06 May The opportunity of Government 2.0 (with little MarComms)
An interesting discussion thread has been underway on the LinkedIn
I’ve been saying this in several projects I’ve been involved in of late, and in more than one public speaking engagement; one of the least interesting things you can do with social tools, whether you call them Web 2.0, Government 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, social business, or whatever, is MarComms.
That’s annoyed more than one MarComms person, but let me explain. And let me note, too, that I am a comms person.
Looking at the Government 2.0 example though it’s as applicable to business of any sort (just replace “Government” with your business and “public” with your clients and stakeholders), as I see it here are four parts to the puzzle (Source: http://blog.gc20.ca/):
- public-public (activity and conversation about government in public spaces)
- public-government (consultation, engagement)
- government-government (inter or intra agency collaboration)
- government-public (communication, collaboration, service delivery)
They are all interrelated, and there’s a lot of melding between the four parts. None stands alone and they certainly don’t exist as a continuum.
MarComms has a role to play, certainly, and it’s incredibly important in some activities. However, in looking at these four parts, there is much more to be done and a great deal more opportunity to be leveraged in non-MarComms activities such as:
- talking with people in public spaces about problems they are having in accessing, using or getting things done with government. Think TheyWorkForYou, Facebook pages about problems people are having with their phone company, Twitter hashtag threads.
- in discovering what the public *actually want* from government, at all levels by conducting an open conversation with them in consultation and engagement activities in whatever forum, be that Twitter, Facebook, a mediated forum, a government-hosted blog, or whatever.
- in enabling public sector workers across levels of government and within agencies to talk with each other in a safe, managed space in order to not only build the needed skills with social tools, but to also share wins, losses, ideas, innovations, the good and the bad. Forums like Govdex communities can do this really well, but just as good (though somewhat less controlled) are communities such as GovLoop and OzLoop and the Gov2.0 Australia Google Group, all of which are rich, active communities of both public sector workers and public sector-friendly people with an external perspective (like me).
- in delivering amazing (rather than very average) public services to people online through provision of open data as well as more efficient service delivery enabled by the public-government channel where the services are now deisgned and delivered according to the needs of the public and not some academic concept of the service
All these approaches can help in fulfilling one of the grand goals of Government 2.0; a more agile, more public-focussed, more resilient, less risk averse public sector that delivers on its promises and really does produce policies, programs and services based on evidence.