All public relations divisions of the government must always enhance their function in developing a positive image of the government both nationally and internationally. Such was the message of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) when opening the Annual National Meeting of the Public Relations Coordinating Board of the Badan Koordinasi Kehumasan (BAKOHUMAS) in Bali, Thursday (30/8).
During the program titled Ã¢â¬ÅEnhancement of Public Relations Functions in Developing a Positive Image of the Government or Peningkatan Fungsi Humas Untuk Membangun Citra Positif PemerintahÃ¢â¬Â SBY considered that from the aspect of international media, Indonesia had been often disfavored due to misunderstanding caused by incorrect information.
SBY explained that Public Relations have two aspects of interactions namely the community on the one hand and the government on the other hand. At the level of government agencies, Public Relations represent the activities of institutions or individuals serving the management functions in communication and information field for the public as stakeholders. Ã¢â¬ÂThe governmentÃ¢â¬â¢s public relations serve a vitally important function in continuously identifying and obtaining existing characteristics in society, in order to accurately present such communication and information.,Ã¢â¬Â described SBY.
For example, continued SBY, up to now, Indonesian has been perceived by the international community as a corrupt country, perpetrator of Human Rights violations, a country with weak law enforcement, or even negatively stamped as a disorganized country. Ã¢â¬ÂWe must confront all such perceptions with a good image and communication, and not by telling lies! This is one of the tasks of Public Relations. We have to tell the truth!Ã¢â¬Â affirmed SBY.
Before concluding his speech and simultaneously open the BAKOHUMAS meeting, the President expect that in the future the performance of Public Relations would be better. For that purpose, SBY gave that message, in the first place, that Public Relations officials must communicate the truth by referring to official sources. Ã¢â¬ÅIf we have been right, we must defend the truth against whosoever doubting the truth,Ã¢â¬Â stated SBY.
Secondly, Public Relations officials must on a continuous basis communicate various policies of the government to the people so that they can understand such policies being made. Thirdly, in providing information, public relations officials must be able to use accurate, quick and effective expressions including the use of information technology. Fourthly, public relations official must always conduct assessment on the performance in order to obtain more optimum results.
In tune with the President, the Governor of Bali Province, Dewa Made Beratha in his repost stated that public relations must always adapt their roles and functions to existing changes in order to be able to develop a positive image of the government.
Meanwhile the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Muhammad Nuh, in his report stated that the governmentÃ¢â¬â¢s public relations shall serve as the spokesperson of institutions, facilitators provide information service for the public, follow up public complaints, provide information concerning policies, programs, products and services of institutions, create a conducive and dynamic internal and external climate, as well as to serve as the bridge between institutions and the stakeholders.
Control of Freedom
In addition, in his report, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology stated that one of the urgent functions of public relations is to prepare the Draft Law on the policies on the obtainment of public information.
In furtherance of such report, before opening the program, President SBY asserted that freedom must also be controlled. For that purpose, such Draft Law would expectedly regulate the rights of the people to know information; while on the other hand, there is the stateÃ¢â¬â¢s interest to keep confidential something which is appropriately confidential. Ã¢â¬ÅThese two aspects must be enforced simultaneously. Whereas in respect of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, we must prevent manipulations which may present incorrect information as this will create a shock. However one of the ways to cope with such problems is the effective public relations and the enforcement of the rule of law,Ã¢â¬Â said SBY.
Presentation of 2007 Public Relations Media Award
During the meeting, there was also the presentation of Trophy for the winners in of the 2007 Public Relations Award Competition. In the 2007 Public Relations Award Competition, participants came from all over Indonesia under the category of Departments, State Institutions and Regional Governments; State-Owned Enterprises; and Public Universities.
During the program, the Constitutional Court which was only about to be four years after its establishment, gained an award for the category of Departments, State Institutions and Regional Governments; the Constitutional Court was in the Second Position for the Category of Internal Publication, Second Position for the Category of Print Annual Report, Third Position for the Category of Calendar and Third Position for the Category of Print Institution Profile. (Heru Setiawan/ Wiwik Budi Wasito)
Monday, September 03, 2007 | 20:44 WIB 255