Mr Elvis Adanyina, Acting Director of Information Services Department (ISD) has noted that the lack of a national framework for government communication machinery serves as a hindrance to government public relations practice.
“Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) lack a clearly defined public relations role; as a result, there has been lack of continuity and flow in the plan, process and policies for the dissemination of government policies and information.
“All appointed Ministers assume office with their own plan for dissemination of government information due to the lack of a comprehensive National Framework for all which make the work of PRO’s very challenging,” he said.
Mr Adanyina made the observation at a four-day capacity building workshop for ISD PROs serving in the various MDAs in Accra.
The workshop which was on the theme “Strategic Public Relations Management,” was an initiative of the ISD in collaboration with the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) Ghana.
The four-day capacity building workshop was aimed at preparing participants adequately to see themselves as proactive public relations managers rather than reactive communicators.
Mr Adanyina mentioned that it was unfortunate that ISD PRO’s had been reduced to protocol officers “being used by some regional ministers for domestic duties such as running errands and organizing events”.
He said ISD will engage the MDAs on the role of PR in the modern communication dissemination chain, as well as explore measures to address the misconceptions about the profession to restore its dignity.
He, however, called on all ISD PROs to register with the IPR to enable it to monitor and tackle any professional problems they may encounter and also organize capacity building training for them to ensure they lived up to expectation.
Mr Moses Botingnaaa Alhassan, Director of Research, Statistics and Information Management at the Ministry of Information encouraged PRO’s to stay on top of issues in their MDAs and build their capacity to meet the demands of the new government.
Mr Alhassan said PR was gradually being accepted as a managerial function, and that there was the need for PRO’s to be involved in strategic thinking and planning to enable them to provide result-oriented solutions to management.
“Strong ethical practice plays essential roles to the success of every profession including PR, hence there is the need for PRO’s to be ethical and much disciplined in the discharge of their duties to maintain the professional touch attached to the PR profession,” he added.