|Public sector organisations have countless responsibilities to juggle. Local councils, for instance, must handle issues as diverse as collecting the dustbins on time to managing the transport infrastructure in their borough. So when key messages and pieces of public information need to be distributed, where exactly do you need to start?
For organisations with lots of plates to spin, it can be tempting to try to deal with everything at once. But your marketing budget will only stretch so far. Public Health England is acutely aware of this problem, as it cannot possibly have a campaign for every single illness and disease the NHS deals with. As a result, it looks at evidence for where marketing can contribute to big health issues and whether or not marketing can help deal with particular areas. This approach has proved successful in addressing issues such as child obesity, with the Change 4 Life campaign designed to promote a healthier lifestyle for kids.
As Sheila Mitchell, Marketing Director at Public Health England, says: ‘We have to prioritise our investment by determining what the big issues are and how treatable they are. One of our aims is to get more sophisticated with digital strategy and techniques.’
Don’t feel you have to be serious
Not every public information drive demands an entirely serious approach. In fact, a bit of irreverence and fun could actually help to make a campaign more engaging with its target audience. For instance the Change 4 Life campaign uses bright colours and fun drawings to convey a serious message. By contrast, other marketing drives can be more forceful, perhaps using shock tactics to encourage people to change their behaviour in certain ways. It depends on the message you want to put across and how you’d like people to respond.
Don’t limit your marketing to posters, radio ads or leaflets. Physical items can be extremely effective to deliver information and can also be used to endorse the messages you’re putting out across other channels. For instance, if you want to engage with parents and children, then items such as stickers, message bugs, stress balls or a teddy bear can provide lasting (and fun!) reminders of an ongoing campaign and help it resonate more deeply.
Digital platforms such as social media, YouTube and mobile apps offer an engaging way of conveying information. And since so many of us are actively tuned into these platforms day after day, there’s a good chance that using them could help your message get through to your target audience. Another great Public Health England example, is its sugar app that helps parents understand how much sugar is in different foods and gets kids interested in health eating too. It’s been downloaded more than 2 million times this year and is a creation that people can find genuinely useful day after day.
Public Health England on how brands can ‘do more’ and why it wants to up its use of digital Marketing Week