Metro’s PR staff slammed

Expert effort needed to fight communications war, forum told

MUNICIPAL spin doctors in the Eastern Cape needed to up their game if they were to compete with the public relations warfare being staged by opposition parties, Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan said yesterday.

He was addressing a group of local government communicators at their quarterly forum at the Port Elizabeth City Hall.

Jordaan’s chief of staff, Mlungisi Ncame, also said the communications unit in the metro was not in a good space and had not yet established a healthy relationship with media houses.

In the meeting, Jordaan asked the communicators whether they were equipped with the skills and innovative ways of sharing government’s work efficiently in the face of a well-organised PR machine run by the opposition.

“You have the opposition with its own communicators,” Jordaan said. “Sometimes they have better machinery. As local government, are you in that space?”

He said public dialogue had moved to the social media space.

Communicators needed to be at the forefront of this social media conversation, he said.

“In this communication war, do we have the tools to compete?

“What can we do to [attract] people to the municipality?

-Siphokuhle Mkancu