As Oregon’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for FirstNet, Steve Noel is constantly looking for impactful ways to explain the public safety broadband network and how it will benefit first responders in his state.
Through his outreach and awareness efforts, Steve has talked to hundreds of public safety stakeholders across Oregon over the past couple of years about the need for a nationwide public safety broadband network and the national and statewide efforts to plan for the build-out.
Steve quickly learned that at this stage of coordination and planning for the network, the most effective way to communicate with public safety agencies and elected officials in Oregon is to provide them with a primer that communicates “just the facts” about FirstNet.
“We had developed a tactical reference guide on FirstNet, and recognized the need to condense the key FirstNet initiatives into a simple format for stakeholders and leaders to understand," he told FirstNet.
So they began assembling key data points about FirstNet, its enabling legislation, and the network and then looked into a number of options for how to best display it. Steve and his team also took a look at what other states were planning to do for FirstNet outreach, as well as lessons learned from popular social media outlets.
"Bill Schrier (Washington SPOC) had been planning to do a type of infographic for the state of Washington and we thought that might be a good medium for this,” he explained. An infographic is a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data.
“We had just completed a web presence and several fact sheet mailers. Our program lead was looking at current media trends and saw on Pinterest that they use "By the Numbers" a lot for recipes and different things - then it clicked to use that format for FirstNet."
Steve and his team worked with their graphics department on design options and then developed an infographic product that has now become a valuable outreach tool. "We wanted to put timelines on when Oregon could expect to see a state plan from FirstNet - this put our stakeholders at ease a bit once they understood it's a very detailed process to get to that point."
The infographic has become a very popular tool in Oregon and in other states and territories for early outreach about FirstNet. Steve also created a matching PowerPoint presentation that breaks down each key area.
FirstNet has adapted Oregon’s "By the Numbers” infographic for our national outreach efforts. A high-resolution version is available for download on FirstNet’s resources page.
Have a story that you'd like to share with FirstNet on best practices that have helped your state or territory with outreach? Reach out to FirstNet at Outreach@FirstNet.gov and we will work with your state, territory, jurisdiction, or tribe to promote them with other stakeholders.