Experts Advocate Crisis Communication, Fact-Checking to Address Problems in MDAs
Experts at a one-day ‘training of communication managers in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)’ in Abuja, proffered ways to ‘speedily’ and ‘effectively’ address crisis situations at government MDAs, especially at the federal level.
They advocated the deployment of effective crisis communication strategies by information managers of government agencies and also stressed the need for them to always fact-check information meant for public consumption.
The training, held last Tuesday, and organized by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), was themed: “Fake News, Hate Speech, Alternative Trust/Fact as Threats to the Future of the Media and Public Relations: Implications on Twitter Suspension for Government Agencies.”
A Public Relations guru, and publisher of PRNigeria and Economic Confidential Magazine, Mr. Yushau Shuaib, and Dr. Bala Muhammad, a Mass Communication scholar at Bayero University, Kano (BUK), each presented a paper, after Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, had declared the event open.
According to a communique issued at the end of the training programme fake news and hate speech have created mutual distrust among citizens of the country, with diverse ethnic, religious and regional affiliations.
It says: “That when information is accurately sent and received, everyone in an organization can be informed. However, when misinterpreted or when incorrect information spreads, communications can create significant problems in organization.
“That the need to be proactive on public information has become even more imperative, considering the numerous socio-economic challenges confronting our dear nation.
“That the role of the participants as Communication Managers in various organisations is critical and relevant, especially, at this time when the information eco-system has become more diffused.”
The Communique, which was jointly signed by Aliyu Umar Aliyu, the Principal Information Officer at BPSR, and Mrs. Maryam Sanusi, Chairperson, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, FCT Chapter, further stressed that the participants should give the training their utmost attention and put to efficient and effective practice, the knowledge so acquired in the course of the training, in their various MDAs.
It further reads: “The government ought to be the chief driver in the communication ecosystem, if naysayers are not to misinform, mislead and obfuscate government objectives and purpose for undertaking such policies and programmes, from the citizens.
“Information managers should identify and utilise right communication channels for information dissemination. Also, there should be regular monitoring and assessments of information to guide in appropriate and counter-narratives.
“Effective crisis communication strategies should be deployed by information managers to address problematic issues in their respective MDAs.”
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Report By: PRNigeria.com