Why do governmental agencies communicate

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Why do governmental agencies communicate

  1. 1. Why do governmental agencies communicate? Magnus Fredriksson, PhD magnus.fredriksson@jmg.gu.se
  2. 2. Public sector organizations in Sweden• Have the largest budgets for communication compared to other types of organizations• Are the largest buyer of services from PR-consultants and advertising firms• A majority of communicators work in the public sector
  3. 3. Traditionally two aims of communication• Inform about central and current aspects of the society, how it works and how it is organized, the rights and responsibilities of the citizens, provide specific information related to extraordinary events or situations• To influence, promote but also reduce certain types of behavior and activities
  4. 4. Historical context• The first governmental agency in Sweden was etsablished 1539 (National Chamber of Commerce)• A central position is society• Administration and control central tasks• Fully financed by taxes
  5. 5. Governmental agencies in Sweden (I)• 252 agencies including: o Defence o Police, o Social security, taxes, employment o County Administrative Boards (21) o Universities (24) o Museums o Evaluation o Ombudsman
  6. 6. Governmental agencies in Sweden (II)• 232 600 employees (5 % of the total workforce)• 0 – 25 342 employees• Five largest agencies: 1. Swedish police (25 342) 2. Swedish Armed Forces (19 557) 3. Swedish Social Insurance Agency (11 461) 4. Swedish Employmeent Agency (10 208) 5. Swedish Tax Agency (9 584)
  7. 7. Governance ofgovernmental agenicies in Sweden• The Government establish the objectives to be achieved by the agency, the budget and how the money is to be distributed between the agencys different assignments.• The minister has no right to intervene directly in the day-to- day operations of government agencies. Such ministerial control is prohibited.• Suspected cases of unlawful ministerial interference are dealt with by the parliamentary Committee on the Constitution.
  8. 8. Trasformations for the last 30 years• Changed relationships between the public sector, the state, markets and citizens (New public management)• Changed political, economical and social conditions• New principles for coordination, evaluation and control o Orientation towards goals and results o Control via evaluation rather than regulation o Marketization (some governmental agencies are self- funded, some others function on quasi-markets)
  9. 9. Other transformations• Extend interactions with new stakeholders (media, customers, competitors and others)• New ways for defining and forming the regulative and normative conditions• Contradicting and inconsistent requirements and expectations steaming from different logics
  10. 10. Institutional logics• Taken for granted assumptions, values, and beliefs• Provide meaning to what we do• Organize time and space• Governs individuals and organizations• Create expectations
  11. 11. Six logics• Market• Civic• Industrial• Fame• Tradition• Creativity
  12. 12. Renown Civic Market Industrial Tradition CreativityAssess-ment Popularity, Equality, Competitiv- Compe-tence, Trust, esteem Passion, recognition, collective eness, price, reliability, singularity fame welfare costs efficiencyRelevant Apprecia-tion Officiallity Money Statistics Insignias UniquenessproofsActors “Celebrities” Citizens Consumer, Professional, Authorities Geniuses customer, experts producersTimeframe Trends Continuing Short-term, Long-term, History Revo-lutionary, flexibility predictability visionary
  13. 13. What logic(s) govern the use of communication in Swedish governmental agencies?
  14. 14. Our study• Content analysis• Including all Swedish governmental agencies with steering documents for communication• Corporate identity manual, policies and strategies for communication, media work, branding, social media, marketing etc.• Number of organisations: 179• Number of documents: 357• Seen as an expression of granted assumptions, values, and
  15. 15. Four logics governing communicationin governmental agenicies• Renown (85 %)• Industrial (82 %)• Civic (65 %)• Market (22 %)
  16. 16. Renown Civic Market IndustrialPrinciples Attention, visibility, Laws, democracy, Exchange, profits Predictability, control, public opinion transparency, distribution of accessibility responsibilitiesAims of communication Express identity, create Enlightenment, service, Positioning, persuade Co-ordination, efficiency distinctive image, formation of public opinionConcep-tualizations of The public Citizens, journalists, Customers, competitors Employees, specifiedstakeholders politicians groups, target groupsConcep-tualizations of Branding, corporate Public information, Marketing Strategiccommunication identity statements communication, integrated communicationIdeal communication Distinctive, expressive, Open, true, Persuasive enticing, Effective, planed, monophonic understandable, official seductive evaluated,, professionalRole of communicator Conductor Distributor, teacher Salesperson, seducer Expert, co-ordinator
  17. 17. Number of logics governing communicationin governmental agenicies• One (16)• Two (28)• Three (43)• Four (13)
  18. 18. Three most common conflicts• Industrial – Renown• Industrial – Civic• Renown – Market
  19. 19. Industrial vs Renown• Our work has to be • We must be prepared to professional, thoroughly accept new trends and take prepared and rest on a chance when it comes evidence based practices.• Visibility or popularity has no • We must be visible and gain value in itself if it doesn’t attention from the public contribute to the overall goal of the organization
  20. 20. Industrial vs Civic• The aim of communication is • We must uphold the - first and foremost - democratic processes and something used to uphold support collective interests. and organize the activities of the organization.• We have to be efficient and • First and foremost we have reach our goals to take the public interest into account
  21. 21. Renown vs. Market• Reputation and trust can’t be • The brand is an obstacle if reduced to customers. we want to make a good deal• We have to express our • We have to seduce our identity and what we stand customers and tell them for what they want to hear
  22. 22. Concequences for communicators?• Have to use different arguments to get support from different groups of colleagues or stakeholders• Are evaluated by different standards• Have to transform their results to other ”currencies”• Avoids evaluations and focus on production and process
  23. 23. Conclusions• Communication in governmental agencies is governed by several different logics• Communication is supposed to fulfil a number of different and contradictive goals• Creates inconsistencies• Limits the room for maneuverers

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