The “commercial communicator”: how to generate more income


You’re probably tired of hearing that your organisation must do more with less. It’s been that way for too long and cutting public sector teams to the absolute bone is debilitating and unsustainable. Something… scrap that, lots of things, have to drop off the menu because eventually services simply cannot be delivered without seriously compromising their integrity.

So what about doing more with more?


Yes. More actual money.

Many cash-strapped organisations are taking matters into their own hands and generating income either directly through the communications team “selling its wares”, or via other teams within an organisation who are empowered to be more commercially successful thanks to strategic comms support.

There are two opinion pieces, a raft of new research and 12 case study examples of different strategies for saving and generating money packed into a new whitepaper by Granicus and comms2point0, Income Targets: Comms Entrepreneurs, Income Warriors and Three Paths Forward. This is the resource for anyone seeking (some) answers to the sector’s financial challenges, which are particularly pronounced in local government.

A new movement of “comms income warriors”

Comms people, digital tools and tactics are playing a big role in improving organisations’ financial health, and there are a number of different approaches being adopted across all levels of the sector. Some see it as the rise of entrepreneurialism in the public sector, some call it a matter of survival, but for all, it is affirmation that public sector organisations need strategic and creative support from communications if they are to have a chance of realising their programmes’ potential [commercial or otherwise for that matter].

Citizen engagement at scale – B2B and B2C – is critical to the success of any venture, and being able to engage and mobilise the right audience for action at the right time is a careful balance of art and science. Citizen engagement tools providing marketing automation, audience segmentation, and analytics can help comms teams deliver impactful outcome-focused digital communications.

For example in the context of income targets, improved citizen engagement means greater participation in chargeable arts and culture programmes run by councils, ever more targeted advertising opportunities for businesses, and increased take-up of community events which attract commercial sponsors for local government organisers (e.g. Caerphilly County Council).

It’s no surprise to see in the whitepaper (and from the associated research spanning the public sector) that the communications team is often the driving force behind the success of these new commercial initiatives. Whether it’s helping to breathe new life into local touristic offerings, or setting up entirely new paid-for services and building a captive audience and compelling content marketing strategy around them, comms packs a punch. Not least because there are so many creative and talented people working in the profession, but also because aligning your comms efforts with strategic objectives is essential for time- and resource-poor teams; it provides clarity, motivation, a greater sense of worth, and, trackable impacts.

How to make your organisation more profitable

To help more public sector teams give legs to their commercial ideas and reach their potential, Granicus is hosting two free learning events over the next couple of months.

1. Free webinar: Income Targets and the Comms You Need to Succeed

Thursday 23 November | 2 – 3pm GMT | Register here >

2. Free event: Public Sector Digital Engagement Day (Glasgow)

Wednesday 6 December | 11am – 4pm | The Lighthouse, Glasgow | Register here >


Emma Howard is Marketing Strategist at Granicus. Follow @GranicusUK and @Emma_A_Howard and visit for more information about their work.

Posted on 1st November 2017