Zimbabwe Government Communication Strategies Must Be Enhanced

22 August 2019
guest column

Governments globally are run differently and every country has its own communication systems for policies that works to its advantage or disadvantage depending on the domino effects. Country branding is an agenda or field that is heavily affected by the vision , performance and communication strategy of a government, that creates the perception and impression it leaves in the minds of its people

Historically and generally miscommunication has created animosity amongst people in different relationships, a man and a woman, business, international relations amongst countries, and the worse being of a government and its people. Communication is everything as it keeps emotions, perceptions and impressions in check even during a crisis.

A country's policies fall under branding and in my view they must be branded as a product or service offered to citizens by the leadership and not as an announcement or command. In sales one cannot place a product or service on the market without communicating its identity, structure and benefits because once they do so, they will not generate leads leading to actual sales. The government must understand that it must transfer the emotion of certainty every time it speaks, offers a product or service to its citizen, but that must be done using effective communication channels of expression to allow comprehension and recognition by each and every citizen.

A lot needs to be improved in communication by the government of Zimbabwe as to avoid the continuous confusion and speculation amongst citizens due to policy or vision miscommunication. A practical example is The President's vision 2030, we all don't know or understand this vision. This is a vision that we all must be able to sing and recite at any time, as it must be hammered in the heads of all citizens effectively. Then there is the City council, reaching World Class Status by 2025, we have no idea what that means or what entails.

In the Uk ,paying attention to Brexit , this was a well advertised agenda and in America the Affordable Health Care Act named Obama Care was a well articulated and advertised policy and service. These are lessons that Zimbabwe must learn from in terms of branding its Policies.

Government departments must engage Public Relations firms to assist them in communicating and putting across their message and policies in a packaged manner that will allow reach, visibility and comprehension by the common man. If no strategic communication plans are created and applied on branding government and its message, the rise of confusion and frustration by the citizens will continue, thus leading to the demise in the credibility of the government.

Citizens are consumers of the government services and must receive the right kind of care whenever they engage government but the services are slow and if your issue is read or heard you would be lucky. There should be no need for the government to Brand itself as slow entity that sits on people's request and for one to get served they must be known or know someone in the system. Dreams are wrecked and deferred by a disorganized system and a country can never move forward while excluding citizen's initiatives that require the government to facilitate timely.

A well crafted communications plan will benefit not just the common man but government itself in terms of creating a formidable relationship with the citizens of the republic. Once we understand government and if it understands us it becomes easy for the world to buy into our Country Brand.

Tare Munzara is a Country Branding Expert and the CEO for Destination Marketing International.

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