Public Relation and Communication

The success of any institution, whether public or private, is greatly dependent upon its reputation. Opinions of consumers, employees, investors, policy makers and the media have powerful impacts on the prosperity of an organisation. Their perceptions will drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, deal with and support the institution. Consequently, there is an indisputable need for a strong communication, with the aim of building the organisations reputation, earning understanding and support as well as influencing public opinion and behaviour.

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) should not be exceptional to this fundamental principle of information. The current globalisation became ever so ubiquitous; it escalated customer dynamism and demand for better goods and services. Similarly, the development of new technologies, medications, innovative prevention strategies and splendid research findings created a highly competitive market. As such, the Government realised the need for healthcare reform that would enable the former Public Relations Department to device an efficient and comprehensive communication strategy.

The Public Relations and Communication Directorate (PRCD) was therefore established to create and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between FMoH and its stakeholders.The vision of the Directorate is to see the creation of a healthy and prosperous society, who takes advantage of timely and accurate information on health policies, strategies and their execution. It is also believed that access to accurate and timely information enables the public to actively participate in the development process of Ethiopia based on understanding and mutual consensus.

Strategic Objectives

The objective of the BPR in regards to PRHCD is to establish effective and efficient information communication network to:

  • Provide the public, stakeholders and employees of the Ministry with accurate and timely information to assist them with their ultimate goal of securing a healthy, productive and prosperous society
  • Create effective and information network between the FMoH, Regional Health Bureaus (RHBs), and other representative offices to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry and to provide expedited response to legitimate public enquires and most importantly bring about behavioural change

Case Teams

The PRCD has four case teams

  • Event Management and Promotion Case Team
  • Electronic Media Production Case Team
  • Print Media production Case Team
  • Information Documentation and Dissmination Case Team

Major Roles and Responsibilities

  • Establish an information network between various core and supporting processes within the Ministry as well as the Regional Health Bureaus and ensure sustainability
  • Act as a spokesperson/information focal point of the Ministry to disseminate accurate and timely information using various information mediums including print materials, information desk, resource centre, mass media and website
  • Plan, coordinate, and execute various public relations events geared towards creating favourable image of the Ministry and winning public support
  • Liaise with media organisations (including TV and Radio) to ensure key messages, major events and health sector accomplishments have gained sufficient coverage
  • Coordinate press briefings/press conferences to strength relationships between the Ministry and various media organisations
  • Provide appropriate response to media enquires and ensure all responses are provided by PRHCD or other relevant bodies in the Ministry
  • Provide information and assistance to foreign journalists and film professionals, who produce valid permits from the appropriate authorities
  • Monitor both international and local media reports, conduct situational analysis, and scrutinise pubic and professional opinions to prepare reports for appropriate action
  • Organise panel discussions and forums to secure transparency and increase national consensus on the Ministry's policies, directives and regulations
  • Organise field trips and sight visits of health sector development programmes for high-level officials from FMoH and other government bodies, NGO representatives, development partners, media professionals and civil society to promote various achievements
  • Design FMoH's official logos, produce audio-visual materials as well as various print and electronic publications both for internal and external consumption
  • Guarantee all promotional works convey clear messages to the society and are in line with the Ministry's rules and regulations
  • Monitor and evaluate all activities of the public relations directorate regularly and opt new methods to improve performance

Management Role

  • Ensure that PRCD has been organised as per the institutional directives, and secure the necessary budget, human resources, and availability of appropriate tools
  • Design a communication strategy based on national directives as well as the Ministry's strategic and annual plans
  • Establish evaluating and monitoring mechanism to ensure the designed communication strategy has been successfully implemented, adequate support has been provided and effective results have been secured
  • Ensure all stakeholders have been provided with reports and other essential information on the progress of the communication strategy
  • Plan and execute various trainings to foresee competent and ethically sound public relations officers in consultation with concerned authorise
  • Utilise public opinions, comments and suggestions as inputs to ensure quality of public relations and the overall health care services
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