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How To Build Powerful Outreach – 3 Part Plan To Success

You’ve done the research. You’ve gotten leadership buy-in. Your government program is set to start helping people. But if nobody knows about it, your program will never make a difference. It’s like if a public health department had prepared thou- sands of flu shots, but no patients showed up to get them.

For a government program to be truly successful, for a project to have made a difference, for an initiative to create change, it first has to have an effect. And that can’t happen without effective outreach.

Government engagement and communications have transformed over the last 10 years. Now email marketing, social media and text messaging are the tools of the trade. And in order to have an impact, you need significant outreach and engagement. But more often than not, engagement and outreach are not baked into government planning – and they suffer as a result.

That’s why GovLoop, in partnership with GovDelivery, conducted a survey of almost 400 public sector professionals exploring how to create an communications and outreach strategy. The findings from the survey are highlighted in our executive research brief.

The research brief provides an overview of engagement strategies in the public sector and specifically highlights:

  • Analysis from a GovLoop survey of nearly 400 public-sector professionals.
  • Scott Burns’ three-part process for creating a communications strategy.
  • Why email reigns as king of outreach. How to rise above resource challenges.
  • Five insider tips for implementing a successful outreach strategy.
  • Government communications and the future of engagement.

The brief also includes a three part strategy for agency’s to create a communications strategy.

So what does a successful communications strategy look like? For one federal communicator registration numbers are important, but making sure the public is informed is paramount to success. “If the community feels their concerns have been heard and taken into consideration during the course of the agency’s activities, if the community feels they have a voice in the process, then outreach is a success,” he said. “We measure that by asking community members and leaders if we’re fulfilling that mission in their opinion.”

GovDelivery’s CEO and C-Founder Scott Burns agreed. He’s developed a three-part strategy to help create a robust engagement culture:

  1. Set priorities: “The first step is understanding the objectives your program is trying to achieve.”
  2. Get buy-in: “You need to get some level of agreement within your organization on those objectives.”
  3. Find the audience: “Examine how and where reaching more people will impact your program, and determine who you want to reach and how you can reach them. Knowing the audience for your program is critical in developing a communications strategy.”

Priorities + Buy-in + Audience = Communications Success

“People are at the center of programs, so connecting with more people and getting them to take action is critical,” Burns said. “You can’t forget that.”


Thank you to our industry partner for sponsoring this research report. With any questions about this report, please reach out to Emily Jarvis, Online Editor, at [email protected].