'Feedback from public is important in designing an effective policy'

Panelists discussed the contribution of communication in safeguarding public policies at IPRCCCA 2021

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Apr 11, 2022 8:58 AM  | 3 min read

The IPRCCCA 2021 (India PR and Corporate Communications Conference and Awards), held on April 8 2022, celebrated the best in the field of communications while it also witnessed a number of industry-relevant events.

This included an in-depth panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Samir Kapur, Director, Adfactors, on ‘The contribution/ function of communication in safeguarding public policies', featuring speakers Suvir Paul, Executive Vice President, RF Thunder; Aman Gupta, Managing Partner, SPAG Asia; and Nickil Baswan, VP - Corporate Affairs and Policy, Cipla.

Addressing the crucial role of communication that helps form important decisions and policies for the public, Gupta noted it was the public that was central to any decision made by authorities, and that an effective policy-making ecosystem would carefully design and deliver policies, based on engagement with the public. “Communication isn’t one-way in this case. Whenever a new policy is being drafted, it’s important to consult with the public while designing it as it directly impacts them. Their concerns and thoughts need to be taken into account. And once a policy is implemented, it’s important to seek regular feedback from all the stakeholders on how it’s working,” he said.

Gupta, highlighting why it's important to communicate with the different groups affected by those policies, said, “It could be the masses, or it could be a particular state, or a certain industry; they will have their own feedback on the impact policies are having on them.”

Agreeing with these points, Paul noted that today, the means of communication have also evolved. “Earlier, policies were formed and communicated through traditional means, but now you have loads of formats in which information is delivered to the public. That is the bridge that needs to be crossed, how to identify, what means of communication to use and with which audience, and what is the best way to connect with them and that's what we, as communicators, are born and bred to do: identify the means and ways to connect audiences."

Citing the implementation of the many different ‘yojanas’ and CSR of the government, Paul said it had become apparent that both policy makers and those implementing it on the ground, needed very streamlined means of communicating the policies and their uses to a broad cross-section of society, often in very different settings.

Underlining the crucial role technology plays in aiding policy makers, Baswan said, “Today, technology is embedded in our daily lives, whether personal or professional. It’s good to see the government not just using this as an administrative tool but identifying the needs of the society.”

Appreciating the government’s adoption of a Digital India policy, Baswan said that the different apps and communication technologies were helping improve citizens’ lives across the board, especially most recently in health-tech, providing accurate medical information and identifying areas of concern.

The panelists all agreed that while communication was as vital to public policy making as ever, its methods had greatly diversified and it was important to keep pace with the ever-evolving market to provide the most effective policies.

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