Municipalities as public relations and marketing firms

This article offers a metaphorical image of U. S. municipalities as public relations (PR) and marketing firms. Cities are practicing many of the same promotional and image-generation techniques as private-sector PR firms use with a desire for the same ends—increased consumption of goods and services, which in this case come from cities and not from private-sector businesses. The image presented here is based on six tactics that public organizations use to sell themselves to diverse audience bases. The tactics include branding, media relations, in-house publications (three prevalent tactics), use of outside organizations and volunteers as PR tools, public art, and built environment via sustainability (three uncommon tactics). The article asserts that image generation in a city acting as a PR and marketing firm is a consequence of the market models of governance, bringing postmodern public administration critiques to fruition.

This article offers a metaphorical image of U. S. municipalities as public relations (PR) and marketing firms. Cities are practicing many of the same promotional and image-generation techniques as private-sector PR firms use with a desire for the same ends—increased consumption of goods and services, which in this case come from cities and not from private-sector businesses. The image presented here is based on six tactics that public organizations use to sell themselves to diverse audience bases. The tactics include branding, media relations, in-house publications (three prevalent tactics), use of outside organizations and volunteers as PR tools, public art, and built environment via sustainability (three uncommon tactics). The article asserts that image generation in a city acting as a PR and marketing firm is a consequence of the market models of governance, bringing postmodern public administration critiques to fruition.

File Type: 2753/atp1084-1806320202
Categories: Current Issues, Leadership, PA Theory