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Creating compelling government content

i.7.foer-chipotle-cupIn the past couple months you may have heard about popular burrito chain Chipotle’s new marketing campaign. The campaign commissioned ten well-known creatives to write something that could be read in two minutes, then printed that work on the sides of nicely designed Chipotle soda cups and paper bags.The writing tapped the talents of people like comedian Sarah Silverman, author Toni Morrison, and actor Bill Hader for its debut collection, which generated significant buzz for the chain. People were excited by it, which means that they were in turn, excited by and engaged with Chipotle in a way they hadn’t been before.

Now, we realize that the comms department at public sector agencies don’t have the budget that private sector behemoths like Chipotle do, and that most government organizations can’t exactly give comedians free rein to say or write whatever they want for your organization, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your communications too!

Good content helps engage stakeholders in new ways, and putting the time and resources into developing focused campaigns when necessary is a great way to build meaningful, lasting relationships by encouraging your stakeholders’to keep coming back. Not only do campaigns like this help to increase stakeholder engagement with your events and programs, they also go a long way in humanizing the public sector. “Fun” likely isn’t the first word that pops into citizens’ heads when they think about government organizations, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be at least some of the time.

Think about the CDC’s zombie pandemic campaign to appeal to a younger generation while addressing public health and emergency preparedness. Or, San Diego County’s “Mom, I’m bored” summer movies in the park campaign to appeal to  families while driving attendance to local community events. 

Putting the time and resources into creating engaging, compelling content shows your stakeholders that you understand them. And trying out interesting, creative campaigns is a great way to grab your stakeholders’attention and keep them coming back for more. Though the sky isn’t the limit when it comes to budgets and bandwidth, it can definitely be the limit for your imagination.

So, what kinds of interesting, creative communications campaigns might your organization try out?