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Public Sector Communication

Encyclopedia entry
Authors Magnus Fredriksson
Josef Pallas
Published in Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication
ISBN 978-1-119-01071-5
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Hoboken
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords Public Sector, strategic Communication
Subject categories Communication Studies, Public Administration Studies

Abstract

The public sector involves publically financed activities including health care, education, public transportation, and others. The sector is funded by taxes and governed by political institutions to realize political goals. Recently the sector has met deregulation and reforms to craft more efficient, accountable, and responsive organizations—with an increased complexity and ambiguity as a result. Such a development mobilizes four different principles for strategic communication in public sector organizations—civic communication, management communication, reputation management, and market communication. Expectations on how to communicate are shaped in relation to the contradictive settings in which public sector organizations operate, with limited possibilities to follow a coherent strategy. Thus, when public sector organizations show an inconsistent or contradictory posture toward communication this is not the result of fragmentation or lack of competence, but rather a functional reaction to sectoral conditions.

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