1st Edition

Marketing Public Policy
Complexity, Hurts and Minefields

ISBN 9781138559974
Published March 6, 2018 by Routledge
160 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Policy analysts and policy planners should start from the premise that obstacles, uncertainties and surprises are important features of policy-making. All public policies should be treated as complex problems, from the outset. Complexity theorists start from the premise that complex policies are ill-defined and ambiguous. There is often little consensus about what the problem is, let alone how to resolve it. Into the complexity of the wicked problem fray, Marketing Public Policy introduces the role of communication scholars and practitioners whose models and practices focus on people, processes, opinions and behaviour as causes of organisational complexity. Communication practice’s role is to provide ideas on how to navigate, diagnose and interpret issues with a view to persuading the public to change its behaviour or opinions.

From the case studies presented in this book, we see that despite rationally excellent macro- and micro-planning of policies to win the hearts and minds of citizens, public policies still deteriorate into hurts and minefields. The case studies are drawn from China, Indonesia, India, the USA, the UK and Europe to show that policy-making is always a complex issue in any country, whatever the political structure, whether democracy or communism.

Table of Contents


The Marketing of Public Policy


1. Public Policy Dynamics

2. Wicked problems and its application

3. Institutions and Political Structures


4. Agenda Setting-Framing-Priming

5. Marketing

6. Activism, Advocacy and Public Opinion

7. New Media is Mainstream


8. Social Issues and Tradeoff

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Basskaran Nair is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, and the author of the books, Primer in Public Relations in Singapore and From Main Street to Cyber Street: Changes in the Practice of Communication His research interests cover marketing communication, investor relations, media relations and issues management.


'Marketing Public Policy: Complexity, Hurts and Minefields brings together the practical application of marketing to the complexities of public policy implementation. A PR practitioner with a successful track record in the public and private sectors and in investor relations and communications consultancy, Basskaran Nair takes a fresh, commercial-minded look at the public policy process. For him, communications practice is to deal with hearts and minds issues facing complex public policies as described by complexity theories. The focus in Marketing Public Policy is how to win the hearts and minds (and avoid the "hurts and minefields" reactions) of the public in the course of a transactional relationship between the governed and the government. The book showcase examples from different countries to emphasise the international nature of marketing complex public policies. I highly recommend this book by Basskaran who was my communication chief at CapitaLand Group of companies, one of the largest real estate company with a significant international footprint, for eleven years as Senior Vice President (Communication and Corporate Marketing).' — Professor Liew Mun Leong, Provost’s Chair Professor (Practice) (pro bono), National University of Singapore Business School, Faculty of Engineering and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Chairman, Changi Airport Group & Surbana Jurong Group

'Increasingly, public policies are getting more complex. Yet, despite this growing complexity, the people need to be convinced that these policies work for them. If the people are not on board, the policies could well fail. This is why this book, Marketing Public Policy: Complexity, Hurts and Minefields, is so timely. With his proven record in the communications and investor relations field, Basskaran is the ideal person to explain the importance of marketing to public policy professionals. This book is an indispensable guide.'Professor Kishore Mahbubani, National University of Singapore, Co-author of The ASEAN Miracle