Over the years, I have noticed the following procedures correlate with efficient design projects.
Tell us your problems, goals and expectations
A big part of the design process is figuring out how to solve your problems and meet your goals and expectations with an exciting design. Before designers begin working with colors and images we put a lot of thought into how we can communicate your information in a logical way. Design can help solve your communication problems and meet your goals and expectations. One problem could be how to communicate a complicated open enrollment benefit chart in an easy-to-understand way. Another issue is how to make sure your target audience receives important information. If we know what you need to accomplish, we can figure out the best way to get the results you want.
Give us your guidelines, stylesheets and deadlines
The more information you give us the better. If you are not sure what you want (besides visually-appealing content) even the smallest detail or note is helpful. But, remember, the less information we have the greater the chance the proof will not be what you expected, and it may require extensive revisions. The deadline is also important. Most designers I know will change things and think of new ideas and modifications until the end of time, so we need a deadline. A deadline helps us fit all creativity, design execution, and proofing into the time available to us.
Tell us what you don’t you want
Telling us what you don’t want is also helpful. It helps us narrow down what we have to work with and also makes you happy since your proof won’t contain your pet peeves. If you do not like purple, Helvetica, and cartoony art let us know upfront.
Give us examples
If you have an example of what how envision your project, show it to us. We won’t copy the examples but will use them to get an idea of what you want for the project’s overall look. Maybe you envision it clean with a lot of white space, or fun, or corporate. Since all these styles are subjective an example helps us determine your idea of “fun.”
Tell us what you like and dislike about the proof
We took all information you gave us and figured out a way to visually represent it. The proof is now in your inbox. The first draft should be close to what you were expecting relative to the amount of information you gave us. If the proof is not what you were expecting there is a positive consequence. We now have an example of what you don’t want. The best thing we can do is apply the above steps to the proof. Tell us what you don’t like about the proof, give us examples of what you do like, and give us guidelines on what to change.
Working with your graphic designer and achieving great results will be easy if you follow the above recommendations.
Happy New Year! As my colleagues and I return back to work after the holidays, getting back into the swing of things can be quite challenging. To help ease the transition and set the stage for a successful year, we take these first couple of weeks to reflect on 2016, and plan for the year ahead.
Communication and collaboration is an essential part of this process. We think about what our goals are collectively for the business as a whole, for our team, and for our own individual personal and professional development.
In the spirit of setting us all up for success in the new year, I’d like to share some tips that I feel have contributed to the success of our team here at Trion.
I have never worked in an environment where colleagues hold so many meetings. At first, this was overwhelming – meeting constantly and discussing many topics which I did not fully understand.
But now I realize the significance of gathering in a conference room for an hour or two to discuss the week ahead. We can openly discuss upcoming projects or assignments, our progress and feedback, and suggest ways to be more efficient. It is extremely important that everyone is on the same page. This way everyone has a full understanding of what the team is working on.
There are a variety of projects we work on daily. Some may take anywhere from a day to a month, even a whole year, to complete. There are also ongoing assignments — those that are built into our routine and our marketing plans.
Additionally, we frequently receive requests that are outside of our plan of action. When they come in, we draw up a plan as to what is being requested, how it can be achieved and who will work on the project. This way, the work can be distributed evenly amongst the team. We can also take the initiative to own certain projects if we realize our team members are busy with other assignments.
Put it on the Calendar:
Our team is great about communication! We have a shared calendar, which every team member has access to, where we house all of our projects. These can be anything from email blasts to trade shows to meetings.
We place anything with a deadline in our calendar ‒ this way the entire team can see what we have coming up in the weeks/months ahead and who the project owner is. This is tremendously helpful to have on hand should any questions arise or someone needs assistance with a project.
Keep a Log:
This may be more of a personal task and coincides with our project plans and team calendar. Keeping track of all the assignments and projects I work on throughout the year is valuable. I create a spreadsheet with the name of the project, a brief description, the date I started and completed it, and what worked best or needs improvement.
This gives me a physical document to show to my boss and/or colleagues if needed, and comes in very handy during the annual performance review process. I can also use it as a tool to reflect upon everything I completed and achieved during the year, and look for ways to become more effective for the following year.
Best wishes for success in 2017!
Today marks my sixth week here at Trion and the time is truly flying by. As a new member of the Marketing and Communications team, I was very anxious to start my first day. Coming from an insurance/brokerage background and recently completing my bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, I knew this would be a great fit.
Before Trion, I did not understand the complexity and all the behind the scenes details surrounding the benefits process. I have appreciated my team members’ patience while learning and comprehending new materials, policies and procedures. While I want to be successful in my role, my team recognizes it is not going to happen overnight. Everyone here understands it takes time to learn new things; they encourage and remind of this every day. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join an amazing team.
Some might think now that open enrollment is here everyone is stressed and frantic, our team actually has an immense communication strategy for each client. I greatly appreciate all the hard work and dedication the team gives. Here are a few things I’ve noticed during my time at Trion.
Communication all around.
There is constant communication throughout the departments. I have been in many positions (and, I am sure you have too) where there has been a lack of communication between co-workers. At Trion, we have weekly meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. When it comes to projects and assignments, team members are very well prepared. Everyone openly shares what they are working on and when they are unavailable so the next person can jump in. My team members take the time to clearly communicate with me about assignments, products and services to ensure I fully understand.
Collaboration is essential.
Having an open environment where we are free to share our thoughts and opinions, adds value, insight and creativity. My team members are always encouraging me to contribute my ideas and feedback on all projects. Everyone expresses their viewpoints and it’s taken into consideration. Throughout my professional experience, I have worked for many companies where my ideas didn’t matter. When I wanted to speak up and voice my thoughts and concerns, I felt inferior or second-guessed myself. There is none of that here at Trion and I love it. Even if my idea is crazy and doesn’t make any sense, it is good starting point and other team members can run with it.
Clients come first.
We provide above-and-beyond exceptional services to our clients. Making them happy is what keeps us coming in everyday. My team members constantly meet our clients’ requirements and expectations on a daily basis. There are a variety of communication materials for each client; and we customize it to their needs. The team spends a lot of time and effort creating content and visuals to engage readership and educate employees. Utilizing timelines and weekly check ins ensures the materials are presented in a timely manner. We proof and edit all documents multiple times to be certain the content makes sense and there are no errors.
Check out our portfolio page to see previous communication materials for our clients. Let Trion’s communication team help you customize communications to fit your employees’ needs.
It’s time you give your employees a show. Dim the lights, make some popcorn, let them sit back and get ready to be dazzled by your next big blockbuster. That’s right, your blockbuster video. Presenting your internal communications as short, narrated videos is a great way to reach your employee population.
Why choose video for your next benefit communication campaign? Not only are employees expecting it, but video aids comprehension, ensures compliance and it allows for a speedy consistent delivery of your message.
65% of the population prefers a visual approach to learning and 30% prefer an auditory approach. With video communications, theoretically, you can reach 95% of your audience! That’s great, right?
Video content delivery platforms make compliance easier too! Many content delivery platforms allow administrators to track and see just who is watching — and how long they watch — the video presentations. Now you can ensure compliance and be certain EVERYONE has seen your message.
But, just because you can force employees to watch the video, doesn’t mean you can skimp on creating an entertaining production. A best practice is to create a video that entertains and informs the audience. Keep things light and impersonal. Professional, but with some personality!
The length of the video is also an important consideration. For optimal engagement, try to stay between 3-6 minutes. If your video is too long, you may need to consider an alternate form of communication.
Of course, cost is an important consideration! But, due to improving technology, the cost to produce video communication has become extremely reasonable. With costs coming down, it’s fast becoming an important facet of employee benefits communication.
At Trion we specialize in creating video solutions. We have created dozens of successful video campaigns for many of our clients that generate excellent response rates with their employee population. Check out some of our sample videos at: http://www.trioncommunications.com/video-presentations/. If you need more information, reach out and contact us. We would love to help you kick off a new video-driven campaign!