Once you find your voice for the public sector’s unique language, it’s time to figure out precisely what to say.
Demonstrating a clear understanding of the challenges facing a given agency or organization, where they differentiate themselves in the market and what sets them apart is essential to developing captivating messaging that resonates with the appropriate audience.
Doing so effectively will reach and influence public sector decision makers who are intent on shifting public perceptions. Depending on whether this is at the federal, state or local level, these challenges can certainly vary.
To solve the mystery of who the federal audience is, it is important to evaluate the many demographic facets involved. This wide ranging audience is divided relatively equally between civilian, independent, defense and military agencies.
Converting your audience with the right message is critical. Once you’ve identified your intended audience and identified the right tools for connecting, start thinking about what type of message will help accomplish your outcomes.
Understand The Challenges
Across the public sector agency landscape, IT leaders are facing an array of high priority challenges, some brought on by a post-COVID reality – including hybrid work and staff retention, inflation and the prospect of climate concerns and sustainability regulations. At the same time, they’re also dealing with ever present issues such as cybersecurity, IT modernization, digital transformation, AI, cybersecurity, cloud adoption and regulatory mandates.
At the federal level, chief information officers (CIOs) are most concerned with issues that pertain to retaining, supporting and satisfying their hybrid workforce as well as ensuring strong cybersecurity practices are in place. The back and forth of the return-to-the-office conundrum remains in full debate. As agency leadership seeks to steady the balance between remote workers and those in the office, they must also constantly seek to reinvent the day-to-day experience while ensuring security against the latest cyber threats.
At the state level, a number of the concerns are the same; however, they are informed a bit differently. Each year, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) conducts a survey among state CIOs to identify the top policy and technology priorities facing state government. The CIOs top ten priorities are identified and used as input to NASCIO’s programs, conference planning and publications. Yet again, cybersecurity tops the list as the lead concern in the minds of State CIOs.
Follow The Data
Market Connections’ annual Federal Media & Marketing Survey identifies who in the government is consuming media, what media they’re digesting and through which mediums they’re digesting it. So how are federal audiences finding their information?
According to the 2021 survey, the majority of federal employees are seeking information that aligns with their personal interests in addition to breaking, industry-wide news. Although they’re not typical channels for breaking and local news, employees prefer to get their federal-specific news from digital sites, most often visiting Federal News Network, Politico, Federal Times and GovExec.
Public sector organizations have vast communications networks and resources to connect people with timely, accurate information. By leveraging these channels effectively, leaders have the opportunity to strengthen culture, community and trust.
Leverage Thought Leadership
Thought leadership content and commentary opportunities hone in on the messages inherent to the specific challenges at play. Pulling that brand voice into thought leadership and developing engaging content that highlights industry leaders, informs key stakeholders and reaches target audiences extends the reach of your message.
Developing messages that hit on the hot buttons of the public sector, as well as investing and creating awareness of your corporate brand, takes the justification anxiety out of the buying decision. As we’ve previously discussed, this unique market has its own rules, language, culture, contracts and sales cycles. The message needs to reflect your unique understanding of and experience with each distinct mission.
To learn more, including how W2 Communications can best support your integrated public sector marketing initiatives, contact us today.