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Government Communications and Marketing

In this course, we offer valuable insights into the theory and practice of public sector management, focusing on communications and marketing. Strengthen your skill set by exploring practical examples and case studies that illustrate the challenges and opportunities of communication and marketing in the public sector. This course is an indispensable resource for advancing your knowledge and skills at Africa’s leading School of Governance.

Target audience:

  • Communications and information officers working in all spheres of government and civil society who are in management (entry-level and middle) positions
  • Marketing and communications officers working in state-owned enterprises and public sector agencies

Programme Information

Applications Open
11 December 2023
Applications Close
22 March 2024
Academic Category
Short Course
R41 000.00
Course outcomes
  • You will be able to understand the importance of marketing and communications for government policy and service delivery, as well as the impact of the emergent information society and economy on government communication strategies.
  • Our course also provides valuable insights into the need for leadership in developing appropriate communications and marketing strategies for government. We will explore the challenges of managing information and knowledge in the information age, and examine the relevance of corporate communications, marketing, and branding in government settings.
  • You will also learn how to analyse marketing research survey reports using appropriate tools, producing communications that meet the needs of your target audience, including exploring the growth of the media industry.

Status of certificate

  • As per the Council for Higher Education (CHE), a short course that does not carry credit towards a qualification on the HEQSF cannot be assigned and allocated NQF levels and credits.

  • Short courses are short learning programmes offered by higher education institutions outside their formal structured undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and they, therefore, do not lead to qualifications on the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF). They serve a range of social and educational purposes, including improving or refreshing participants’ knowledge and skills in a particular field, improving participants’ readiness for specific formal higher education programmes, continuing professional development, learning to use technology, personal fulfilment, social development and good citizenship, to mention a few. (

  • You will receive a Certificate of Competence on successful completion of this course.

Course content

The course explores key areas of government communications and marketing through an interactive teaching and learning approach.


Governments are operating in an environment that is becoming more complex, more dynamic, more global, and therefore more interdependent. Under such dynamic conditions with multiple demands and expectations communication plays a critical role in ensuring that the right information reaches the right people at the right time to provide a rational basis for their decisions and actions and to promote uptake of services. This module will explore the machinery of government and the government communications environment; as well as the challenges and opportunities for communications and marketing.


A rapidly changing environment brings with it numerous uncertainties that fail to fit into known theories and technologies for solving organisational and societal problems. Under such conditions, organisations need leadership to provide a strategic framework to action and an understanding of how to act in concert with the changes, and how to utilise the changes in beneficial rather than in harmful ways. In this module students will work on strategic thinking and strategy design, leadership values and practice, and applying these approaches to government communications.


Research provides much needed information and knowledge on "the customer" or citizen for government interaction, on selected areas of an organisation's marketing and communication strategy and to create the basis for creativity and innovation. This module will explore communications and marketing research with a view to creating a better understanding of the processes, the tools and technologies of research and consumer understanding, and the applications to which the end products can be put to use.


The emergence of people-centred governments of the 21st century has given rise to the need for marketing and branding capabilities, hitherto considered to be the exclusive tools of private business organisations. The ability of public managers to establish and manage effective communications to keep their customers fully informed and educated on the range of services they provide, as well as offering alternative access routes to services is increasingly becoming indispensable in modern governments. This module will address the related issues of service delivery, public policy, branding government and managing communications.


Communication technologies (ICT) have not only made information and knowledge more readily available and accessible than ever before, but has also introduced the challenge of managing information overload rather than its scarcity. The 24-hour live news coverage means that government communications is "always on", this raises many challenges for the introduction of e-government in South Africa and across the continent. The module will include sessions on managing new technologies and new media, and introducing e-government.

Assessments methods:

  • Individual Assignment 25%
  • Portfolio Assignment 25%
  • Examination 50%
Admissions requirements
  • An undergraduate qualification or equivalent with at least three years working experience in a relevant field.
Course duration and dates

The five modules will be delivered over five weeks in block release format.

You will be required to attend class for four days a week, once a month over a period of five month.

Start date: 8 April 2024


  • ONSITE course delivery is at the Wits School of Governance located in Parktown, Johannesburg.
  • OFFSITE deliveries are offered subject to the commitment of a minimum numbers of participants being registered for the course.
  • ONLINE delivery will require the participant to have connectivity and devices.
  • Please note that travel and accommodation will be at the cost of the students’ respective organisations. 

Disclaimer: Cancellation of programmes by WSG

WSG is entitled to cancel or change the date of delivery of a programme without notice and for any reason without incurring any liability to individuals who have applied or are enrolled on the programme or any funders of such individuals (“participants” or “funders of participants”).

Without derogating from the aforesaid, and insofar as it possible, WSG will provide the participants or funders of the participants with 30 (thirty days) days written notice of any cancellation or changes in the dates of delivery of the programme.

Insofar as the programme is cancelled or rescheduled prior to delivery of the programme then in that event the participants and funders of the participants will not be charged the full programme fees.