The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information conducted a discussion with the representatives of media in the frames of the “Development of e-Participation in Georgia” project. The main topic of the meeting was the public relation strategy of government agencies and assessment of the level of usage of the communication tools.
IDFI presented the tendencies that were identified during the monitoring of the web-sites and social network pages of government agencies. Participants asked questions about the researches conducted by IDFI as well as shared their experience. Journalists, participating in the meeting, pointed out that although all the government agencies have official web-sites and Facebook pages, these resources are not being used to simplify communication with media and citizens.
The majority of the institutions do not consider e-resources as means of communication. Very often web-pages provide outdated information which is useless for journalists. Web-pages do not often specify the time and date of sharing news. Journalists also talked about the problems they faced during the attempt of reaching officials via e-mails. The representatives of government agencies often request the question to be sent via post; bureaucracy prevents media from getting information on time; Finally when the answers reach the journalist, it is already irrelevant.
As for the social network official pages, it is impossible to contact with lots of institutions via Facebook message application. Communication is especially complicated by the fact that none of the official Facebook pages provide information about the person responsible for administrating the page. Media representatives noted that communication with the institutions is much easier in 2013. Journalists assessed positively the availability of government decrees on the web-page of the Government of Georgia. However, they believe that the standards of public relations need to be improved. Please note that IDFI has been monitoring web-pages and applications of 24 public institutions as well as checking the availability of citizen communication action plan in order to assess the quality of e-recourses.
IDFI has prepared a research on this issue based on the analyses of requested public information. Project is being implemented in the frames of East-West Management Institute program – “Policy, Advocacy and Civil Society in Georgia” (G-PAC).
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