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

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January 20, 2017
Re:CAP Staff

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.

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