComm Expo, or to register for this or any other educational seminar or workshop and learn more about digital communications technologies and strategies, go here.

Brad Parler is the digital communications administrator at Blinds.com, the world’s largest online window covering store recently acquired by The Home Depot. As a broadcast design and technology veteran, Brad draws from over 15 years of experience with one foot firmly planted in the world of video production and the other planted in the world of Internet Technology. Brad has achieved national industry attention with his innovative take on displaying important data in beautiful and easy-to-understand ways. He conceptualized, built and actively maintains the graphics and HD video-rich internal corporate communications network that includes over 70 large format displays and two large video walls.