Within a few days of the Prime Minister’s Office taking to Twitter, the government is now gearing up to ramp up a major presence in the virally growing social media.
“Already a team of about 25 senior-level Press Information Bureau (PIB) officers have been trained on the various aspects of social media to implement the governmental strategy on social media including how to extract the maximum from such media tools,” a government source said on condition of anonymity.
PIB is the government’s nodal agency to disseminate information to the media on public policies, programmes, initiatives and achievements.
The latest move is one of the many steps that the government is undertaking after it was left dazed by a spate of negative publicity and 24x7 TV coverage of anti-corruption campaigns by Anna Hazare and civil society organisations.
The measure also follows a recent letter by cabinet secretary Ajit Seth to all ministries and departments pointing out that “vast resources available with the Prasar Bharati in the form of DD and AIR should be suitably utilized to inform the public about the policies.”
Seth had also advised that correspondents of DD and AIR should be given appointments promptly by all ministers and officials to ensure the government's viewpoint is correctly reflected in the media in an elaborate manner.
Seth’s letter was prompted after the I&B ministry had broached the issue with the PMO. “The ministry had highlighted that government's development agenda must reach the people. This is a not a request for preference but for parity and equal treatment in this era of intense media competition,” an official said.Other measures already in place include putting in place a Group of Ministers on media to ramp up the government's media strategy in May.