A desktop alert is an electronic message sent to multiple employee computers. It displays a pop-up message window with text, images and hyperlinks on the screen. Desktop alerts are typically used for messages that have high strategic importance or need fast cut-through. Desktop alerts can initially display a small message notification window that the employee can click to display the full message. Or the full alert message can be pushed directly onto computer screens.
Desktop alerts can be used to deliver text, graphics, images, videos and interactive RSVP invites, surveys and quizzes. Message acknowledgement and reporting options allow you to ensure desktop alert messages have been read.
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Breaking news.
✓ System outages.
✓ Emergency communications.
✓ Warnings (e.g. fraud alerts, security breaches).
✓ Important policy updates.
✓ Change announcements.
✓ Important notifications.
Things to consider:
⇒ As a general rule, use desktop alerts for messages that have high strategic importance or need fast cut-through.
⇒ Consider which types of messages should cut-through full-screen applications such as PowerPoint and whether users can ‘snooze ‘ some types of alerts at busy times.
⇒ Keep the frequency of alerts sufficiently low so that the tactic stays fresh. Around one to three alerts a week at most is recommended (apart from specific fast-changing situations).
⇒ If staff are not using their computers all day (e.g. in retail stores) you can afford to use desktop alerts more frequently.
⇒ Plan how many times and how often an unread alert should reappear, e.g. for less critical messages, set the pop-up to repeat just a few times.
Design different alert window templates to provide a visual cue regarding the type of message. Include images in alerts to keep messages engaging. The key is relevancy. Make sure your target audience MUST know the information conveyed by a desktop alert.