In an age of budget limitations, reduced resources and short-staffed situations, how can public sector agencies continue to cultivate and maintain community partnerships that can augment the marketing of programs, services and special events so crucial to all parties?
Where policies and regulations permit, there are a variety of communication and networking functions staff can engage in that won’t consume too much time all in a concerted effort to enhance government relationships with nonprofit organizations, school districts and retail centers.
Within any community, all of these entities are tasked primarily with creating the programs and providing their respective services to residents and visitors; the marketing of such core offerings is often a secondary approach where time and resources permit such endeavors. Ultimately, it can serve staff well to carve out some time for ongoing outreach to their counterparts in other sectors to assess the prospects of partnerships, event promotions, idea sharing and leveraging resources that can benefit both sides of the equation.
Consider the following tactical outreach measures for marketing and public relations synergies that your agency may be able to incorporate into the monthly activities of programming and communications staff:
- Sharing event or program notices on social media sites where appropriate that can benefit the customers and stakeholders for both organizations. This is an easy, quick and often mutually-beneficial marketing tactic.
- Posting brochures and flyers at costumer touch points where feasible at partner locations. This can be a worthwhile act of reciprocation. For example, consider distributing marketing collateral at the customer information concierge area at shopping centers. They may welcome the materials and call for more when they run out.
- Has your facility hosted the local chamber of commerce for a morning member mixer or leadership program presentation? These type of functions can build greater awareness for facilities and programs, possible yielding potential sponsorships or event partnerships. Such hosted tours and seminars for local leadership groups can bring in prospective customers or new referrals.
- At corporate employee health fairs, school district wellness events or family magazine expos for youth activities, distributing brochures from your partner organizations is an altruistic way of spreading the programs and messages that align with your agency brand and service delivery mission.
- Inquire with local professional associations such as meeting event planners or hotel concierge managers to see when they host media junkets or annual conferences. These can be great forums for showcasing marketing collateral for tourism-related amenities, such as pools, parks, recreation centers and cultural venues, provided by your organization or available in your community. Maintaining regular contact with your partner organizations and nonprofits can fuel the awareness of event information and sharing of booths and vendor fees.