To sharpen the government’s communication strategy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants his officials to be battle-ready. Twenty-two senior officials of the information service cadre have been selected for a week-long programme at the University of California, Berkeley, which will equip them with latest tools to handle the PM’s communication push.
An official claims that in the last two years, the NDA government has embarked on a programme of communication innovation by adopting methods and seeking spaces to ensure last mile connectivity with the people. Multiple social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, have been aggressively used by the government.
The US training programme is in continuation of a 12-day one at Indian School of Business in Hyderabad last month. It aims to plug the gaps in the government’s communication approach in content design, social marketing, branding, impact assessment and weaving technologies in the digital age. Officers also visited the offices of Google and Facebook in Hyderabad to have first-hand account of their communication strategy.
An official said that over the past two years, they have succeeded in adopting a new communication philosophy, which incorporates citizen’s concerns, but there are areas which still reflect chinks in the armour of government communication.
The media strategy and planning in the changing scenario of social advertising was taught at Indian School of Business, which will benefit in defining the communication roadmap for the government’s social sector schemes and to ensure the last mile connect with the people.
“With the growing influence of the digital media and to influence the communication and media landscape, social and digital media planning has to be an integral part of the government communication strategy,” an official said. As a result, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is planning to use WhatsApp and integrate other social media platforms to hold “talkathons”.
“While the ministry has been widely using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to publicise important events, it has yet not utilised the potential of WhatsApp,” a senior official said.