• April 6th, 2020

PROs review policies, express challenges

Kaylan Shipanga

Regional council and local authority public relations officers are gathering in Otjiwarongo to discuss the implementation of the Government Communication Plan and the Government Social Media Use Policy.

The three-day workshop is organised by the Ministry of In f o rma t i on an d Communication Technology
for PROs to assess their progress, challenges and areas for improvement with the implementation of the two plans.

The policies were adopted by the National Assembly in 2017. The Government Social Med ia Pol i cy provi d e s guidance on how to make use of social media on government platforms, while the Government
Communication Plan deals with ensuring information is effectively disseminated to the public. The workshop also serves as a platform for the PROs to share their overall challenges in carrying out public relations work.
A lack of managerial understanding of PROs work and weak communication between some managers and PROs, as well as budgetary constraints were among the issues mentioned.

Additional areas of concern voiced were the need for a separate employee to manage social
media and content development, due to the time constraints and duplicated functions such as employees other than PROs doing interviews, which leaves PRO professional roles overlooked. Stella Imalwa-
Nangolo, a strategic liaison officer for the Tsumeb Municipality, sympathised with the challenges
mentioned at the workshop.

“You really end up running like a chicken without a head: sometimes, you do information sharing; sometimes, you have to organise things from their conceptualisation – sometimes, you are an event organiser. This is what people never really can see,” she said. Imalwa- Nangolo, however, also believed the workshop was a useful platform for professional development. She felt the training was also an opportunity to learn from her fellow PROs. “When you come to gatherings like this, you realise your problems are not yours alone and there might be solutions out here.

All of us can put our heads together to evaluate if we have individual problems or shared problems,” said Imalwa. The workshop will also include presentations on government corporate identity, social media
engagement, PR writing, media monitoring, and narrowing information gaps between PROs
and the media.

Acting director responsible for print media affairs at MICT Frans Nghitila urged PROs to use creativity when managing government social media, in a way that fosters nation-building and to ensure they are providing easily accessible information to the public. A similar training was held with government public
relations officers in Walvis Bay in September.

Staff Reporter
2019-12-05 07:15:48 | 4 months ago

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