Govt exploring ways to effectively use Facebook for its communication
Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, has said that citizen engagement and two-way communication were the critical inputs for the Government communication approach in the current media scenario dominated by instant communication and multimedia platforms. In this context, social media as a communication platform emerged as a cost effective and powerful tool in the Government, which focussed on maximum Governance. Regarding its power and influence, Col. Rathore said that today deliberations and debates in the countries across the world were shaped by the responses and reactions on social media. The emerging perspective dominated other media platforms also.
The Minister stated this while inaugurating the Workshop on Effective Use of Facebook for Government Communication at the National Media Centre on Friday, August 19, 2016. Secretary I&B Ajay Mittal; Director General PIB Frank Noronha; officers from Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and other Ministries/ Departments; Ankhi Das, Policy Director for India, South & Central Asia; and Katie Harbath, Global Director for Politics and Government from Facebook, were also present on the occasion.
The Minister further stated that the challenge before the Government was to reorient and recalibrate its approach and strategy in communicating with the citizens with the right content and knowledge so as to empower them. This was important in view of the rising demand for quality and precise information and social media being a dynamic medium of communication where views were instantly formed with regard to critical issues. In this context, the capacity building initiatives taken by the Press information Bureau would not only strengthen institutional capacity of the Government but would also enable the Government to mainstream a 360 degree communication strategy across social media platforms.
Citing the example of the communication approach undertaken for the Budget, the Minister said that there was a need to communicate with the citizens in a timely, sustained, personalized, creative and interesting way. For this purpose, infographics and creative graphics were designed to simplify budget provisions so that people could understand them in a simple manner and could take benefits from the schemes and initiatives of the Government.
Speaking on the occasion, the I&B Secretary said that it was important for the Government to learn to make communication interesting and engaging. In the communication space there is a need for creative and innovative ways of delivering messages and reach out to diverse target audience. Speaking about the need for new tools during crisis situations he said that Facebook Live could play a critical role during disaster situations to reach out to people.
The Director General, Press Information Bureau, added here that social media had increased the capacity to communicate instantly with the people. Underlying the social media focus, he said that it is the philosophy of the Government that rather than expecting citizens to knock at our door, we go and engage with them where they are. He also said that there is a need to study and learn from best practices in communication across the world and to improve our capacities as communicators.
The Workshop was a joint endeavour of Press Information Bureau, New Media Cell and Facebook. Over 250 officers from various Ministries and Departments of the Government participated in the workshop.