Q&A: Informing audiences in smart cities

By Paul Memoli

We spoke with one of the companies behind LinkNYC, a network of digital information kiosks cropping up around New York City, about its content strategy and the success its found in engaging audiences.

In 2014, the City of New York launched a competition for proposals to replace payphones across the five boroughs with Wi-Fi hubs.

The winner was LinkNYC, which promised to build at least 7,500 kiosks over eight years. Each “Link” would offer gigabit Wi-Fi, domestic calling and access to city services — all for free, underwritten by digital advertising on two 55-inch screens.

Today, about 1,700 kiosks have been installed, featuring city trivia, sports scores, advertisements and now top news headlines from AP updated 24/7.

To learn more about the content strategy behind these digital information hubs and how they engage passersby, we spoke with Amanda Giddon, the senior consumer marketing manager at Intersection, one of the companies behind LinkNYC.

Giddon shared how her colleagues can localize content down to a single Link, feedback about the network they’ve received and the formats they’re thinking of implementing in the future.

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Paul Memoli

Paul is an account director based in New York with The Associated Press.

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