DAYS AFTER the BJP’s rout in Bihar, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) asked all ministries to reach out to the people and use “all available communication resources” to inform them about the social welfare schemes initiated by the NDA government.
The communication dated November 14, signed by Nripendra Mishra, Principal Secretary to the PM Narendra Modi, seems to be an attempt to battle the negative perception about the government’s failure to deliver. PMO sources confirmed that the letter was sent after discussions “at the highest level”, triggered by the Bihar poll setback.
“It is very important for the ministries to take proactive measures to adopt a communication strategy which is more engaging with people, has better outreach and provides timely information to them,” says the letter, adding that all ministers and senior officials should issue “appropriate instructions” to ensure publicity of the government’s schemes.
“In view of the importance being placed in communicating the initiatives of the government to the people at large, it is prudent that all the available communication resources available within the government should be utilised by all the ministries/ departments for disseminating the information relating to initiatives taken/ being taken by them,” it says.
The letter states that “more needs to be done” to devise an effective communication strategy that plays a vital role in disseminating information to all the stakeholders about the initiatives undertaken by the government, “especially those relating to the welfare of the citizens.”
“All important decisions must be disseminated by ministries/ departments through website updates, social media broadcast, press releases and when required through press conferences etc,” it says.
The PMO letter also reminds ministries that according to a meeting of Committee of Secretaries in August, each ministry is supposed to develop a communication strategy, to be guided by a Secretary-level officer and a Joint Secretary-level officer.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is expected to play a “crucial role in highlighting and disseminating various policies, initiatives and welfare programmes of the government in the print, electronic and social media,” says the letter. It adds that for an effective communication strategy, the I&B ministry and various administrative ministries and departments have to be “on the same page in terms of flow of information, especially when a major policy decision/ announcement of programme is in the offing.”