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Re:CAP Recommends | Words of Wisdom for Public Officials Trying to Connect With Citizens

January 20, 2017

Re:CAP Recommends: “Words of Wisdom for Public Officials Trying to Connect With Citizens” by Dr. Mark Funkhouser for Governing

Who: Dr. Mark Funkhouser is the publisher of Governing magazine. He is a prior mayor of Kansas City, MO and a retired city auditor with over eighteen years of experience. He is a Ph.D. graduate in public administration and sociology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Before becoming publisher of Governing, he served as director of the Governing Institute.

What: Even government organizations and public officials need to communicate value to their customers. Dr. Funkhouser, using work of Jonah Berger’s recent book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, describes simple intuitive ways for officials to communicate their value.

Takeaway: Communication approaches straightforward as word-of-mouth and social media can greatly enhance the efficacy of strategic communication. In their best effort to make things clearer, the well-intended message a public official conveys can sometimes make things murkier instead. Funkhouser suggests language and method of communication are essentials to being clear and effective.

Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu