Communication groups brainstorm ways to effectively communicate about COVID-19

  Communication groups brainstorm ways to  effectively communicate about COVID-19

The meeting with communications entities.

PHILIPSBURG--In an effort to brainstorm ways of combating the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 via proper communication with the public, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and the Department of Communication DComm met recently with representatives of the TelEm Group, Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), Port St. Maarten, American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine, government’s Public Service Center (PSC), and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Emergency Services Function 7 (ESF 7) coordinator for social development.

Public relations and communication officers of the cabinets of several ministers and of the secretariat also participated in the meeting to pool resources and to increase communication with the public via different media to help combat COVID-19 through the dissemination of information.

The parties came together to share their COVID-19 communication plans, provide suggestions for communication activities, and work together to bring information to the public to combat COVID-19. Together, with pooled human and financial resources, more can be done for the public, it was stated in a press release issued early Wednesday morning.

“By joining public relations and communication efforts, collectively we are powerful and effective in strengthening our resources to combat COVID-19 and make our community as safe as is possible. We do not want this virus to spread. Therefore, as we communicate more with the public, we ask the public to pay keen attention and heed the advice accordingly,” Jacobs said in the release.

The meeting provided opportunities for stakeholders to provide suggestions and plans of action that can be used jointly. “In this manner, we can continue educating the general population on practising safe hygiene and informing on what is being done to ensure that the COVID-19 is being contained in the community,” the release said.

One of the projects discussed is the TelEm “CORONA_INFO” text messaging which was launched on March 19. This initiative enables TelEm to broadcast messages to subscribers. The messages encourage users to click on a link in the text message which provides health tips and crucial information.

In addition to the text message information, TelEm Group will continue its social responsibility by launching the CORONAVIRUS telephone line and other planned initiatives such as info-pamphlets (leaflets) and increased broadband for AUC and University of St. Martin (USM) to facilitate online learning.