Marketing Public Services

This article introduces a series of articles on marketing public services. Read more.

The terms 'purpose' or 'purposeful' or 'meaningful' have become en vogue for marketers to describe their brands and their marketing endeavours – quite often when there is, in reality, no purpose or meaning attached to this activity, other than to sell more products and make more profit. One sector which is entirely purposeful in its ambition to 'do good' is public services.

Public services advertising covers a diverse list of important issues, among them public health information, road safety, crime prevention, voter engagement, and the growing subsector of charities. Often referred to as the non-profit sector, it differs from commercial marketing in that the objective is not to sell more product or increase market share or brand value, but to inform and educate the general public of a nation, with the goal of changing attitudes and behaviours for the individual and common good.