Worldwide, the public sector has a huge cadre of the working population across different countries, with millions involved in local and regional positions and national government jobs.
These numerous employees and even more citizens who use public services draw more attention to the importance of good communication.
In this regard, digital signage is a major solution with many creative ways of improving the experience for government employees and citizens.
In 2030, this trend will be reflected by the projected value of the global signage market, which is expected to reach USD 45.94 billion. This popularity boom emphasises the technology’s potential for transforming how government agencies communicate and disseminate information.
Therefore, more government organisations globally should consider adopting this approach daily. Now, you probably wonder why.
What is Digital Signage and Why It is Relevant for Government Agencies?
Digital signage is a term used to describe digital displays (LCD, LED and projection screens) capable of displaying video, images, information and advertisements. You can often spot them in public facilities, transportation systems, museums, hotels, restaurants, retail, sports events, corporate buildings, etc.
On the operations front, it also plays a vital role in government. It can convey any information efficiently, effectively and in real time. But what types of signage are available for government agencies and what specific benefits do they bring?
What Types of Digital Signage Can Be Used in Government Settings?
Below are some of the most effective types of digital signage used in government settings and we must note that each can be tailored to meet your organisation’s specific requirements for optimisation and accessibility.
- Informational Displays: These are installed inside open spaces in government buildings to post information such as office hours, event schedules, public notices and emergency alerts. They are very dynamic and play a crucial role in disseminating up-to-date information to the public.
- Wayfinding Kiosks: These interactive displays guide visitors through the mazes of complex government buildings, like courthouses or city halls. They provide maps, directories and instructions to facilitate a smooth experience for the visitors.
- Queue Management Systems: The main field of applications for these systems is motor vehicles or public service offices, where waiting lines are managed with ticket numbers and estimated wait times.
- Interactive Touchscreens: These have many different purposes and can be implemented in several departments for self-service activities such as filling out forms, paying bills or obtaining relevant information. They are instrumental in decreasing the queue times and staff burden.
- Meeting Room Signs: They are found on the walls outside conference halls and offices in government buildings to display meeting schedules, room availability and events. They help to control the space effectively and avoid confusion.
- Employee Communication Boards: They are used internally in government offices to facilitate communication between the staff about different policies.
- Security Alert Systems: Integrated with a building’s security system, these displays can show real-time alerts, safety instructions, and evacuation routes during emergencies.
Benefits of Digital Signage for Government
Incorporating digital signage into government operations modernises communication channels and fosters a more informed and engaged civic environment. But that’s not everything! Here are some more key benefits that signage brings to government settings:
It is very common for government institutions to share critical information through formal documents or online platforms, which may need to be more efficient to reach a larger audience.
However, this informational aspect is presented more dynamically and attractively through digital displays, which makes it easier for public communication. It enables agencies to display information in multiple languages and at several locations simultaneously, ensuring greater reachability.
Cost and Time Efficiency
Updating the information displayed on the digital signage is significantly faster and cheaper than printing it, for example. With central cloud-based management, all the devices can be automatically updated, saving on printing costs and distribution of paper.
If strategically positioned, signage can make the information easily accessible to everyone, even those with disabilities. For instance, screens can be mounted at wheelchair-accessible heights or tailored for the visually impaired.
Support in Remote Areas
For regions where establishing physical government offices is impractical, digital signage provides a vital link, providing accurate information and assistance. This ensures that the residents of these areas have uninterrupted access to continue enjoying necessary public services.
Effective Emergency Communication
Signage is invaluable when it comes to the quick distribution of any alert messages regarding different emergencies. In crises, real-time updates can be transmitted from command centres to all relevant locations to provide crucial instructions and information in order to keep the public informed and safe.
Streamlining Internal Operations
Digital signage is also a critical instrument for internal organisational use. It can be utilised for staff notice boards, making announcements about policy changes, or as a part of the infrastructure in command centres, streamlining the operations and decision processes.
Signage reduces the need for paper-based communication, and that way, it contributes to environmental sustainability. It aligns with green initiatives by decreasing paper waste and promoting a more eco-friendly approach to information dissemination.
Promotion of Local Tourism and Cultural Events
Implementation Costs and Considerations
The cost of installing digital signage can vary significantly due to several factors. Price variables include number of screens, media players, mounting hardware installation, software licences and content development.
The pricing for each component differs, with options such as consumer-level or commercial-level displays, screen sizes to choose from, hardware quality and software functionality.
Additional costs may also arise, including IT support, maintenance and the depreciation of assets.
To give you a basic presumption of the costs:
- Display screens, which are a key element in the configuration process, can cost anything from €276 to €500 depending on their size and type.
- The price of media players required to display the content can differ from €30 for basic models to €700 for advanced ones.
- Content management software typically comes on a subscription model, starting from €10 to €50 monthly.
- Installation fees can vary based on the complexity of the system, from €200 for straightforward setups to over €2000 for more complex installations.
- The expenses for creating content, which include both design and production, are typically billed by the hour, usually falling between €15 and €25.
Best Practices for Government Agencies Implementing Digital Signage
By following the below best practices, government agencies can ensure they provide valuable services to the community:
Clearly Define Objectives
First and foremost, start by identifying the primary goals you want to achieve. Whether it’s to improve internal communication, help with public service announcements, or assist in wayfinding, having clear objectives will guide your strategy and content.
Ensure Accessibility and Compliance
Digital signage should be accessible to all, including people with disabilities. Comply with relevant standards such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes considering screen height, audio options for the visually impaired and easy-to-read visuals for those with hearing impairments.
Choose the Right Locations
Place digital signs in high-traffic areas that are most visible and beneficial. Entrances, waiting areas and common spaces are ideal. Ensure that the signage does not obstruct movement or create any safety hazards.
Invest in Quality Hardware and Software
Choose durable and reliable hardware that can withstand constant use. The software should also be secure, user-friendly and capable of supporting various media formats. Consider future-proofing your investment by selecting scalable solutions.
Develop Engaging Content
Content should be relevant, updated and engaging. Use high-quality images, videos and easy-to-understand text. Keep messages brief and to the point.
Regular Updates and Maintenance
Keep the content fresh and relevant with regular updates. Routine hardware and software maintenance is crucial to ensure disrupted operation.
Train Staff Effectively
Ensure that staff members are well-trained in content creation, scheduling, emergency broadcasting and basic troubleshooting.
Integrate with Existing Systems
If possible, integrate digital signage with existing IT infrastructure for better content management and data sharing. For example, integrating with a room booking system for meeting room signage.
Ensure Security and Data Protection
Protect your system from cybersecurity threats. Implement robust security protocols and ensure compliance with data protection regulations, especially when personal or sensitive information is displayed.
Plan for Emergencies
Ensure that the system can override regular content quickly to display necessary information during emergencies.
Real-World Examples of Digital Signage in Government Settings
Digital signage has become an indispensable tool in various government sectors, revolutionising the way information is communicated and services are delivered. Here are some notable real-world examples demonstrating the impact and versatility of the technology in government settings:
City Hall Information Kiosks: Many city halls have implemented interactive kiosks equipped with digital signage. They give citizens easy access to critical information like city services, event schedules and public notices. They also offer self-service options for completing forms or applications, significantly reducing waiting times.
Transportation Hubs: Digital displays in train stations, airports, and bus terminals depict real-time information about schedules, delays and cancellations. These screens also provide safety instructions, wayfinding maps and general announcements.
Public Health Campaigns: Health departments leverage digital boards to broadcast vital health-related information. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, digital displays were used to share health guidelines, vaccination sites and safety protocols.
Courtroom Docket Displays: Courts use signage to display case schedules, courtroom assignments, and waiting times. This technology has streamlined the flow of information, reducing confusion and helping the public better navigate the legal system.
Emergency Alert Systems: Government buildings are equipped with digital signage that can instantly switch to emergency alert mode, displaying critical information during emergencies like natural disasters or security threats.
Military Bases: On military bases, signage operates for training purposes, providing updates on base activities and alerts.
Public Works Notifications: Digital billboards and smaller displays in public areas are used to announce road closures, construction updates and public works initiatives, keeping citizens prepared for changes in their daily commutes.
Selecting the Right Digital Signage Solutions for Government Needs
When you opt for an adequate solution, it is important to prioritise security due to the sensitive nature of public information and the need to comply with various regulations. Remember to adhere to the highest standards of security and data protection.
Here is a guide to help you get started with that:
- Assess Security Features
Opt for digital signage solutions that offer robust security features. This includes end-to-end encryption, secure login procedures, multi-factor authentication and regular security updates to protect against cyber threats.
- Compliance with Regulations
Ensure the solution complies with relevant government regulations, data protection and privacy standards. For instance, in the United States, this may include compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for health-related information or the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) for federal data security.
- Vendor Reputation and Reliability
Choose vendors with a strong reputation for providing secure digital signage solutions, especially those experienced in working with government entities. Verify their credentials and track record in maintaining high-security standards.
- Network Security
The solution should offer secure network options, including running on private networks and integrating safely with existing government IT infrastructure.
- Content Management Security
The content management system (CMS) should be secure and allow for controlled access. This means only authorised personnel should be able to update or modify content, and there should be an audit trail for content changes.
- Remote Management and Control
Look for solutions that offer secure remote management capabilities. This allows for timely updates and management of content while ensuring that the remote access points are well-protected against unauthorised access.
- Physical Security of Hardware
Ensure that the physical components of the digital signage, like screens and kiosks, are tamper-proof and resistant to vandalism. This is particularly important for outdoor or public area installations.
- Disaster Recovery and Backup
The system should have a robust disaster recovery plan and backup capabilities to ensure continuity of service and protection of data in case of a system failure or breach.
- Customisation for Specific Needs
Government agencies often have specific requirements. Ensure the solution can be customised to meet these needs without compromising security.
- Testing and Auditing
To close the article, we want to share that signage represents a significant leap forward for government agencies. As demonstrated, the appropriate solution has the potential to optimise operations and encourage improved engagement.
(2024, January 26). Maria Georgieva – MagicInfo Service. Retrieved from https://blog.magicinfoservices.com/blog/empowering-government-agencies-through-digital-signage