Why content marketing is the future of communication in the Australian Public Service

A lot of my friends work in the Australian Federal Public Service.

And they are unsettled… Big time.

With job cuts on the way some are wondering if they’ll have a job.

No-one is sure about what’s going on.

They’re nervous and with mortgages, kids, school fees etc, the anxiety is understandable and real.

The Australian Government is looking for ways to be more efficient; to do more with less; to tell their story more effectively to internal and external audiences.

In the recent 2014 Federal Budget, the Government nominated savings in communication of $43.3 million dollars over four years (except Defence) through a “move to more efficient practices for public affairs and internal communications”.

When I read that, I thought, their future is “Content Marketing”.

There is no more efficient and effective use of communication resources than applying them in a disciplined, repeatable approach – which is what we call Content Marketing.

Content Marketing marries the strengths of traditional communication activity such as planning and events with the content creation and distribution power of digital technology.

It’s accountable, it’s measurable and most importantly, it works.

Content Marketing will drive innovation in the public sector just as it is driving innovation in the private sector.

Massive opportunity for Government

This shift represents a massive opportunity for Government communicators, who can build on their traditional skills of media and reputation management. Content creation, distribution and measurement will become fundamental to their roles.

Government departments and agencies have a greater capacity to publish than at any other time in the past; they can directly reach and influence (both internally and externally) the audiences they are seeking to engage.

The traditional reliance on using the media to reach an intended audience is diminishing. Governments can now create useful, relevant and shareable content that is meeting the needs of their audiences.

They can also publish many types of media across multiple online and offline channels and have a greater ability than ever before to measure the success of these publishing efforts.

This success doesn’t come overnight… Be consistent and patient and success will follow.

Invest in a Publisher

So the time is right to invest in acquiring the skills of a Publisher. Know how to create valuable video, audio, stills, text and graphics, then understand the most effective channels to market and measure your efforts.

Another challenge for Government is to adopt a more transparent culture. I know that may sound a little naïve, but in the long run, Government won’t escape the disruption and transformation driven by technology. It will happen; it will just take a little longer.

And there will be opportunities for those who move first.

Culture of Transparency

I’ve been at contentgroup since October last year and I’ve been surprised by the company’s culture of transparency – it’s a ‘Tell The World’ mentality, where the more information shared the better!

Internally, it allows us to work together as a team to create better solutions for our clients. Individual skill sets mould together to provide the most effective approach and this has a few advantages:

1. It brings a diversity of thinking to the table, ideas spring forth that may never have been thought of

2. It takes the pressure off the individual; the work gets allocated to the subject matter expert… you know the saying ‘many hands make light work.’

The other advantage is the rise of our reputation within our own industry. The world of Content Marketing in Australia is on the upswing… and we’re shouting THAT story from the rooftops.

So what is it that I’m trying to say here?

In a climate of uncertainty, resist secrecy… What you communicate is NOT about you, it’s about your audience. Tell them what they NEED to know, not what YOU know (which is way too much).

It’s called Content Marketing.

Engage and inform your audience, and make them part of your solution.

Image: Senior Living

Ps. In case you missed it have a look at our videos of a couple of seminars recently held by IABC who invited Russell Grossman, Director of Communications at the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to speak about the ground breaking work on employee engagement in the UK.  

Kelly Charls

About Kelly Charls

Kelly Charls is the Head of Content Production at contentgroup. She loves working with organisations to tell their stories through the production of engaging video, audio, graphics and text. Out of work you’ll find her telling stories to friends and family while cooking up a storm, or frequenting many of the wonderful eateries around Canberra.

More posts by Kelly Charls

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