A guest blog post from Harry Barker Gale.

As a post-graduate student at the University of Melbourne, I’ve seen countless case studies and read never-ending research reports on “How to best reach your target market”. One thing that has always been clear: The best experience comes from working in the field.

But what do you do when you’re already in the industry and are still looking for the right ideas to help your strategy? You attend a marketing and communications conference. So, when Joanne Sweeney, CEO of the Public Sector Marketing Institute, offered me the opportunity to attend the 2021 Public Sector Digital Marketing Summit, I knew I couldn’t say no! But for those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a quick list of my key takeaways from the conference.

1. Always be Honest!

It can take a long time for a brand to earn the trust of its audience on social media. This goes double for social media accounts representing public bodies. Having honest, reliable social media channels is crucial to developing a fruitful relationship with your customers. Additionally, reliable sources of information have proven essential during the worldwide turmoil that has struck so many different parts of society during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ensuring your social media presence is honest and trustworthy goes a long way in building up social capital during times of stress.

2. Remember the 3 C’s

There are three big C’s when it comes to public sector marketing – Citizens, Content, and Consistency. These are three key factors when it comes to planning and executing your communications strategy. Citizens – What does the public need and what do they want? Needs and wants aren’t always the same thing. Understanding the difference between these two and how they interact can be vital in planning out the next step. Content/Conversation – What content will meet these needs and desires? Having a public conversation with your consumers will enable you to understand what will work best. Being brave and answering questions on your socials not only creates new content in its own right but also helps meet the needs of your audience. Win-win! Consistency – Make sure you are doing these things on a regular, consistent basis. Plan your content out in advance so things aren’t ad-hoc, while also making sure that you’re answering community questions – don’t only respond to a few and ignore the rest!

3. Email Isn’t Dead Yet

Like it or not, emails are here to stay. But there’s still a challenge in getting your message to cut through the daily deluge we all seem to have to deal with. By cutting the length of your emails, ensuring you’re using clear language without acronyms or jargon and paying more attention to crafting the subject line can have an immediate impact on the success of your email marketing. Additionally, collating information into a single newsletter can reduce the clutter in your recipient’s

mailbox while using humour appropriately can improve memorability. A man once walked into a bar and said …

4. Podcasts have More than One Purpose

Podcasts are surprisingly powerful when it comes to content creation. Despite the glitz and glamour of some of the bigger productions out there, they are surprisingly quick and easy to start. Using this form of content lets you easily convey complex messages in a safe environment, but it can also be repurposed to fit your needs without doubling your labour! While the recording can be used in its original format, you can also edit-key moments to share on socials or generate useful material to distribute in official communications.

5. Stay Informed

Just like the real world, the marcomms industry is always evolving. This is why it’s important to ensure you are in touch with what’s happening in the industry. While some things aren’t essential reading, knowing what techniques and strategies are being used by others in the field certainly is. This information can be found in all sorts of places, such as LinkedIn, listening to podcasts, or reading industry-specific blogs. While you should always ensure your strategy is customised specifically to your needs, knowing what other ideas are out there might be the key to breaking your message through to the customer.

So, there you have it: Five things I learned at the 2021 Public Sector Digital Marketing Summit! These ideas are important to keep in mind when planning and developing your marketing and communications strategies – especially in the current Covid-19 climate.

If you attended the Summit, comment below with your own experience or important takeaways. If you missed out this year, make sure you send us a message at info@publicsectormarketingpros.com and follow our social media to get your ticket next time!

Be sure to connect with Harry on LinkedIn.


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