How to be Effective with Marketing Promotions in the Public Sector

Written by Cathy Huff, President & Owner of Fetch

I’m sure many of you, if not all of you, have attended a conference, convention, or trade show of some sort. Perhaps you have even worked at one representing a company at their booth, handing out items and talking with those that stop to visit. I’ve been to many both for the private sector as well as the government sector and worked at booths ranging from home service companies to consulting companies to politicians.

One thing that has always been a bit of a pet peeve of mine is how little thought organizations and individuals put into the promotional items they hand out, and some don’t bother at all.

There is a better and more strategic way to use promotional items to communicate your marketing message!

Below are a few steps when considering what type of promotional product is appropriate for you.


1. Focus on the Who

Are you trying to increase your presence into the state & local public sector? If so, consider this – conferences are often the only places government officials can accept promotional items. Providing a promotional item that has a good chance of being kept and used again and again is a great way to ensure name recognition when you submit an RFP to a new state market.

2. Think about the What

Are you underestimating the power of the pen? Everyone uses pens and has them all over their desks, at home, and in their laptop bags. Pens also happen to be a very cost-effective promotional item. Look for opportunities to order pens that stand out a bit, make your organization memorable, and last long enough for your name to be remembered. Make sure your pen is powerful and most importantly of good quality.

3. Consider the Where

Where do you place your promotional items once you have them? As a famous actor once said, “Don’t put Baby in the corner” – likewise, don’t just put your promotional items into a storage unit, bowl, or a corner. Make sure they get into the hands of key targets. Make them work for you by having conversations when handing them out.

4. Know the Why

Do your promotional items connect with your brand? I always find it interesting when I’m visiting a booth and receive a branded key chain from a technology consulting company, and when I ask them what it has to do with their company, they can’t tell me. Make some extra effort in your search for a promotional item that actually connects to your brand – it’ll help your organization stand out and be memorable.


Marketing is everywhere including all of those promotional items you hand out at a conference. Just make sure they have a clear connection to your brand, they position your products well, and they are memorable to your audience. All of this ensures they will effectively promote your organization and its key selling points.

Leave a Comment

eight − seven =