Nairobi – Public Information Officers (PIOs) working for the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), have concluded a three-day strategic communication brainstorming and training workshop.
A total of 19 Public Information Officers drawn from the civilian, police and military components of the mission took part in the workshop.
The Team Lead and ATMIS Senior Communications Officer, Gifty Bingley said, “Our objective is specific; to provide visibility and communicate the activities of the mission in a more consistent and coherent way as directed in our Mandate under the UN Security Council Resolution 2624 and AU Peace and Security Council Communique 1068.
Bingley noted that the workshop also sought to create a shared understanding and alignment on strategic communication efforts especially for newly rotated Public Information officers from the Military and Police components.
“It is important for all of us to be on the same page and have the same understanding in terms of the mission’s priorities and how we communicate, our approach, priority channels, key messaging, and even in terms of feedback by way of monitoring and evaluation,” she added in an interview.
As part of the training, participants were given an overview of the ATMIS communications strategy, the UNSOS Strategic Communication support package, Somalia’s media landscape, the media and the news cycle, public engagement, news dissemination and the changing dynamics in social media.
The participants also visited the Nation Media Group in Nairobi to see news gathering and production processes.
The PIOs said the training was beneficial and had provided deep and rich insights in public engagements, news cycle and social media campaigns.
“The workshop was also a great opportunity for us to network, orient and meet newly rotated ATMIS public information officers – some of our teams are in different components and based in the regions so it was important for us to get to know each other, and forge a common understanding so that we can work together to accomplish the mission’s mandate in a collaborative manner,” said the ATMIS Force Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Abdullahi Ganale.
Inspector of Police, Nancy Nyaboke, the Public Information Officer of the ATMIS Police component said, “We have learnt a lot, and this will enable us to contribute greatly to our work to fulfill the mission’s mandate.”
The PIO for ATMIS Sector One, Major Bilal Katamba, said, “we gained new knowledge which will be very useful in our line of duty.”