Broadcasting and Telecommunications PS Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani has underscored the need to streamline government communication in order to project the correct image.
Prof. Kisiang’ani said disjointed and uncoordinated official communication was a disservice to both the government and the citizens, while underscoring the need to harmonize the various sectors charged with communication.
“There is a need for people to work in harmony and as a team so that there is no variance in communication,” he said.
Speaking when he closed a five-day retreat for the Technical Committee charged with drafting of the National Communication Strategy in Machakos, the PS further noted the need to establish a framework for writing and releasing government statements to the public to avoid discordance.
He said government statements must meet some prerequisite criteria before they are released to the public, adding that “A government statement going to members of the public must go through certain stages so that the information is well processed to avoid pre-mature communication that may later appear contradictory.”
Prof. Kisiang’ani also noted that besides messaging, public officers should conduct themselves in a manner that portrays the best image of the government.
He said the first line of government communication is how it’s officers present themselves both to the local and international audience.
“The first aspect of communication is the image that we portray to the public as government officers, how we dress and how we relate amongst ourselves,” said the PS.
Prof. Kisiangani further underscored the importance of leveraging on technology to enhance government communication and secure the country, noting that messaging had security implications.
He disclosed that the recent cyber security attacks in the country were a clear indication that the Kenya’s biggest security threat lies in cyber-attacks.
“The main threats to the country at the moment are not physical, but cyber security, the battle is in technology,” affirmed the PS.
On his part, the Director of Public Communications Mulei Muia echoed similar sentiments saying a unified communication would enhance trust in the national government.
Mulei said availing factual and verified information to the public was key to avoid a disconnect between the government and citizens.
“There is need for the government to speak in one voice. Public communication has not been well coordinated and organized,” he said.
The director noted that the government has established communication structures and skilled personnel that can be utilised to achieve effective communication.
Also present during the occasion was the Director of Information Joseph Kipkoech.