Public Sector Intervention in a Period of Crisis: Study Based on Applied Relationship Marketing Principles
Purpose: This article studies the public sector's reaction faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and proposes tools and recommendations based on relationship marketing communication principles. Design/Approach/Methodology: To carry out this study, interviews were conducted based on a conversation guide through which data were collected from officials of public institutions and private individuals who work closely with the public environment, inquiring about crisis responsiveness and the efficiency and effectiveness of communication channels used. A literature review was used along with the semi-structured free discussion; the technique employed is that of the in-depth interview based on the conversation guide tool. Findings: Crises change lives and perceptions. Once regarded as a barrier to freedoms and free markets, governments and the public sector are now called upon to intervene in the crisis and ensure continuity amidst the worst economic crisis in a century and the worst crisis in the world of work since the Second World War. The public system's strengths and weaknesses become apparent, and a generalized need for building up resilience and responsiveness and improving adapted communication is identified. Practical Implication: This article contains clear references to how public institutions can improve crisis responsiveness and communication, based on a relationship marketing approach. Originality/Value: To carry out this study, 42 interviews were conducted with officials from public institutions and private individuals in Europe and the United States, creating an overview of institutional communication in crisis times and comparing the results with previous literature findings. Good responsiveness and communication are now more important than ever, as work and exchange of information are done remotely in most sectors.