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Government calls for positive publicity

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By Yohane Symon:

The government has complained that public relations personnel in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are not doing enough to publicise development initiatives which the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is implementing.

Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Henry Mussa, made the remarks on Friday in Mangochi during a retreat for Public Relations Society of Malawi (PRSM) members.

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Mussa said President Peter Mutharika is concerned that, for the past four years, his administration has done works that should be appreciated yet public relations officers are failing to highlight such.

“The President feels we have not done enough to tell the people good things about this government. Instead, it is out opponents that have been very efficient in telling the nation, communities and the people about the bad things about this government,” he said.

The minister then encouraged PROs working for the government to make sure that people are aware of development projects undertaken in the country.

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He said the government is in the process of making sure that every key ministry and department has a well-established public relations and communications department to manage publicity of government initiatives.

“This directive [that PROs should create a good national image] is not political. It was made about six years ago in 2012. We are not targeting the upcoming elections,” he said.

He said the government’s human resources department is in the process of formalising the post of PRO within the line ministry so that PROs would now be allowed to attend to management meetings which can help them speak and publicise initiatives of the government.

Herbert Chandilanga, an executive member of PRSM who represented the society’s president, said PRSM will find a way of making government PROs more efficient.

“This is positive feedback to us. We know that there is room for improvement among our members from both government and private institutions and we will use this feedback to prepare our members to be more effective,” he said.

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