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If you're tasked with marketing your government agency's promotions, funding initiatives and other outreach, you know you're up against a ton of competition for the public eye. Other government agencies are often vying for the same attention, so it's a good idea to come up with creative ways to promote your government agency. At the same time, you have to know how to take advantage of the pre-existing resources available to you in order to maximize your productivity and efficiency. Whether you're the marketing director or any other government worker, consider the following creative marketing ideas and resources your government agency can take advantage of.
Creative marketing ideas for government agencies and workers
Government agencies can print and post creative, funny, or poignant stickers and place them in incredibly prominent places: utility poles, overpass bridges, municipal vehicles and more. Stickers can be printed extra large and in any die-cut shape to fit your needs. Using stickers to market your government agency can help command attention for your promotions and programs.
A bold rebrand
Way too many government agencies look like carbon copies of one another: a static red, white and blue logo infused with minimal, if any, creativity. Hire a professional graphic designer to develop a bold new logo and completely rebrand your agency. Though a rebrand represents an investment, it will also help make your agency appear more relevant now and propel it into the future. A bold rebrand will make your agency instantly-recognizable against a sea of competing agencies, making it far more likely your message will be noticed, remembered and acted upon.
Host an event
Anything from health-related challenges to music concerts to simple picnics fall under this category. If you can develop a unique and desirable event for your government agency to host, you can vastly increase your reach within your targeted public segment. Does your agency focus on sciences? Sponsor a science fair. Does your agency operate a state park? Host a fall craft show. With a bit of brainstorming, it won't be difficult to come up with a unique event the public wants to attend.
Hold a contest
Contests are great ways to promote public engagement. Here's a real-world example: a state park in Ohio was working to clean its lake from nutrient runoff that caused algal blooms. When it acquired a new dredge for that purpose, it challenged the public to name the dredge with a Facebook campaign. There were no prizes, but the naming contest received enormous publicity and public input. In this manner, the state park lent a sense of ownership of the problem to the public, encouraged greater public support, and spent not so much as a dime to do it.
It's tough to compete with the attention-commanding power of an enormous oversized banner draped on a building wall near a busy intersection. If you want to make sure everyone knows how to take advantage of your upcoming agency program, print a large-format vinyl banner and find high-traffic placement – the rest will take care of itself.
If you want to go ultra-modern, place QR codes on your print marketing materials (brochures, postcards, business cards, posters, flyers, etc.) that open up an augmented reality app the public can interact with. Ideas include seeing how their surroundings will look in 50 years if they don't take action now and giving a “live” demonstration of how your agency puts public funds to good use. You can even use augmented reality to tell your story and motivate citizens to take action on your behalf.
Partner with businesses and nonprofits
Businesses and nonprofits that share your government agency's agenda are often more than happy to help you promote your initiatives. One excellent example is a department of soil and water that enlisted the help of a local water quality nonprofit to cover the cost of soil testing kits for homeowners. The government agency wanted homeowners to stop over-fertilizing their lawns, but the kits cost $10 each. The nonprofit organization donated the cost of the kits, since it shared the same agenda, so all homeowners could test their soil for free. Another example might be a business that promotes your agenda at its establishment or kicks in a freebie for citizens who take action. Give it a bit of thought, and you can undoubtedly come up with natural private sector partners for your government agency.
Marketing resources for government agencies and workers
The following lists a few links you can use to bolster your government agency marketing. Find new ideas, connect with fellow government agency marketers, and partner with a renowned online printing company to streamline your marketing processes.
City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA) – Dedicated to helping local governments identify new and better ways of communicating with the public.
American Marketing Association – DC (AMADC) – If your government agency is located or heavily invested in Washington, D.C., membership in the local chapter of the American Marketing Association could prove very beneficial.
PsPrint – An online printing company with multiple U.S.-based distribution centers that offers premium discount printing for multiple marketing materials including posters, flyers, brochures, banners, business cards and more. Also offers professional graphic design services, print and mail finishing, direct-mail marketing, and mailing lists to completely automate the printing, proofing, and mailing process.
Coming up with creative ways to market your government agency doesn't have to be expensive nor labor-intensive; the key is to make your marketing campaigns relevant to your targeted public segment as well as to your agency's purpose, and also to motivate some sort of public action that can be measured against your agency goals. With a bit of creative brainstorming (and by tapping into the marketing resources available to you), you can undoubtedly make your government agency more prominent, more attractive and more effective in a relatively short time.