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Joint Programmes - Activities by Country
02 April 2020

Activity Details (ID# 15446)  

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Title 1st Workshop for Government public information officers 
Status Completed 
Date 14/06/2006 - 15/06/2006 
Location Belgrade, Serbia
Countries CoE Members: Serbia
  Joint Programme Activity - Media-Serb II
Joint Programme EC/CoE
JP Media-Serb II - Support to promote freedom of expression and information and freedom of media in accordance with CoE/EU standards    (Logframe)  (Activities)
Project Purpose 1 - 2006/DG2/JP/1648   Media-Serb 2 - To support the establishment of a regulatory framework for freedom of expression and for the media
Expected Result 1.2 - R.2 Public authorities are informed and trained on European standards on freedom of expression and information.
Council of Europe Programme of Activities
Line of Action ⇒ 2 – Human Rights in Public Policy
Programme ☆ 2.7  Freedom of expression and information
Project 2004/DG2/41 Legislative assistance, training, awareness raising
Expected Result 2 Public authorities are informed of and trained in European standards on freedom of expression and information

Working Method

Training Course 
Directorate (Service) DG II Human Rights (Media Division)
CoE Contact DERVISAGIC, Lejla   email
Web Pages
Documents & links
1 http://www.coe.int/T/E/human_rights/media/Agenda_15446.asp  
Last Modified 06/07/2006 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 15446) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The general objectives of the workshop were:

- to create a better awareness of the role and position of public information officers in a democratic society, with an emphasis on the current situation in Serbia concerning the developments in public relations at the governmental level;

- to present a comparative approach to public information and open access to information, in particular regarding the experience of transitional countries, but also Western European counties

- to discuss with participants the personal responsibility of public information officers when giving information to the mass media

- to explain the difference between being a personal PR-officer for a politician and a civil servant who presents objective and neutral information

- to discuss the importance of strategic planning of communication activities and presenting the methods and tools for its proper development and implementation.
Output/Results It was envisaged that the workshop should be conducted by two trainers. At the latest moment one of the trainers had to cancel his participation. Because of this the programme had to be modified. This was done after consulting the participants.

To get a proper picture of the duties and qualities of the participants the seminar started with a introduction of each participant. The main function mentioned was press-officer/spokesperson, responsible for the contact with the mass media, organising press meetings and press conferences.
The professional education varied from being a professional journalist to university study in philology.

During the seminar, one of the main point of interest of participants was how to provoke interest the by the press/media in topics that concern the public at large and in topics that are not sufficiently covered by the media/press.

Through presentations, discussions and a workshop, the participants also tackled the issues of how to put together a PR strategy, how to establish functioning internal communication, how to act in crisis situations and how to involve the stakeholders in the decision process of policy making.

Other more generic topics that were treated during the workshop were definition of public relations, functions and tasks of public communications and organisation of public communications.

The topic of ‘Organisation of Public Communication’ was discussed in a working group and resulted in recommendations that will be treated in a follow-up workshop in September. These recommendations are related to the real situation in Serbia and are supposed to be easy to put in practice. After an in-depth discussion in the follow-up workshop these recommendations will be presented to all representatives of the ministries by the head of the Press Office of the Prime Minister.
Conclusions/Follow Up The general conclusion was:

As the PR service in Serbia is still at its beginning, this kind of activity is very important. The participants confirmed that the seminar was useful for them and that they are willing to improve and develop their practice. It is a pity that the lack of human resources in the press offices of the ministries and lack of financial resources are an obstacle to develop a proper functioning corps of Press Officers.

The follow-up workshop (second module) will take place in September 2006.
Participants Public information officers from different ministries 
Consultants/Experts Mr Fred GIJBELS, Director of Gijbels Communicatie and Advies, Amsterdam, Nederland 
CoE Secretariat Klavdija CERNILOGAR, Council of Europe Office in Belgrade
Ms Lejla DERVISAGIC, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights
Total No. Participants 15 
Last Modified


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