KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) is intensifying its COVID-19 communication initiatives, with greater emphasis now being given to the quality and effectiveness of the communication.

Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the initiatives include sharing data from the Ministry of Health  (MOH) on the rapid spread of the coronavirus and conducting surveys to better understand the profile and challenges facing every segment of society impacted by the pandemic.

He said the ministry would also identify factors which gave rise to issues like fatigue/stress and seasonal forgetfulness, lack of or non-compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs), failing to grasp the fact of having to co-exist with COVID-19, trust deficit and disinformation, and the ways to tackle these challenges.

“(Another initiative is) expanding the distribution of the booklet entitled ‘Embracing New Norms in the Community to Prevent COVID-19 Transmission’ in e-book form and amplifying it in social media,” he told Bernama today.

Yesterday, Saifuddin said that although the communication initiatives implemented so far have proven to be good, the initiatives would be stepped up with more systematic planning and implementation to boost their effectiveness.

He said trust deficit towards agencies tasked with addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as one of the challenges in the implementation of effective communication initiatives, leading to some people defying SOPs and government instructions.

Saifuddin said another method of enhancing the initiatives is to change the narrative from peddling ‘fear’ to promoting ‘hope’ and ‘progress’; shifting the emphasis of the message from ‘punishment’ to ‘positive re-enforcement’ and providing more creative content.

Apart from this, the success stories of unsung heroes would be shared via the story-telling approach, and efforts would be made to achieve precision awareness and education, provide a communication plan on vaccines and strengthen the social media capability of KKMM and government agencies.

He said the human resource of the ministry at the federal, state and district levels would be increased and dedicated to community empowerment, apart from optimising grassroots leadership and community and ministry assets like the Community Internet Centre (PIK).

He added that the content of the Selamat Pagi Malaysia Grand Stand over RTM would be enhanced while producers or netizens would be invited to produce videos, documentaries, dramas, films and attractive social media products on a fast-track basis using funds provided by the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS).


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