Many government organizations have started to add marketing professionals to their staff. In some ways it is understandable that these organizations have a desire to make sure that they can highlight the successes that the organization has achieved. They want to control the narrative to make sure that small issues do not get blown out of proportion.
Governments and governmental agencies having their own marketing staff means the people’s money is being spent on convincing the people that their money is being well spent. This is municipalities, public schools, law enforcement, governmental agencies, state government etc. All the public institutions that are supposed to represent us all are spending our money to shape our perceptions.
It is important that people have an accurate understanding of what is going on in the government and agencies that they fund. You can think of the government as a giant monopolistic corporation, you have no choice you can’t switch to being governed by a different government except in certain circumstances and at certain times. There’s no competition for the government, so we need the government working as efficiently as possible.
You could think of different governments and agencies as just different organizations within the larger company. Could you imagine if the accounting department hired a marketing department to try to convince the rest of the business how great of a job they’re doing? The accounting department would get frustrated because people never hear about the good things that they’re doing and the only time they are noticed is when something is wrong. It is easy to imagine that hiring a marketing team to market internally in a company would not end well for the person who hired them.
We are all on the hook for what our public institutions spend. We need to hear about what’s wrong, so we know what needs to be fixed. If there’s an issue, it might be necessary to elect different officials to oversee the government. Overzealous marketing may result in obscuring mistakes and minimizing the severity of problems.
It is important that we understand how much of our money is being spent trying to shape our opinions about the people spending our money. Many marketers believe that they can sell anything. It is not that the product was not what the people wanted, but that we did not sell it to them well enough. With government, we need to ensure that they are doing what the people want as efficiently as possible, not doing what they desire and convincing the people that is what they wanted.