Communication of the Public Administration is Effective Only When It is Proactive and Strategic
The managers and communications officers of the four beneficiary institutions of the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions in BiH have attended 21-24 April 2015 a training on strategic communications. One of the messages from these workshops is that the communications of public administration with its various audiences can be seen as football game where the public plays continuously and thus creates the situation where the same is expected from the administration itself. Constant communications, imminent to the democratic socities, in today's information society is facilitated by the social media, mobile devices and apps so that there is no reason for public institutions not to use these communication tools that – beside their many other advantages – also can help save up on the constantly scarce budget resources.
The public and especially the media are able to find the way to the information of public significance and hence the proactive communication of the administration is a must. It is up to the institutions whether or not this information will the authentic and on-time and whether as such will help strengthen the public trust in their work. This implies the conclusion that effective communication of public bodies beside being proactive also needs to be strategic.
During the training an overview of main communication challenges of the public institutions was made; such challenges often are common to many administrations across the world. Among these challenges is the current positioning of communications within the organisations, limited human and financial resources and resistance to the use of new communication channels in everday practice. The participants also had the opportunity to jointly develop a public campaign adjusted to the everday conditions and environment of institutions in BiH.
Experiences and recommendations for improvement of strategic communication was transferred by Marguerite Sullivan, one of leading experts in communications who has extensive work experience in the U.S. public administration.
Training was developed and implemented within the thematic area of Communications and Knowledge Management of the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions, implemented by GIZ on behalf of German governement. Beneficiries in this thematic area are four public institutions in BiH: Agency for Statistics of BiH, Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance, Directorate for European Integration and Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office.