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Joint Programmes - Activities by Country
02 April 2020

Activity Details (ID# 15447)  

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Title 2nd Workshop for Government public information officers 
Status Completed 
Date 06/10/2006 - 07/10/2006 
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_15447.asp  
Last Modified 11/10/2006 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 15447) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The specific objectives of the second workshop were:

- to discuss with participants the organisation of public communication;
- to explain how to communicate with the mass media
- to discuss the future of the profession
- to formulate concrete recommendations for the role and position of public information officers in Serbia: functions and tasks of a public communication department
- organisation of public communications
Output/Results This was the second workshop for public information officers. The first was held on 14-15 June 2006.

During the seminar in June it was decided that the main topic of the second seminar should be the formulation of concrete recommendations for the role and position of public information officers in Serbia. This should concentrate on two main subjects:

• functions and tasks of a public communication department
• organisation of public communications

At the beginning of the second workshop it was decided to proceed in this way. The aim was to develop a document that could be presented to political parties/parliament directly after the December elections to improve the awareness of the importance of a professional PR-system within all levels of the national government.

For this reason some adjustments to the original programme were made.

As a result most of the time was spent on formulating and discussing the recommendations in working groups as well as in plenary sessions. One of the results was a very concrete scheme of the functions and tasks of a public communication department.

Participants also worked on arguments that should be the basis for such a document. Simply put: how can the government of Serbia profit – in various ways – from a professional PR structure. Participants agreed that this would be elaborated upon worked as preparation for a third workshop later this year.

During the seminar, the participant discussed the quality of journalism and the different experiences participants have with individual mass media and journalists. As the question was raised about how to deal with negative publicity, the trainers presented participants with a simple case study which dealt with this subject. The outcome gave a lot of ‘ammunition’ for an interesting discussion.
Conclusions/Follow Up Conclusions/Follow-up:

The general conclusion was that this kind of activity is extremely useful. Some recommendations of the first workshop already had been implemented: at a central level the government has taken initiatives to inform the citizens in more detail about government policy in general, concrete plans and consequences of government policies and plans.

More attention should be paid on internal communication with more co-ordination between the PR-people working for the various ministries. This should be the role of the governmental media relations office.

The follow-up workshop (third module) will take place in November 2006 where the other topics (such as communication in time of crisis, based on an actual situation in Serbia, will be discussed.
Participants Public information officers from different ministries 
Consultants/Experts Mr Fred GIJBELS, Director of Gijbels Communicatie and Advies, Amsterdam, Nederland
Mr David VAN DER HOUWEN, Director of Gijbels Communicatie and Advies, Amsterdam, Nederland

CoE Secretariat Mr Vladan JOKSIMOVIC, 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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