The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) communicators at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto were the first to receive social media training with Decode Communications (Decode). Decode CEO Lorato Tshenkeng offered to train public sector communicators on effective social media management for free.
The offer was in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s clarion call, Thuma Mina, which is intended to support public sector communicators’ efforts of rebuilding trust and confidence with the public through effective communication.
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Building a capable state
The social media training for government communicators marks the birth of #GovCommsSocial – a knowledge-sharing platform aimed at guiding government communicators and public sector social media professionals through the issues and opportunities that come with using social media for citizen engagement.
In addition to the social media training and coaching, the #GovCommsSocial platform will be in a form of a community that brings together public sector communicators, social network representatives and platform providers for education – sharing of best practices, successes and lessons learned through events and a web portal.
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The initiative is in line with Brand South Africa’s national mobilisation campaign ‘Play Your Part’, which is about citizens’ engagement. This partnership also supports Brand South Africa’s offering of free nation brand masterclasses intended to empower citizens.
Tshenkeng says: “I believe that if South Africa is to achieve most of its Vision 2030 goals – ‘building a capable state’ in particular – communication should be a priority. With technology disrupting how we live, work and play – public sector communicators have to adapt as quickly by being on top of trends and best practices of communicating in the digital age.
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In my many years of working with government communicators and conducting social media training, I have a good comprehension of their many challenges including capacity and skills gap. With this platform, we hope to augment the continuous professional development (CPD) of public sector communicators because we know how important sharp digital skills in the knowledge economy.”
In the coming weeks, Decode will host a series of social media training for public sector communicators for various government departments and agencies. Find our more here.