Overview – Public address systems
(PA) Public Address systems are communication devices with mixer, amplifier and loudspeakers used to transmit messages around a building or large open space. Simple PA systems can be used in large work areas where employees are undertaking manual work.
PA systems with a number of speakers are widely used in institutional and commercial buildings. For employee events in large stadiums or football arenas, PA systems provide another way to convey your messages. PA communications can take the form of an announcement, important update or even a mini-newscast.
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Transmitting information in real-time to employees who do not have access to computers, kiosks, faxes, etc., or who are away from their desks.
✓ Making announcements.
✓ Providing important updates.
✓ Declaring a state of emergency.
Things to consider:
⇒ Establish the role that the Public Address system will play in your communication mix.
⇒ Appoint a person qualified to manage the Public Address system as an employee- communication tactic.
⇒ Develop guidelines and protocols for usage, including the following: Frequency and timing of announcements, content and length of messages, co-ordinated process for message management, who is authorised to speak over the system and the use of music and other special auditory effects.
Sometimes Public Address systems have to compete with a lot of other noise and activity to gain employees’ attention. For this reason, it’s important that messages relayed over PAs are:
Accurate, Brief, Clear, Easily heard and understood, Memorable, Suit the purpose, audience and occasion. Give a clear ‘call to action’, if required.