Who Are You?

In the past, I’ve written about how being on social media is a key way to humanize your agency, to tell the story of your agency and all of the amazing things you do. Well, according to a blog post I recently saw, that might not be the best way to tell your story anymore. This article is talking about the future of About Us webpages. Now think about your agency’s About Us page, and how great that page is. Laughing at me yet?

The thing is, I actually think the article makes a good point. Well not how About Us webpages are currently constructed, but with a bit of love, who knows:

The reality is that we want to know as much of the product we are going to buy, as we want to know about the company that is selling them to us. Marketing is not just about selling a product anymore, it’s about promoting a company as well. We love Apple, as well as the iPhone. We love Nike as well as the Fuel Band. We love Hard Graft (if you don’t, you should) as well as their iPhone cover. The first two spent millions on building their brand story through advertisement and activation stunts, the last one is doing it through their website’s About Page.

Now think about how your agency could do something similar. Think about telling the story of your Commissioner, the work she’s done in order to get to her position, how dedicated or groundbreaking her work say. Not government bio speak, but a real story. With links to relevant sites and documents, maybe a video interview.

Sure when I say it like that, you can make the argument that this is self-aggrandizing, but when you consider that your communicators are fighting tooth and nail to get people to listen to them; fighting against the perception that your agency is a faceless bureaucracy hell-bent on taxing every dollar away from them. Don’t you think that maybe a little bit of humanity might help?

Remember, you’re not just selling your Commissioner or your agency’s programs. You’re selling public health, or public safety, or preparedness, or fire safety. And people today want to know who’s selling those things. We know where our shirts are made, we know what country made our cars, we know what food went into the cows that gave us milk and steaks. But we ask the public to accept our recommendations based upon what? The fact that we’re the government? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the government isn’t the most trusted source of information these days.

But if we weren’t the government, if we were instead real people who’ve spent the last thirty years dedicating ourselves to public service? And we’ve got families and streams in the community? Because all of that is true, and can help us sell our messages. And all it takes is one updated About Us webpage.

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