In an unusual move, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is turning to public relations experts to help it communicate manpower policies in a strategic way.
It has asked for proposals for a plan to analyse public and online sentiments on manpower issues, and respond to them in an "integrated" way, using media stories, blogs and social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. The contract is for the period of a year, with the option to extend for another year.
According to The Straits Times (ST), the services required include "coaxing" journalists to write one or two MOM stories a month, and getting MOM officials featured in live and recorded TV and radio programmes every three months.
While MOM has hired external experts to organise events, print brochures and run public education campaigns, this is said to be the first time it has turned to them to provide such "strategic communication services". "The request for proposals is part of our ongoing effort to enhance our communications, and explore new communication channels for better effectiveness," a MOM spokesperson told ST.
The ministry has thus far declined to give details of the proposal. According to press reports this latest reach for help from outside the ministry is in addition to the hiring of a firm in June – at a cost of some $120,000 – to help the ministry "monitor daily how local and foreign media are reporting news related to the ministry."