You've assembled an all-star team of SMEs, writers, editors and proposal managers to start work on your latest proposal effort. Your confidence is running high as you head into your kickoff meeting where you'll craft the strategy, win themes and discriminators that will define your proposal. The time for the kickoff arrives, and your team members are settled into their seats, except you've forgotten to invite one of the key participants who will play a vital role in developing the final product – the graphic artist.
Topics: proposal management, infographic, Information Graphics, Government Proposals, Proposal Graphics, RFP, Problem Solving with Infographics, infographics in business, visual thinking, Information graphics in government, Brainstorming, Kickoff Meeting
We hear it all the time from proposal clients.
"Can you build these graphics for our print proposal in PowerPoint? We want to be able to edit them on the fly."
We get it. The thinking is that sometimes it might be a time-saver to make a simple text or color change without having to pick up the phone or send an email and ask your graphics support team to make the adjustment for you.
It's also looked at as a cost-saver. "If I can make a few simple edits myself, I'll save some money on the cost of proposal development since I'm not having to ask my graphics support team to do it."
Of course, we're happy to accommodate our customers, but 9 times out of 10, proposal clients don't really understand what they're asking for when they make this request.
You've set your sight on landing a big contract — a project that interests you and one you want to win. But getting the business may be a little harder than you first expected, especially if an RFP has been sent out.
An RFP (request for proposal) is when an organization, company, government agency, etc. issues an opportunity to bid on a contract because they are interested in procurement of a product or service. An RFP outlines how the bidding process will go, the terms of the contract, and provides guidance on how the bid should be written and presented.
When it comes to creating an effective response to a request for proposal there are certain aspects you should consider if you want to produce a great bid that wins the contract.
Typically, there are so many points that need to be addressed in the response and so little space allowed due to page limits making it hard to make everything fit. What you need to be able to do is make effective decisions about which information is critical and must be included and which information can be eliminated.
One great way to help you distill that information down to it's most essential form is to consider using information graphics in your proposal. By their very nature, infographics are meant to make complex ideas easier to understand, and building them is a great exercise because doing so forces you to determine which information is vital and which isn't.
We've explained before WHY you should be using information graphics in government or in government proposals, but sometimes it may be hard to wrap your mind around HOW.
Many times, when you work for a government agency, you'r trained to think a certain way, which is understandable because government agencies have their own unique terminologies, methodologies and protocols that must be used and followed. However, efficiency and government decision making often do not go hand in hand. This is where infographics can serve government agencies incredibly well. Graphics can be created to explain new concepts and ideas in any organization, including those with a myriad of rules, language and procedures. The beauty of visual communication is that it speaks to people regardless of the conventions.
One goal we have at Buzzmachine Studios is to educate you on how you can use information graphics in a way that benefits you and the project you're working on. Here are five ways you can use information graphics in government.
- To explain a budget. It's all about the money, and many times, money is the biggest factor to consider. People want to know how money is being spent or how you're planning to spend it. An infographic is perfect for this because numbers can easily be represented with visuals. When it comes to government, generally the numbers being represented are larger than the average person is able to digest, making it even more important to paint a picture (literally) of the spending being discussed.
One great example of this is the annual Death & Taxes information graphic produced by Timeplots, which depicts the U.S. federal government's budget for the fiscal year.
Storytelling has come a long way from the hand drawings found in a cave in Indonesia, but the desired end result is still the same.
Those early cave drawings — believed to be more than 40,000 years old — were intended to tell a story.
Telling a story has evolved from those drawings to a printing press and finally to digital images, but the form of communication and what it looks like has always been secondary to the story itself.
The temptation with any new technology, whether it’s Gutenberg’s printing press or today’s computers, is to get caught up in what that communication looks like instead of the story it tells.
We've been producing infographics for proposal projects for a number of years now, and we've seen a lot of different approaches depending on whatever method the proposal firm, the proposal manager or the client subscribes to.
Let us tell you a little story about how infographics can be instrumental in winning a bid, especially when it comes to tedious RFPs for government proposal work, where space is limited but the information required is more than abundant...
Your company and all your main competitors are up against each other for a big government contract. The RFP notice is out and you must now begin the process of putting a proposal together to convince the government that your company is best suited to handle the job over your competitors and that you deserve to be awarded this contract. Billions of dollars are at stake, and winning this bid could make or break your company over the next few years. How do you make your company stand out against all the rest while also showing how truly qualified you are for the job ahead?