Dr. Prasad Wonders Why Fiji’s Government Needs PR from “Questionable” Firm
The Leader of Fiji’s National Federation Party, Dr. Bimon Prasad is pushing to remove costs for outside PR from the government budget. He’s concerned about Qorvis Communications, who provide the current PR efforts outside the government’s divisions. He recently mentioned this to their parliament, saying, “They have worked with countries, with regimes, which have tried very hard to hide information which have used propaganda. I think some of the things which we see in this country today and some coming from the government is actually a reflection of the kind of work, the kind of advice that this PR firm is giving to the government.”
But a new RFP is scheduled soon since Qorvis’ contract is almost at its end. The National Federation Party wants there to be no one hired for outside PR. Dr. Prasad requested Parliament remove the F$1 million from the 2016-2017 budget currently earmarked for PR costs.
After requesting they delete funds allotted for an outside PR firm, he reminded everyone, “They have the whole Communication Ministry, they have an Information Department, government has all the resources to take its activities – its PR …”
In response, Economy Minister and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said “We need our stories to be told in The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Guardian and that obviously requires people who operate in that space. We need our stories picked up by not just only the Australian and New Zealand media. We need our stories told in other parts of the world where they help us to be able to spread our public relations in all aspects of government and investment opportunities.”
Himle Rapp & Company Doing PR on a Bridge Requiring an Act of Congress to Build
Minnesota is building a bridge over the St. Croix, and they have a $2 million PR campaign budget in support of their efforts. As a U.S. Senator, VP Walter Mondale sponsored federal legislation granting wild and scenic status for rivers like the St. Croix, so to start the bridge, it took an act of Congress.
But the 80+-year-old bridge currently serving the area won’t last forever. Still, people have mixed opinions. The bridge is in construction stage and only spans part of the river before coming to an abrupt end. During the summer that abrupt end becomes part of the PR and also a tourist draw.
MnDOT, the State agency, helping with the PR campaign and information distribution had a contest asking people for their ideas to generate good PR. The winner – using a cruise ship for trips on the river showing the bridge’s progress.
A recent passenger on the bridge cruise, Charlotte Thompson of Roseville said, “I probably took 400 pictures last year myself on one of these cruises, and I have 250 this time.” and a friend with her, Wally Sapp from Cottage Grove spoke about watching “history being made.”
Lots more PR is being done, but that’s just one part of it.