What is Public Sector Marketing?
The public sector is a group of government run services, these include: police, fire and rescue, NHS, local authorities, councils, education, central government and executive agencies.
Public sector marketing is not measured by profit as nothing tangible is being sold, the results are driven by the actions of specific groups relevant to the campaigns.
An example of a recent marketing campaign in the public sector is the ‘Stoptober’ campaign developed by the department of health to help smokers quit during October, the campaign promoted support services to help users stop and also a free stop smoking kit.
150,000 Stoptober kits were ordered during the campaign as well as 2.8% increase in the number of people attempting to stop smoking in October in comparison the rest of the year.
What kind of marketing is required in the Public Sector?
Public sector marketing is driven by population trends impacting the services and in most cases is reactive to current issues to reduce the number of incidents moving forward.
Some campaigns have featured nationally in previous years using various media channels to promote them including; TV, radio, print and online.
Here some of the current campaigns in circulation (as of Jan 2015) including;
PR is also an important part of marketing strategy in the public sector as a way to raise public confidence in different services, publicise results and highlight issues.
In addition to digital campaigns its also important for public sector services to maintain up to date brochures and leaflets detailing the services on offer and how to obtain them, as well as up to date websites that are accessible by lots of different groups of people.
An example of this would be developing brochures in several local regional languages and also having local websites translated to ensure maximum inclusion.
Some public sector organisations use methods like leafleting and direct mail as a way of creating awareness of local services. Other direct marketing methods like email are useful for targeting large groups of people with national campaigns.
What skills and knowledge is useful for marketing in the Public Sector?
Interest in demographics, current affairs, politics and social issues that impact peoples lives.
A good understanding of equality and diversity is key to executing campaigns that reach as many people of possible.
Understanding of all relevant social media channels and how they can be used in the correct professional context of the public sector organisation.
Ability to segment data and target relevant audiences via the correct channels, A solid grounding of all digital marketing channels and offline marketing.
Professional writing skills that can be utilised in writing for print, websites, social media and press releases.
Are there any qualifications in Public Sector Marketing?
Currently not but the CIM runs a course – Fundamentals of Marketing for NFP and Public Sector with various dates throughout the year, if there are no upcoming dates visit the CIM website and check their course schedules or contact them.
I’m interested what now?
If you are interested in careers in public sector marketing but have yet to gain any experience, volunteering in marketing for a non-profit business is a great place to start.
Check out our guide on volunteering to gain experience and also the doit.org.uk website for volunteering opportunities with charities.
Depending on your level of experience you could transfer your existing skills into a marketing role in the fashion industry, however if you don’t have enough experience then visit our guide to building experience through volunteering and interning..
Here are a few websites that may be useful to find out more information about careers in the public sector:
NHS Careers – Marketing and Communications
Civil Service Jobs – Search for Marketing Roles
The Guardian – Public Sector Careers
Jobs Go Public – Recruitment website for roles in the public sector