Professional Press Secretary is Urgently Needed

Today, our Home Minister told the press that the police had arrested Sin Chew reporter because they received information that her life was threatened. I am start wondering what is ISA for. That’s ridiculous and does the Minister knows what he said might cause certain people feel unsafe althought our country is governed by ISA.

From here, we can see that the crisis is going on and on. Actually all these could be avoided if the govertment hire a professional press secretary to advise the ministers on how to deal with media, do and don’t say as well as maintain a positive public image.

My GF attended a PR workshop recently and she was dissapointed that most of the participants claimed that they have numerous years of experience in PR industry. But in fact they are not aware of the most basic rules in this industry. The reason is very simple, this industry is still very new in Malaysia (it just started late 1990s) and many organizations thought that anyone can also handle this job well because it’s all about communications only. Certainwell-estbalished organization will just simply recruit any internal staff to set up the PR department.

My GF had also came across many people who don’t know what is the role of PR, including HR personnel. Instead of being the most important department, PR is often tagged as miscellaneuos department. (Note: Press secretary is under the umbrella of PR)

Therefore, I won’t be surprise also if the press secretaries to our ministers are not well trained in this line. Those who had deal with press secretary in ministers’ office will definitely understand how it is. Their role is more to a coordinator and not an advisor. A professional press secretary would know that the person must admit apologise if he/she make any mistakes because this is a good tactic to build up a positive image. A professional press secretary would solve the crisis immediately because they understand the impact / damage that can arise from crisis. All these are proven in many cases happened throughout the year. Malaysia, it’s now 2008, not 1988. Nothing can remain the same permanently – time to change, time to move forward.

What the government should do is to take the DIGI motto and keep on reciting it to themselves, before any more mistakes happen, “Malaysia, Time to change.”

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