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Government Communications and Marketing

Government Communications and Marketing provides an overview of the theory and practice of public sector management, with a specific focus on communications and marketing, in a developing country context.

Target audience
  • Communications and information officers working in all spheres of government and civil society who are in management (entry-level and middle) positions
  • Marketing and communications officers working in state-owned enterprises and public sector agencies
Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  1. Discuss the value and importance of marketing and communications for government policy and service delivery
  2. Incorporate an understanding of the impact of the emergent information society and economy on governments in the design of communications and marketing strategy and media
  3. Explain the importance of and need for leadership in the development of appropriate communications and marketing strategies for government
  4. Explore the growth of the media industry and the challenges of managing information and knowledge in the information age
  5. Examine the notions of corporate communications, marketing and branding and their relevance to and applications in government
  6. Analyse marketing research survey reports using appropriate tools with a view to producing a communication that meets the needs of the target audience
Course content

The course explores key areas of government communications and marketing through an interactive teaching and learning approach.

1. THE CONTEXT OF GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING

Governments are operating in an environment that is becoming more complex, more dynamic, more global, and therefore more interdependent. Under such dynamic conditions with multiple demands and expectations communication plays a critical role in ensuring that the right information reaches the right people at the right time to provide a rational basis for their decisions and actions and to promote uptake of services. This module will explore the machinery of government and the government communications environment; as well as the challenges and opportunities for communications and marketing.

2. STRATEGY, LEADERSHIP AND INSTITUTIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

A rapidly changing environment brings with it numerous uncertainties that fail to fit into known theories and technologies for solving organisational and societal problems. Under such conditions, organisations need leadership to provide a strategic framework to action and an understanding of how to act in concert with the changes, and how to utilize the changes in beneficial rather than in harmful ways. In this module students will work on strategic thinking and strategy design, leadership values and practice, and applying these approaches to government communications.

3. CONSUMER UNDERSTANDING AND MARKET RESEARCH

Research provides much needed information and knowledge on "the customer" or citizen for government interaction, on selected areas of an organisation's marketing and communication strategy and to create the basis for creativity and innovation. This module will explore communications and marketing research with a view to creating a better understanding of the processes, the tools and technologies of research and consumer understanding, and the applications to which the end products can be put to use.

4. MANAGING CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, MARKETING AND BRANDING

The emergence of people-centred governments of the 21st century has given rise to the need for marketing and branding capabilities, hitherto considered to be the exclusive tools of private business organisations. The ability of public managers to establish and manage effective communications to keep their customers fully informed and educated on the range of services they provide, as well as offering alternative access routes to services is increasingly becoming indispensable in modern governments. This module will address the related issues of service delivery, public policy, branding government and managing communications.

5. THE NEW MEDIA ENVIRONMENT AND ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT

Communication technologies (ICT) have not only made information and knowledge more readily available and accessible than ever before, but has also introduced the challenge of managing information overload rather than its scarcity. The 24-hour live news coverage means that government communications is "always on", this raises many challenges for the introduction of e-government in South Africa and across the continent. The module will include sessions on managing new technologies and new media, and introducing e-government.

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