PA public relations expert and media practitioner in Bayelsa , Mr. Thomas Peretu has advised the Senator Diri led administration to employ integrated marketing communication as a tool to bolster the image of the government.
This is as he advocated for the setting up of a media think tank made up of professionals working with the Chief Press Secretary to map out strategies that will create a cordial relationship with the media thereby feeding the people with the right information in order to marry the interest of the people and that of the government.
Peretu who spoke with Niger Delta Herald Correspondent in Yenagoa, bares his mind on the need for the publicity machinery of government to do more by making sure that the negative perception of the people against government is disabused by propagating the right information to the people from time to time.
He stated that for effective information management the media managers must of necessity deploy the tools of persuasion and propaganda, stressing that government image managers must ensure that the government serves the interest of the target audience otherwise it can create disenchantment amongst the citizens.
The public relations expert argued that given the circumstances through which governor Diri assumes the leadership of the state with a lot of disenchantment and distrust from Bayelsans, it will amount to exercise in futility if the Chief Press Secretary is someone who doesn’t understand the underground political interplay that brought the governor to power as this will cause a vacuum in information management and dissemination.
He averred that there is a reservoir of competent hands on ground in Bayelsa who can effectively do the publicity job for the governor, noting that the present CPS being someone who plied his trade in a credible media outfit in Lagos will do very well to propagate the image of the government.
Peretu maintained that the way forward is for the media managers to constantly harp on the government’s campaign slogan of prosperity for all, pointing out that it is by so doing that Bayelsans irrespective of political leaning can be able to key in to the present government to enable it achieve its core objective of prosperity for the people.
“I thinking and I believe that given the background of political interplay in the state before the emergence of the present governor a lot of things happen underground. For instance he was not the popular choice of the people but the Supreme Court says he is the person to mount the position of governorship over and above the APC candidate.
“So you can remember that this thing caused a lot of uproar and some people believed that he is carrying out the third term agenda of the immediate past governor so all these factors create a vacuum between the people and the governor. So, we expect that as he is coming in he will do a lot of things to assuage the anger of the people.
“And a lot of work has to be done by whoever is in that position as press secretary or the publicity team. I believe that it is time that Bayelsans incorporate what I call integrated marketing communication into political communication and that is very important because a vacuum has been created between the government and the people. So there is the need for the present government to work assidiously to ensure that they carry the people along and that can be done through a lot of media work.
“The way forward is to realign the publicity machinery of government let them do a study of the people. There is a negative perception whether we like it or not about the government. And perception for those of us in public relations is very very important, what the people perceive, they take as the truth , it may not be the truth but they see it as the ultimate truth. And so it is the responsibility of the publicity machinery of government to correct that for good of the government.”