Government Communicators: Marketing is not a dirty word!

Government Communicators: Marketing is not a dirty word!

Marketing: it’s a word that sends shivers down the spine of communications professionals in the government space; that invokes an almost belligerent “we don’t market!! We communicate …”

There seems to be a pervasive sense that marketing, and therefore ‘content marketing’ are dirty words; that they are somehow too corporate, too … private sector.

But here’s the thing: content marketing is an entirely accurate description of the strategic business process that can help you, as government communicators, to engage directly with your (often very niche) audiences.

This issue really cuts to the heart of what government could achieve if they embraced not only the term ‘content marketing’ to guide its communications with citizens, but the wealth of tools at its disposal as a part of this business process.

Indeed, in episode 13 of contentgroup’s InTransition podcast, David Rawlings, founder of both Landmark Media in Adelaide, Australia and Content Marketing Adelaide said that government communicators “need to change [their] processes to match the rate of change with the people that [they] are talking to.”

Content marketing, and particularly one of its most popular tenants, social media, gifts you the ability to converse with your audience and key stakeholders.

For many in the risk adverse government climate, the prospect of opening up a potentially difficult dialogue with Australian citizens is somewhat terrifying.

However, the fact remains that those citizens will be having that conversation with or without your input.

Failing to embrace the change is ultimately harmful to your mission to engage with citizens on specific issues.

Social media is not simply another tool for government to shout at citizens. It has opened up a space where the public now expects to be able to interact, engage and converse with its elected representatives and key public servants.

Content marketing for government certainly makes a lot of sense. The process (and the semantics!) should be embraced, in order to help governments to achieve their most basic objective: improving the lives and wellbeing of Australian citizens.

Be sure to check out contentgroup’s InTransition podcast, for invaluable weekly insights in to content marketing in the government space.


Lydia holds a Bachelor of History from the University of Sussex as well as a Masters in History (Genocide Studies) from the University of Amsterdam. Her communications experience includes working in the not-for-profit, public and now private sectors. Fortunately, given her chosen career path, writing is her absolute favourite activity (especially when flanked by a coffee and a dog).

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