Friday, October 27, 2006

Branding Government

Interesting way to think abut government but very valuable when public leadership becomes confused on what is important to the community.

For as long as I can remember what has stood out for the Sacramento region was quality of life, it was good to live here, and that is not such bad brand for local government to have, along with the obvious of being efficient and equitable.

An excerpt.

Posted October 25, 2006
Branding for Excellence
By Scott D. Pattison

When public managers think of the concept of a “brand,” they often think of private sector companies selling consumer products and not something that is relevant to their work.

At a recent regional conference of state budget officials in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Tim Reeves of the Neiman Group — who was press secretary to former Governor Tom Ridge — challenged the audience to think about their departments and agencies as a brand. This got me thinking about how creating a brand could help public-sector managers improve performance, create a culture of excellence and impel everyone working for the agency to think about their core mission.

More and more, government programs and departments are using branding to improve their image and performance. In this context, brand refers not just to marketing, but the public’s image of the quality of the product itself. When thinking about a brand, public managers should be careful not to put forth something perceived as a temporary “feel good” public relations campaign that will only benefit the agency’s top brass.

Tourism and economic development departments in government have used branding for years. We’ve all heard the slogan “I Love New York .” The Marines have a brand that effectively uses “the few, the proud” as a slogan to define the selectivity of their branch of the armed services.
Public-sector managers should decide what they want the public to think when they hear the name of their agency or program. And, what should employees feel when they say the name of the department where they work? Of course, you want citizens to think positively about your agency and you want your employees to feel proud of their work and accomplishments.