The negative impact of Public Sector Branding on Citizen Engagement

Have you ever picked up a leaflet which had a whole heap of logos on the front cover, signifying the extend of the partnerships involved in creating the leaflet? Let me ask you a question, as citizen, what does this tell you?

To me it smells of poor and highly competitive partnerships and shows how unimportant the voice of citizens is. As citizen, I couldn't care less about who has funded the services. I care more about a smooth journey and an opportunity to influence and feed into continuous improvement. 

Modern marketing is all about commitment to the customer experience and customer engagement through close collaborations with other sectors. As in other sectors, if you feel competitiveness is getting in the way of the citizen experience, be aware that you are in the process of undervaluing and disengaging your citizens. Disengagement leads to low voting ratios, citizens anger and protests, poor citizen well-being, citizens moving away or working for neighbouring counties etc. 

Brands are a tool for power and control, so use them wisely!!!

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2 Comments

simon fenton-jones 5 Years Ago
Hi Heidi, Just got invited back to the KH after being booted off a few months ago. But I have been reading your stuff. Always very good. I'm with you 1000% on your description of modern marketing (although around here, I'd prefer to use "citizen" instead of 'customer'). But isn't the problem that we, as ORGs, have yet to learn how market to/with topic-centric GROUPS, not ORGANISATIONAL brands. Like this one? http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmagnone/2013/06/22/4-big-data-trends-that-change-everything/ Seems that we need to put a definite description on concepts which distinguish "new, from "old", marketing. The concept of a single masthead like gov.uk is so powerful. It sets a framework for both. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations and https://www.gov.uk/government/groups Quite a bit of confusion reclassifying the two I'm afraid. We know every org.gov.uk is a silo full of groups of citizens, whose whole purpose is to serve a single citizen, who are quite happy to share public services with their fellow citizens. Engagement? Isn't that supposed to start at this domain. http://www.parliament.uk/business/commons/the-speaker/speakers-commission-on-digital-democracy/ Brands are a tool for power and collaboaration, so share them wisely!!!
simon fenton-jones 5 Years Ago
Hi Heidi, Just got invited back to the KH after being booted off a few months ago. But I have been reading your stuff. Always very good. I'm with you 1000% on your description of modern marketing (although around here, I'd prefer to use "citizen" instead of 'customer'). But isn't the problem that we, as ORGs, have yet to learn how market to/with topic-centric GROUPS, not ORGANISATIONAL brands. And in government's case, sectors of government. Like this one? http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmagnone/2013/06/22/4-big-data-trends-that-change-everything/ Seems that we need to put a definite description on concepts which distinguish "new, from "old", marketing. The concept of a single masthead like gov.uk is so powerful. It sets a framework for both. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations and https://www.gov.uk/government/groups Quite a bit of confusion reclassifying the two I'm afraid. And introducing their secretariats to an online culture & modern media production. Engagement? Isn't that supposed to start at this domain. http://www.parliament.uk/business/commons/the-speaker/speakers-commission-on-digital-democracy/ They really are trying to get their media chops up. How else are they going to learn? Learn on the job. Metadata is a tool for power and collaboration, so share it wisely!!