Government Branding Basics

To be fully effective, government agencies must raise awareness of their programs and the important work they do on behalf of the public. Branding is crucial to these efforts. Yes, branding. Though government agencies rarely use the word, branding is just as important in the public sector as it is in the private and nonprofit sectors. In fact, every agency has a brand, and agencies are already involved in branding.

Whether it’s an outreach effort to educate citizens on a particular issue like how to prevent forest fires or a campaign to encourage high school students and young adults to be physically fit, government agencies are always trying to engage with the public in ways that build trust and increase involvement.

The benefits of branding
Though creating and managing a brand requires sustained dedication, understanding what branding is isn’t difficult. Branding is the unique promise of value you make to your stakeholders. Any contact anyone has with your agency—whether it be your website, e-communication, publications, or interactions with your staff—is an opportunity to demonstrate your value and build trust in your brand. Negative experiences with your agency’s brand reduce trust.

Branding helps you:

  • Build trust and motivate action
  • Engage more effectively with stakeholders
  • Gain mindshare in the age of information overload
  • Create a positive image of your agency and mission
  • Secure funding
  • Establish credibility as experts and thought leaders
  • Create internal unity and a sense of shared purpose
  • Establish a platform to guide communications

What is your brand?
Is your agency doing a good job of managing its brand? Here’s a simple checklist to help you decide.

  • Can you sum up your agency’s (or initiative’s) brand in a succinct statement that identifies what it does and why it is important to your stakeholders?
  • Is your agency managing its brand as if it were your single most valuable asset?
  • Is there a comprehensive brand platform guiding your communications?
  • Do your communications have a consistent look, feel, and voice?
  • Does your messaging effectively articulate the unique benefits and value you provide?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it may be time for a brand review. Rock Creek Strategic Marketing is ready to help when you need us. This is what we do.

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Please note that the Government Printing Office has the capabilities to due excellent branding for the Federal Government.