Government & non-profit public relations

Whilst non-profit organisations face significant monetary challenges, they offer some of the greatest employment opportunities for public relation professionals. In government, health remains very much in the public eye. The media are very engaged in this forum. One of the greatest challenges within the government sector is the sheer size. This has been explained in the last few topics and reinforces how important good communication is in a company. A good place to start in PR is with the local (grass roots) government. These organisations often lead the way in good communication and innovation. The rise of social media has also given height to advocacy groups which require huge involvement from the community.


There remains a fine line between government and political public relations. Political figures will want to be seen publicly for occasions where it is seen to be a positive forum, but will step back and government PR will manage problems or negative situations. Political PR or as described in the media, ‘Spin doctoring’ are mostly journalist, following news. They are not following the strategic, goal oriented two-way communication forum. This is quite relevant to me because prior learning about this course I did believe that all PR was about spin and making situations look better then then are. Government PR is all about the communication required to run government. It is the integration of information between the government departments and the public—are you starting to see a part here? Communication between sectors is such a PR fundamental. Often these departments are big and communication doesn’t always work well. Benefits are great when communication does work well. So, from what we have learnt so far how can we ensure the best possible communication? Two-way communication is a must, and as we said last week ensuring our staff are happy within their roles can make a difference. Another main point is acknowledging that PR is a management function, it’s not spin!


Media management (spin doctors) is political.  Its handled by the ministers and their support teams. Government PR are not a part of that. Promotion is government public relations and lobbying is an aspect of corporate public relations. In varied areas, whether it will be sport, education, health and well-being or housing there will be a government approach to communications as well as political spin! — Lucky, we now know the difference!


Non-political government PR, also called the public sector, is all about keeping the public informed. They either locally or state-wide look for and foster support. Government decisions can be influenced by public opinion and governments will alter polices as a result of public feedback and pressure. It’s all about effective communication between the government and publics. A real-world example of this Tesla’s attempt to improve SAs power issue with a huge lithium battery.



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