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Community Contribution

Collaborating in Armenia to Improve Government Communications

Mariam Matevosyan

Competent, clear, and consistent outreach is a crucial part of governance. It matters both in terms of basic communications, keeping citizens informed about vital policies and decisions, and building support for a clear and transparent style of leadership. In Armenia’s governmental outreach, missteps often stem from the absence of a unified communications policy, intra-government coordination, analytics-based messaging, and proactive, versus reactive, communication strategies. This lack of a proactive strategy across government ministries and leadership decreases the level of trust in information coming from official sources. Frequent resignations of key government spokespeople further complicate the situation.

In the meantime, the government acknowledges the challenges it faces in the field of public communications and has established the Information and Public Relations Center (IPRC) as part of the Prime Minister’s office. The IPRC is expected to coordinate and manage all government communications and messaging. For various reasons, the IPRC is still in the process of defining its major tasks and responsibilities, and it is also outlining its terms of cooperation with other government bodies.

The International Republican Institute worked with individual ministries across the government to identify their ministry-specific public communications needs. IRI then trained their staff in these respective areas. However, this typically resulted in individual one-off trainings for groups of different staffers and did not provide a platform for various government agencies to cooperate on implementing a more holistic communications strategy. To best address communications needs, IRI used the CLA approach to launch a government spokespersons’ school in Armenia.

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