PUBLIC RELATIONS IN LOCAL BODIES.
The local bodies are required both in unitary and federal types of governments. This is because the central and the state governments have multi-faceted functions and they cannot effectively administer the local units and their problems. Governments at the local level can deal with local issues, local problems, needs and the aspirations of the local people. Local bodies thus require different kinds of treatment and administration. Local governments administer the public activities of a local nature. They are governments in a limited sense in a government or it may be called a mini-democracy government. The people of that locality formed the local governments.
The local bodies (i) work as agents of state while tackling the problems of the area, and (ii) function as independent units with statuary powers for offering civic requirements of the local people. Civic sense brings the citizen closer. An awareness and a civic responsibility among the public is required for treating of community halls/public property as sacred conserving water in summer, keeping the city clean, protecting walls from being spoilt by posters, all these demand an awareness and a civic responsibility among the public. The public relations has a role to play here. It is required to create a civic sense among the people to seek-their cooperation in local programs.
Public Relations Goals: The PR in local bodies performs the following functions:
- It informs the public’s about different schemes taken up for their benefit. It also ensures people’s participation in various local programs.
- The PR in local bodies makes people aware about their responsibilities for proper utilization of civic amenities.
- It advises the local government on policy matters, gathers public reaction and suggests the administration on the means of gaining public acceptance and cooperation.
- It undertakes educative public relations programs to seek public support for new taxation proposals and other civic programs.
- It informs the civic administration about peoples’ reactions and attitudes to its policies and programs.