Change Communication Strategy to Instill Sense of Urgency in the People of the State - Songoti | English

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Change Communication Strategy to Instill Sense of Urgency in the People of the State

Dear Madam Chief Minister,
On behalf of Public Relations Society of India, Kolkata Chapter, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the humongous effort you are personally putting along with your team of dedicated personnel in fighting the vicious and dreaded virus which has affected the entire world.
Madam, this is our second effort at communicating on the very important   issue of the ongoing battle with the Corona virus.
Last time we did so in the third week of March, we were pleasantly surprised to see your team implementing several steps, some of which had formed a part of our suggestions to you. We thank you regardless of the fact that those may have been your independent thoughts too. Our happiness stems from the fact that those steps were taken which has done some good to the city and the state.
We once again feel the need to speak to you.
While, you have identified the different zones in the city and the state as RED, ORANGE and GREEN based on a critical analysis of the situation, we are particularly alarmed at the manner the people of the city are treating these measures which are aimed at protecting them from the onslaught of the dreaded virus. The huge worry is that residents in some of the Red zones hardly appear serious or concerned about the disease spread and the potential danger that they bring not only to themselves but others as well by refusing to fall in line.
We are convinced that the communication now needs to be changed. “Stay indoors, wash your hands and observe proper hygiene” is passé. Everybody knows these things by now. We are officially locked down for more than 43 days as we speak.
What is happening then? Why are people refusing to listen?
People have begun to express their impatience. If this is because there is enormous pressure on cash flows, then how is it that people are crowding around every make shift market place that seems to be sprouting in street corners across the city?
Madam, we need to act fast. In fact, faster! People’s lives are at stake. The longer the lock down periods will be, the bigger the problem is going to be.
We need to alter our “COMMUNICATION.” 
The communication must now include some credible factual information about the spread. We must talk about the stealthy manner in which the virus is finding new hosts every second, every minute, every day!
Madam, people must understand that they will have to accept the new social order. People must accept that ‘today’s pain will only be tomorrow’s gain.’ By strictly staying indoors, by strictly observing social distancing norms (no gathering on street corners or the so-called ‘para adda’) and ensuring that never should large numbers of people crowd around the vendors for buying food stuff at the same time.
These measures have to be strictly implemented ward-wise spearheaded by the local counselors, their team of volunteers and members from the local police force.  Each counselor or his/her appointee should be well versed in the new communication exercise and delivered to the people on a continuous basis.
Madam, we believe that your team has the expertise to implement this unique communication plan. We would also be extremely happy to offer our support in any manner, from assisting in the development of suitable content to disseminating the same over diverse communication platforms.
Thank you for your patience,
Soumyajit Mahapatra
Chairman

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