This case study focuses on how UNISON has promoted its A Million Voices for Public Services campaign. It has used a rangeof methods and technologies designed to reach a variety of different audiences. In doing so it helps individuals to understandthe significance of what is happening within the public sector andthe effects which government policies will have on public servicesand the people who work to provide them.
Objectives of promotion
Promotion can be used for a number of reasons. For example,promotional activity can increase sales, raise awareness orconcerns about particular issues, develop a brand image or alterpublic opinion. As an organisation representing more than a millionpeople, UNISON uses promotion to raise public awareness of issues and attract people to its membership.Every promotional campaign requires a direction and setting
helps to clarify what the expected outcomes will be.Objectives are specific and purposeful statements that can bemeasured and evaluated. One way of thinking about how to setobjectives is through using the acronym SMART:•
pecific – objectives should be precise and clearly identifiable•
easurable – by being measurable it is easy to see whetherthe objective has been met•
chievable –the objectives set need to be achievable, neithertoo ambitious nor too easily met•
elevant – meeting the objectives should help to achieve theoverall long-term aims of the organisation or campaign•
ime-bound – adequate time needs to be allocated to achievethe objectives. An example of one of UNISON’s campaign SMART objectives is‘to increase membership to 1.5 million members by July 2013’. This will allow it to grow stronger as an organisation.UNISON’s A Million Voices for Public Services campaign waslaunched in July 2009 in light of proposed funding cuts to thepublic sector. The campaign calls for public interest to be putahead of profit. It urges politicians and the public to realise theimportance of public services and to ‘add their voice’ to thecampaign. It has a number of aims.• The union wants to bring together all its work in defending publicservices and job cuts. This would combine the work of all of thelocal union branches in different parts of the public sector who areundertaking their own campaigns under one single umbrellatheme called A Million Voices for Public Services campaign.•UNISON also wants to help both its members and the public ingeneral to understand the real impact of the cuts. For example,cuts will affect number of jobs and conditions of service, suchas pay or holidays for employees. On the other hand, cutscould influence how services such as healthcare and educationare made available to the population in general.• A Million Voices for Public Services campaign reflectsUNISON’s voice in speaking up for its million-plus members. The campaign also aimed to attract members of the public andtrade unionists to show active support and sign up to thecampaign to protect public services. This would help themessage grow and this would meet another objective - tocreate pressure on the government to change political directionand recognise the need to defend public services.•In all of its campaign work, UNISON also aims to increase itsmembership by showing how the union is active on behalf of its members.
The word ‘promotion’ conjures up images of advertisements throughwhich organisations try to persuade consumers to buy goods andservices. However, promotion is not simply about advertising. The
has a range of different communication tools. Forinstance, firms may use
, directmarketing and
within the mix. Each of these needsto be carefully tailored and designed to meet the objectives of thepromotional campaign.UNISON’s campaign was not intended to encourage individuals tobuy goods and services. Instead it was trying to help individuals tounderstand some of the complicated messages coming from themedia and government. In doing this it was helping them to buyinto a set of beliefs. This would inform and then persuadeindividuals to sign up for the campaign.
GL O S S A R Y
The specific goals thatorganisations or individuals seek toachieve.
The selection of methods used by a business topromote sales of its products e.g.special offers, tactical price reductions,special displays.
Incentives, usuallyfor a limited period, to purchase acompany's product.
Where an organisationfunds a sporting, community or culturalevent in return for exposure of theirname or brand.
Organisationalcommunications with externalstakeholder groups and the generalpublic.
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