July 2019 Print

Professional Tip of the Month

So You Want to Fly Drones
Drones, UAVs, UAS, UFOs, or whatever you call them are ubiquitous now. Your citizens are flying them around your city right now, so why aren't you?

The FAA Part 107 program is the quickest way to start legally flying drones for your municpality. All you need to do is study some air space rules and regulations, then take a test at an approved testing site (usually a flying school at an airport). The timed test is 60 questions, multiple choice, and costs $150. In a few weeks you'll recieve your Remote Pilot Certification card in the mail.

Once you have your Remote Pilot Certificate you'll need to obtain a NC DOT UAS Government Operator Permit by taking an online 20 question test. This test is less complicated than the the FAA test and it is free. The next step is to buy a drone and register it with the FAA ($5 per aircraft).

The FAA Remote Pilot Certificate, the NC DOT UAS Government Operators Permit, and an FAA registered aircraft are the only essential things required in order to begin flying. You may want to consider a policy for your municipality that details what you will use the drone for, who authorizes flights, where are the drones kept, etc.

This is the Drones 101 version of how to get started. In reality there are air space classifications, flight restrictions, and privacy protections that vary by location. If you're close to a public airport you may need to use the LAANC system to request flight authorization. In areas with complicated air space you can get FAA waivers, Certificates of Authorization, or search warrants to fly just about anywhere where you have a valid reason to.

NC3C 365 - Conference Tips All Year Long

Grab the Bull by the Horns
That was the theme of NC3C’s annual conference this past April in Durham, the Bull City.

Crisis Communication is a skill set to help us take control of the bull without being gored by it. The unpredictability of what we face as communicators was driven home the morning of the 10th before the conference had even begun. During setup in the Durham Convention Center, we heard a loud noise and felt the reverberation.

At first, it seemed as though something very large inside the convention center might have come crashing down. Soon we learned that a natural gas explosion several blocks away had killed one person and injured 17 others, one mortally. The explosion destroyed one building and damaged several others while firefighters were on scene investigating the gas leak. The tragedy occurred on the day of our host city’s scheduled 150th birthday celebration.

As a column of smoke rose over the site of the explosion, we wondered whether to cancel the opening half-day session and even urged attendees to stay away until police gave the all clear. Our first two speakers were already in the vicinity, however, so the session went ahead on schedule.

After the keynote speaker the following morning, presenters shared lessons learned from dealing with hurricanes, winter storms, water break emergencies, and demonstrations over a Confederate monument at UNC – all in 2018. The gas explosion in durham was a reminder that crisis communication is a skill that all of us need because any of us could be called into action at any moment.

NC3C Sponsor Spotlight

Bang the Table
Are you looking to do more with online community engagement?

Take a look at this presentation from our annual conference in April. Jeremy Shackett provided an overview of the services that Bang the Table provides and how their community engagement platform can generate more end-to-end online participation with your citizens. Since 2007, Bang the Table has helped hundreds of local governments foster meaningful conversations and build lasting relationships with their residents.

Questions? Contact Jeremy at 813-388-1090 or [email protected]. You can also book an appointment with him to learn more about the EngagementHQ platform, talk strategy, or dive deeper into the details about the "Methodology x Marketing" formula from the presentation.

President's Report

Dear NC3C members,

I hope you’re enjoying your summer so far! I want to start by saying thank you again for allowing me to serve as your president this year. It’s an honor to be in this position and I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity not just to lead our organization over the next year, but to get to work with so many talented, innovative professionals who share the same passion for communicating that I do. I’ve found my people!

The Board took the month of May off to recover from the annual conference, attempt to catch up on those always growing, never ending “to do” lists and start transitioning into our new roles with NC3C. As part of that transition period, we’ll be meeting several times as a group in person in addition to our monthly conference calls. I met with our Past President, President Elect and Vice President in late June and our full Board will be meeting in Greenville (the site for our 2020 annual conference) later this month to review our strategic plan, discuss our goals for this year and begin planning for regional meetings and the annual conference.

As we head into our planning season, feedback from you on topics you’re most interested in hearing about, trainings you might like to see us provide or even ideas for things to see and do while we’re in Greenville next April would be incredibly helpful. Please feel free to reach out to me ([email protected] or 704-301-7618) or any of our Board members directly. (All of our contact information is available on NC3C.com.) Another way to continue to be involved in NC3C throughout the year is to join one of our committees. If you didn’t sign up at the conference, it’s not too late! Just send me an email and I’ll get you connected.

I’m looking forward to great year!

Rebecca Carter
NC3C President 2019-2020