Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Letter of the Day | PM press briefings to begin next year

Published:Tuesday | December 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This is an open letter to Dionne Jackson Miller, president of the Press Association of Jamaica.

The Office of the Prime Minister acknowledges your concerns regarding the staging of press briefings with the prime minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness. We can assure you that it was always our intention to host press briefings and that those will commence in the first quarter of 2017 as planned.

We wish to point out that since his ascendancy, the prime minister has done more than 30 interviews with both local and international media on a wide variety of national issues. These interviews include several with your news group and cover all major news stations in Jamaica.

We are of the view that there can be no conclusion that the prime minister has not been accessible to the media and the facts will show that he has been the most accessible prime minister in recent Jamaican history.

We ask you to alert us to any issues that the prime minister or the Government has not responded to, whether via statements, interviews, addresses or releases.

The prime minister's approach to communication seeks to diversify engagement using a myriad of tools and several approaches over the short and long term, including, but not limited to, social-media engagement, traditional media engagement, and face-to-face interaction with the public.

The Government has been consistent and proactive in responding to issues that affect the Jamaican people. We can confirm that no major issue has been unearthed without comment or a comprehensive response from the Government.

We also invite members of the public and civil society to regular meetings with the prime minister to hear their concerns and suggestions in an effort to deepen the partnership needed to move Jamaica progressively forward. Since February 2016, the prime minister has had 15 such engagements with stakeholders at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

As part of our communications strategy, the Prime Minister mandated his Cabinet to complement their current engagement with the media with additional regular interviews and press briefings.

 

UPCOMING MEETINGS

 

The prime minister will also host a series of town halls throughout 2017 as well as another media day at the OPM.

The Media Day concept is to become a regular part of the Office of the Prime Minister's Communications strategy and will be expanded to include other ministries, agencies and departments.

We are very excited at the possibilities that social media provides for direct engagement with the public and are invested in ensuring that the significant gains we have made over the past 10 months continue. This means more social media town halls, more social media interactions by the prime minister and other ministers, and more informative content served to the public.

ROBERT NESTA MORGAN

Director of Communications and Public Affairs, OPM