IPRCCC 2019: 'There is a bright future for communication in public policy'

Experts discuss how new-age communication strategy changes the course of policymaking and public service

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Dec 21, 2019 8:35 AM  | 3 min read
IPRCCC Public Policy Panel

On Day 2 of IPRCCC 2019, a conversation that is perhaps the most crucial in the age of new communication technologies saw a panel discussion on communication and public policy. The panel dealt with the important question- how new-age communication strategy changes the course of policymaking and public service?

Chaired by Aman Dhall, Head of Communications, policybazar the panel consisted of Latika Taneja, Director, Public Policy, South Asia, Mastercard, Rajiv Chibbar, Vice, President-External Affairs, Shahjanand Medical Technology, Rahul Sharma, Head of Public Affairs, Genesis, Arun Arora, Director, Strategy and Communication, Mavyn, and Dilip Yadav, Founding Partner, First Partner.

Opening the discussion, Dhall asked the panellist about their understanding of public policy. To begin with, Sharma replied, Public affairs is an affair or a role that is about managing a business environment. It combines public relations, communication, issue management, and corporate strategies. Furthermore, Dhal asked Arora, what is the role of communication in public policy. To which Arora replied, that the lines between communication and public policy are very blurring. "Communication and public policy are two different things yet they go hand in hand and support each other," asserted Arora.

Adding to it, Taneja highlighted, public policy is playing a great role in determining how organisations shape their policy narrative. The best policy efforts are when we are listening to the people who are being impacted and that's where the strategic communication plays a great role because we can get the narrative right of those people who are impacted, both internal and external civil society or media to talk on behalf of the organisation, added Taneja.

Taking the panel ahead Dhal asked Chibbar to share some on-ground challenges of the course of policymaking with new-age communication strategies. Communication is still one of the most crucial aspects of policymaking. In a way, this role has moved to regular mass communication and communication mediums to go more niche understanding, said Chibbar. Since the role of communication has changed over the years, we need to be updated, added Chibber. He also highlighted that today, it's not just about the regular reading of newspapers or magazines but communication has become more quick and effective.

Furthermore, Rahul Sharma explained the 3 Ps of getting the core right. According to him Policy, Process & Public are the three important Ps of perfect policymaking. Agreeing with Chibbar and Sharma, Arora added that there's a need for organisations to stay updated about the on-going trends of the industry. If you're updated on what is going in the industry and social media world, you can work better on your organisation's public policy, added Yadav.

Moving towards the end of the discussion, Dhal asked the panellist to share some examples based on their experiences. Interestingly, all the panellists shared different examples where communication played an utterly important role in the course of policymaking and agreed that communication is the most important tool in public policy. Chibbar shared an example on how policymaking in healthcare has become even a serious thing in this new age communication strategies. On the other hand, Arora also shared one of his campaigns. To summarise, Dhal said that there is a bright future for communication in public policy.

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