Government has two main functions— to take care of the people they represent and to make things happen. It develops policies and funds projects. There is little competition. After all, where can you get a driver’s license other than the DMV? An effective government means that it delivers quality services; responsibly manages public funds and represents the best interests of the people.
Unlike public corporations, Government does not prioritize profit margins, sales benchmarks and stockholders. Public officials, elected or appointed, are concerned about constituents. When the people do not like the status quo, they organize and things can change.
What does this have to do with marketing and branding? Everything. Efficacy boils down to perception. How a government organization, a municipality or a public service is viewed by stakeholders lays the foundation for its overall sustainability and well-being.
Here are some of my favorite government logos and my interpretation.
New York: a City where dreams come true
Amsterdam: A City that celebrates diversity
NASA: A government organization that is devoted to space exploration and science
How do you brand government? The starting point is to identify the institution’s core values. What does it represent? In the case of municipalities, what do residents pride themselves upon? What is going to lure tourists and business (Salman, 2008)? It’s a communication dance – synchranizing different audiences to generate a worthwhile message.
By implementing integrated communication strategies, governments can attract and maintain a viable reputation. Through digital channels, public sector marketing needs to do more than publicize policies, services and events. It can foster vibrant communities. Through interesting stories of stakeholders, sharing photos and memories of its landmarks and distinctiveness, social media can help reinvent the government brand. The sky’s the limit. Afterall, nothing is certain but death or taxes.
Salman, S. (2008) Brand of gold. theguardian.com. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/oct/01/city.urban.branding