Government Urged To Emulate US Public Relations Strategy

drug geneva;”>Professor PLO Lumumba, order one of the speakers at the East African Public Relations Association (EAPRA) Conference in Kampala Wednesday called upon public relations practitioners to discard the conflicting messages from different countries in East Africa and work as one body.

“To address the conflicting messages, know what your role is and have a firm foot hold in East Africa so you are not invaded by the foreign practitioners,” he said.

“PR is a forum where you give ideas but you need to go ahead to influence their effect,” added Lumumba.

Public Relations practitioners from all over East Africa converged in Kampala for the three-day EAPRA conference currently taking place at NWSC international Resource Centre.


Mahmoud M Braima, a professor and Chair of the Department of Mass Communication at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana said public relations is a key tool for efficient and effective communication in the government.

“In the United States, government agencies do not have departments of public relations. Instead, the FBI has an External Affairs Division and the military services have offices of Public Affairs,” he said.

He said that the US government is the world’s greatest disseminator of information.

“The General Accounting Office (GAO) once estimated that probably $2.3bn was spent each year by federal agencies and the White House on “public relations” activities,” said Mahmoud.

He added that these public affairs officers engage in tasks like answering the press, writing newsletters, preparing speeches for top officials and planning special events.

“At the apex of government public relations efforts is the White House. The president receives more media attention than all the federal agencies and Congress combined,” said Mahmoud.

He said all presidents have taken advantage of the intense media interest to implement public relations strategies that would improve their popularity and generate support for programs.

“President Barack Obama is a master communicator, he is an effective orator who writes his speeches and is known to use simple words and short sentences to convey complex ideas,” said Mahmoud.

He added that the Obama team also uses the social media very efficiently to communicate with different demographics in society.

Mahmoud emphasised on public relations being a tool for implementing public policy better.

“The implementation practices manifest themselves in media relations, public reporting, responsive to citizen needs, increasing the utilization of services and products, public education and using the public as the eyes and ears of an agency,” he said.

This conference was graced by Moses Watasa who was the chief guest of honour, standing in for the minister of Information, Mary Karooro Okurut.

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