Premier not happy with govt PR teams

national March 17, 2015 01:00

By THE NATION

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THE PRAYUT government is seeking to step up its public relations after the PM's weekly "Return Happiness to the People" and "Thailand Moves Forward" TV programmes lost their magic.



Government spokesman Yongyuth Maiyarap yesterday called a meeting of PR people at Government House to try to come up with better ways to get out news about the government’s work and achievements to grassroots communities and ensure proactive public relations.
The administration’s PR teams admitted that their work has failed to reach grassroots communities and they have to adjust their methods to win the hearts of the people.
That is why the first bi-monthly colour newsletter disseminating the government’s achievements was launched yesterday.
Newsletter for People has a more professional look than regular state propaganda in the eyes of some critics.
The eight-page newsletter is designed to capture readers’ attention with the type of headlines used in mainstream newspapers such as “Govt insists house tax won’t affect people” and “Cabinet reduces red tape in budget reimbursement 2015”.
The newsletter was produced by order of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is reportedly not happy with the government’s public relations performance. 
He believed that many people in the provinces, and even in Bangkok, have not heard about the government’s achievements. 
The PM stressed that the newsletter must not be just state propaganda, while banning the publishing of mugshots of ministers and high-ranking officials on any government press release.
The poor public relations has been linked to the government’s decision to slash funding for state advertising on billboards at major intersections and streets, as well as through newspaper and television ads. 
The PM just wants his PR people to tell the truth about what the government is doing to resolve problems.
It is not known how big the circulation of the tabloid will be but the government will also disseminate the information contained in it on all government websites.
Public Relations Department chief Apinan Chantharangsi is the editor of the newsletter, with seven other staffers on the editorial team. 

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