How-to ideas for marketing in the public sphere

1981 election poster PvdA

Now that I’ve published my 50th post about Marketing the Social Good, it’s time to start mixing some practical information into this blog.

So far, I’ve focused on showcasing marketing efforts in the public sphere and tying those efforts to the broader principles, practices, and discussions about marketing. I hope that’s provided you with inspiration and vision about what’s possible by applying marketing solution to public problems. Bringing those visions to life takes practical information.

Marketers working for governments, schools, utilities, non-profits, political campaigns, volunteer organizations, and other entities related to the public sphere are often expected to perform new miracles with just their intelligence, their imagination, and what’s sitting on their desk. No extra staff, no extra tools, no extra budget, and often no extra time. Done often enough, miracles become expectations.

Believe me, I know. Been there, done that. I’ve been getting stuff done with office computing and little to no budget for 30 years. Along the way, I’ve learned some tools, techniques, and processes to help make those miracles happen.

Plus now, thanks to the hard-working nerds who bring us the Internet, there are a number of free or nearly-free online tools that can help marketers strapped for time and money pull off miracles.

My how-to topics will touch on areas such as

  • Injecting more design thinking into your work
  • Generating, analyzing, and applying data to your decisions
  • Building rapport and relationships with stakeholders in public processes

I’m not going to focus on step-by-step instructions for the tools I mention like Excel, PowerPoint, SurveyMonkey, Hootsuite, and Doodle. There’s plenty of online help inside each of those tools, and plenty of step-by-step instructions to be found on YouTube and other sites with a quick Google search.

Instead, I want to show you when, why, and how to combine and apply these tools to achieving the work of marketing in the public sphere. You can always let me know if I’ve left too big a gap being what I’ve laid out and what you’re trying to accomplish.

For my first how-to tip: Don’t be afraid to be the MacGyver of your desktop. The fact that you’re online reading this means that you have access to incredible practical knowledge through searching the Internet, plus access to very powerful computing tools in Microsoft Office and/or Google Apps. Taking a few minutes to learn some of the capabilities of these tools, and knowing how to combine them, can help you greatly increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your work. I know many people say, “I don’t have time to learn and try something new.” My attitude is, you don’t have time to accomplish new miracles using old ways.

Let’s get started.

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