Supporting signage in a MAT – Shireland Collegiate Academy

Thorns Mr Manny Kelay, Principal and Mr Rob Labrum standing in front of a Digital Signage screen at Shirelands MAT

Digital signage can be used in so many different ways. Whether it’s posting an announcement across school, or wishing a pupil Happy Birthday. Beyond the content side of signage, is the strategy and democratisation to key stakeholders; the who, how and where. We recognise that the way a small one-screen primary school functions, in comparison to a large secondary school with democratised ownership amongst many digital leaders, is completely different. Go even further, and you’re looking into the realm of MAT’s with multiple schools and it can get trickier! This is why we created our multi-site licence to help accommodate this somewhat complex task. That said, it’s all well and good having a package that offers fantastic value for your signage solution, but where do you even start, the task can be…well… pretty scary!

This was the situation that Nicki Maglione, Communications Manager at Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust found herself in just over a year ago.

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Nicki had just joined the trust with eight sites across the Black Country area of the West Midlands and was tasked with rolling out the digital signage project using TrilbyTV across these schools. TrilbyTV Director, Neil Emery was on hand to lend some support as she told us,

“Neil ran through everything in terms of how TrilbyTV worked along with all of the different features. He then gave me an insight into how other schools and different organisations had used it to give us a bit of an idea about what was possible. I think that gave me a really good background to be able to write our initial strategy.”

A picture of a digital signage screen with a Shirelands logo

Guidance and support to enhance democratisation

When there’s multiple stakeholders that are using digital signage across different sites, it’s always best to have guidance in place as to what can and can’t be shared, which is exactly what Nicki did,

“As Communications Manager within the trust, I support schools with their communication activities, but this doesn’t mean doing it for them. I achieve this mainly through creating support documents that they can use to make their marketing and comms easier to manage. Having these documents in place allows us to have a consistent approach in regards to the messaging across all of our schools. Knowing that we were going to roll out this solution across all of our schools, we needed to have the same consistent approach and make sure that branding was uniformed. This meant that writing a guidance document about how each school should use TrilbyTV was a no-brainer for us.”

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Getting the buy-in from school staff is key

Nicki started by taking it back to basics as she needed staff to actually have an interest in using TrilbyTV first,

“I started by looking at why a new user would want to get involved with TrilbyTV, what the benefits are to give somebody a reason to use it, to get the buy-in early on. I then moved on from that making it as simple, straightforward and useful as possible. The Trust TrilbyTV guidance document is now a sort of handbook for all of our schools or new members of staff that come on board. The idea is that it can be given to them and they will at least be able to read about TrilbyTV, the basics of using it, along with some of our expectations for how schools should be using it as well. This combined with Neil’s online training sessions and all the other support that we’ve had are now saved to our staff portal. It saves our department time as it’s a bit of a self-serve tool they can pick up and run with themselves in the school without needing us to do everything for them.”

Managing digital signage across multiple sites

With TrilbyTV being based in the cloud it also makes it easy to manage from anywhere, as Nicki confirmed,

“TrilbyTV has allowed me to sit in our central team offices in Smethwick, or wherever I am working from, and instantly update our messaging, news alerts, and more at any one or all of our schools across the Black Country. It’s just such a simple, straightforward, easy to use system. You don’t need to be in a specific place or have logged on to a specific computer. From a management point of view, it means that I’m not having to go and visit every single school just to update something. I don’t even have to leave the office which is really, really helpful and time-effective.”

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The difference that TrilbyTV has made

Summing up her experience with TrilbyTV so far, Nicki had this to say,

“It’s made a massive difference to be able to reach our schools instantly through the software rather than having to go in and update screens manually. It enables us to get the messages out to schools and for schools to put their own content on the screen as well. The flexibility lets us put loads of different kinds of content on there; social media feeds, videos, simple graphic slides, and more. It ticks all of the boxes for us. TrilbyTV has allowed me to instantly update our messaging and news alerts at all of our schools. It’s a really simple to use system with great support from the TrilbyTV team. When a new school comes in with new members of staff, it’s very easy to train them on it and slip them into the system.”

A picture of Nick Grundy in front of a tv that is running TrilbyTV

Thanks for chatting with us Nicki, it’s great to hear how we’ve helped Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust roll out an effective, democratised digital signage solution. If you’d like to learn a little bit more about TrilbyTV and how it can help you build whole school communication, book a free demo session today.

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