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PS exhorts Public Communication Officers to make use of digital platforms

State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications   Principal Secretary Prof Edward Kisiang’ani has directed Public Communication Officers to leverage digital platforms in the dissemination of timely information to the public

The PS was represented by Juliana Yiapan Secretary of Administration (SA) State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunication in the opening ceremony of a three-day Executive Training for Public Communication Officers organised by the Ministry of Information Communication and Digital Economy and Media Council of Kenya in Mombasa.

The training targets communicators from Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs) and County Governments and aims to coordinate the flow of information between the government and the public.

A similar training was held three weeks ago in Naivasha for communicators domiciled in Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs)

Yiapan disclosed that the PS is very passionate about the centrality of government communication in the delivery of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

“The importance of effective communication and media relations in the public sector particularly in this digital age cannot be overstated. You as Public Communication Officers play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between government entities and the general public,” said Prof Kisiang’ani in a speech read on his behalf by Yiapan.

Public Communicators, he said, serve as the primary liaison responsible for disseminating accurate and timely information to the citizens, stakeholders, and members of the Fourth Estate.

“In an era dominated by fast-paced digital media, Public Communication Officers are instrumental in maintaining the public trust through open and accessible communication channels thus contributing to a more informed and engaged citizen,” he said.

The PS noted that the purpose of government communication is to enable citizens’ participation in nation-building.

In light of the existing disconnect in the news coverage of government matters the PS said It became fundamental to equip the Public Communication Officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the evolving landscape of communication in the digital age.

“Communication channels have rapidly expanded and at the same time, public expectations are evolving as fast.

Therefore Public Communicators must adapt, craft effective messaging, manage the reputation of government, and engage with the public across various platforms,” said the PS adding the engagements will prepare them to uphold transparency, accountability, and open dialogue between government with citizens.

The trainings are aimed to expand space for public participation in governmental processes by enhancing public access to information.

He said, “Effective communication is at the heart of successful governance. We believe by enhancing the skills of our public sector leaders in media relations and public communication we will empower you to lead transparent, open, and accountable administrations.”

The Public communicators were told to strive and improve the lives of the citizens through the dissemination of quality information on government BETA.

Media Council of Kenya (MCK) CEO David Omwoyo briefs the media on the Executive Training of Public Communicators in Mombasa. Photo and caption by Cyzick Sidayi

The Public Communications Officers were advised to work closely with the national broadcaster – Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and the country’s news- Kenya News Agency (KNA) to leverage audience reach.

“Our state department plans to revamp the two entities in line with the changing times and these plans are at an advanced stage,” revealed the PS.

The PS noted that effective communication isn’t just about transmitting information but also building trust, fostering understanding, and shaping the narrative that shapes the nation.

MCK CEO David Omwoyo stressed the importance of leveraging digital platforms to pass information.

The CEO likened TikTok a short video application to a highway where consumers of information especially the young people flock to. He urged Public Communicators to use the platform to disseminate information.

“TikTok is the most rising platform whether you like it or not people want information, find a way of going there to put a little information,” he said.

By Sadik Hassan

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