Why is the public sector not better at marketing itself?

Friday, 23 November 2012 10:14
The public sector has traditionally been modest about its achievements and marketing and public relations often have a low priority - especially in the current economic climate when the sector is focused on how it can do more for less. I recently organised a conference for CLCL (Central London Community Healthcare Trust) and the theme was around quality improvement.

The trust had commissioned me through the University of West London to develop a module for managers focused specifically on delivering quality improvement on the front line through the development and completion of ‘real-life’ quality projects. This has been seen as very successful and consequently the trust wanted to showcase the work. I invited some private sector speakers along as well as the managers – now called quality champions – to talk about their understanding of quality. The most interesting issue to emerge from the day for me was how impressed the private sector managers were with the work and the commitment of the managers to quality and their belief that the work they do does make a distinct difference to patients.

These speakers had never been so exposed to the work that is undertaken and they were envious of the commitment they witnessed. But they had to find this out for themselves – isn't it time the public sector got better at getting their message across – in the light of so much negative publicity – that they really do improve the lives of patients?

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