Maintain consistency in information dissemination - Esther Cobbah charges PROs
Public relations officers in state institutions must work harmoniously and cohesively in the discharge of their communication duties to reflect the professional expertise they bring to the role.
As the link between the government, institutions and the citizenry, such officers need to maintain consistency in their messaging to effectively disseminate the required information the Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Communication Africa Limited (Stratcomm Africa), Esther Cobbah has said.
She emphasised that any inconsistencies in their messaging not only confused the targeted audience but also affected the trust and confidence they had in the communicators.
Ms Cobbah was speaking at a training programme for 101 officers drawn from the Public Relations Division of the Information Services Department (ISD), who are working in the ministries, departments and agencies across the country.
The training programme, organised by Stratcomm Africa, was co-facilitated by Ms Cobbah and Stratcomm Africa’s Marketing Communication Manager, Sharon Anim.
The programme, delivered in three cohorts, involved comprehensive and interactive professional learning designed to equip PR professionals of the public service with principles and tools for playing their roles effectively in public policy formulation and delivery.
Ms Cobbah urged participants to dispel the misconception that PR officers lacked technical expertise, emphasising their unique ability to break down the “technical work” of other professionals for public understanding.
Stratcomm Africa's CEO highlighted the goal of the company’s partnership with ISD as its contribution towards building more efficient and effective PRO units for state agencies and also sustaining and enriching Ghana’s development agenda.
“The need for information flow between governments and the citizenry to achieve development and improved livelihoods is so vital in a country like ours, with the challenges we face in simple things like sanitation, water supply, as well as meeting health and educational needs, and job creation for young people,” she said.
“Policymaking for addressing all these and other issues requires constant and honest communication between the government and the citizens.
Thus, it is important that we show professionalism in our roles all the time,” Ms Cobbah stressed.
The Head of the Public Relations Coordinating Division of the ISD, Ethel Cudjoe Amissah, indicated that the division would continue to undertake capacity-building programmes to ensure that the country’s public sector communicators remained well equipped for their work.
She said the programme with Stratcomm Africa was part of a series planned for the staff of the division.
“The division considered it an honour to have an organisation such as Stratcomm Africa, which is well acknowledged for its expertise and excellence in the communication industry, to work with the division on this important programme,” Mrs Amissah stressed.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Information, Charlotte Morgan Asiedu, commended participants for their dedication to the learning programme, emphasising that the commitment of the participants reflected their determination to ensure that national development goals were achieved through the public's clear understanding of government policies.
Mrs Asiedu also commended Stratcomm Africa for facilitating the learning programme at no cost.
A participant of the programme, Solace Amankwa, described the programme design and delivery as unique and extremely impactful.