2015…The year content marketing takes hold of government communication!

2015…The year content marketing takes hold of government communication!

So I’ve cleaned the sand from my satchel, dusted the cobwebs near my book shelf, asked Mary to shred a heap of old papers and I’m now staring at the pile of work I promised I would do over the holidays.

I do it every year. Promise to work during the holidays. It never happens. I have two competing voices in my head.

The diligent, work-focussed achiever who says things need to be done and his foe, the relaxed guy who says it can wait.

Relaxed man always wins. I did jot and I read quite a few books including the “War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It’s all about those very same “muses” that drive behaviour. He talks of “resistance” and the need to be “professional” to manage it. I highly recommend the book, it’s a good read.

So it was three weeks of friends, family and food. A sunny beach holiday,a visit from old friends from overseas, a happy family Christmas and a wedding. A variety of locations and activities.

But it’s fast disappearing – a speck in the rear vision mirror.

So welcome to work year 2015. Goodbye relaxation, hello opportunity.

Our team is fit, refreshed and ready for content marketing in government.

Our decision late last year to define a new vision and to focus our mission has had a surprising impact on my thinking and planning.

We revised our vision to be “a world leading content marketing agency for government by 2020” and our mission “to “strengthen communities and improve the well-being of citizens through effective government communication’.

It is succinct and clear. Perhaps some room for more definition as to what is “world leading” but we can come to that in the weeks ahead.

Both statements provide a sharp focus lens through which we can now make decisions. If it’s not working toward either our vision or mission, we pass.

It makes it easier to decide who gets into the boxes in our calendar.

It’s the mission that excites us. We have clearly identified our niche (when I say government I mean working “for” government (Departments, agencies etc.) and ‘to” government (NGO’s, social infrastructure projects, national associations etc.) and what we are trying to achieve when we come to work each day.

We know the industry, we know the people and we know their problems.

And we know content marketing will help them “strengthen communities and improve the well-being of citizens”.

The transition in government to becoming publishers is on. Taking a lead from the UK, governments in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA and elsewhere are creating meaningful, relevant and compelling content to engage citizens directly.

Monitoring activity on digital and social platforms gives government a better opportunity than at any other time in history to understand what citizens and stakeholders need and want.

The growth in connectivity, the adoption of digital devices and the two-way nature of digital communication means the majority of citizens and stakeholders are “on the grid” and ready to let government know what they think. The challenge is how to make best use of this new potential. How to listen and engage with clarity, humility and respect. How to use content to build the trust that underpins productive relationships between government, citizens and stakeholders.

One area to keep an eye on in 2015 will be capability. Outsourcing is out of vogue. Government wants to build the capability of their staff. A perfectly reasonable and justifiable position considering this is the future of government communication.

Opportunities for content marketing will be internal as well as external. There is a role for content in helping to bring the workforce along as government adjusts to its new technology driven, slimmed down reality.

The opportunity to adopt new technology to design modern and streamlinedpolicy and service delivery is an area of major potential.

The biggest risk will be content created and distributed without a clear purpose.

Content created and distributed without a laser focus on the needs of the citizens and stakeholders. The fact that anyone can now create and distribute content doesn’t always mean they should. There is a risk that many pixels will die in the video, audio, stills, text and graphic content arms race.

As you head down the path of content marketing to tell the story of your program, agency or department, don’t do it until you can answer why?

You must be able to answer the following questions before you commission any piece of content.

-Why are we creating this content?
-What is its purpose?
-What are we trying to achieve?
-What are we asking people to do?
-Is the call to action clear?

You also must have a clearly articulated measurable, strategic and accountable plan that answers those questions. If you do, proceed. If you don’t, take the time to create one. It will save you a lot of headaches.

Thanks again Groupies for all your ongoing help and support. We appreciate it.

We look forward to continuing our publishing in 2015. Stay tuned for the change ups promised in my end of year wrap up and be sure to contact us if there are any topics you would like us to address across the year.

Welcome back.

Photo: Pete

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