Communication Agency

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The tenth agency in the community (building no. 10) is the Communication Agency. This agency is the first of the three agencies in the Public Administration Department, alongside Agency 11 – the Bylaws Agency and Agency 12 – the Public Relations Agency.

The Communication Agency’s primary aim is to facilitate communication between agencies and participants. The Communication Agency works to ensure that participants have access to accurate and timely information regarding happenings within the community, as well as communications that agencies may wish to have with them. The agency also manages the system through which agencies communicate with each other.[1]

To facilitate communication, the Communication Agency runs an intranet, on which agencies post any information that they need participants to know.[2] Participants have accounts on the intranet, which enables agencies to filter the audiences of their information. For instance, the Health Agency may wish to inform married women under the age of 35 of a fertility seminar. The agency will filter the relevant participants and direct this information to them, rather than everyone in the community.[3]

Where participants are unable to get the help they require from the self-administered automated system, they approach the village presidents for direct assistance. The village presidents interface for the Public Administration Department, as part of their responsibilities to the Human Relations Agency. The village presidents then forward their recommendations on what should be improved about the system to the agency president. The village president makes the necessary adjustments and sets the agency’s strategy.

The responsibilities of the Communications Agency can be divided into either core or coordinated. Core responsibilities are performed by the agency alone, while coordinated responsibilities involve input from other agencies within the community.

Core Responsibilities

The Communication Agency’s primary responsibilities to the community are:

  • Handle communication between agencies, and between agencies and participants
  • Inform the community public through social media, and other media
  • Act as a consultant to participant businesses and community agencies regarding their communications strategy

Handle intracommunity communication

The Communication Agency facilitates communication between community agencies and participants, or between agencies themselves. The agency has a sophisticated intranet platform, in which all agencies are able to post their information. The participants are expected to open an account once they join the system, using the details captured during the vetting process.[4] Through this information, the intranet’s algorithms are able to personalize information, which makes it easier for participants to get what they need, instead of going through all the data contained on the intranet. The Communications Agency also establishes channels of communication between agencies. The channels involve information-sharing platforms, which are automated, and require minimal human involvement.[5]

Inform the community public

The Communication Agency uses the intranet to inform the public of any relevant information. Such information may include public participation, changes in the people who preside over particular offices, among others. This information is posted by the relevant parties and only hosted by the agency. The Communications Agency runs intra-community social media accounts to enhance the reach and impact of information shared. Besides this, it also controls all media within the community, setting the standards, and engaging the parties who offer these services to do so responsibly.[6]

Communication consultancy

In the course of the business, participants need to communicate with their clients. Community agencies also need to communicate with other agencies and participants. The agency offers practical advice and training to the relevant parties, on how best to get the message across.[7]  This information is carried on the automated system through training modules. Participants receive prompts and advice from village presidents on the need to train, and how to access the relevant material.[8]

Coordinated Responsibilities

The Communication Agency coordinates with other agencies along three avenues, as follows:

  • Horizontal coordination, with other agencies in the Public Administration Agency
  • Vertical Coordination, with other agencies in the Social Integration and Support Vertical
  • Diagonal coordination, with other agencies beyond the department and the vertical

Horizontal coordination

The Communication Agency coordinates with the Bylaws Agency to communicate bylaws and public policy to the participants. The agencies coordinate to interpret information in a way that is easily understandable to participants, and they coordinate on communication strategies.[9] The Communication Agency also liaises with the Public Relations Agency to improve the community’s public image. The two agencies coordinate on public relations exercises, with the Communications Agency offering advice and infrastructure to ensure effective communication.

Vertical coordination

The coordination between the Communication Agency and other agencies in the first vertical is based on community integration, social cohesion, as well as the promotion of the community’s principles and interests. As part of this, the agency liaises with Agency 1 – the Human Relations Agency to communicate community ideals to the public outside of the community, as part of its recruitment agenda.

The Communication Agency liaises with Agency 4 – the Life Planning Agency as part of its strategy to broaden the reach of its communication. The two agencies use the education infrastructure in the community to communicate community interests to the participants. The agencies also use this channel to receive important feedback on how to improve communication. The Communication Agency also liaises with other agencies beyond the first vertical. Among them is Agency 19 – the Marketing Agency, with which the Communication Agency coordinates to provide consultancy to stewards on marketing their businesses.

Diagonal coordination

The Communications Agency coordinates with agency 2 – the Stewardships Agency to train participants on effective business communication. In this, the agency also liaises with the Marketing Agency, besides the two agencies’ vertical coordination.  The agencies link up to train participants on communication strategies and business communication practices necessary to appeal to potential clients.

Conclusion

The Communications Agency gives the community an avenue through which to aggressively control the way its message is carried within the community. While the community strives to ensure the authenticity and accuracy of the information, it also appreciates the power it has to shape public opinion, and by extension, the community’s own survival. The Communications Agency powers businesses to communicate better, while also giving participants a chance to know what agencies are up to at all times. In its own way, this promotes integrity and intra-community cohesion. Preventing misinformation is also a major objective, due to the easy access to alternative and sometimes misleading narratives.


[1] Shared information is an important means through which organizations maintain their competitive advantage. Shared expertise and general information ensures uniformity of direction and interests among all parts of the organization. By facilitating information and knowledge sharing between agencies, the Communication Agency will be strengthening the community’s ability to be competitive and sustainable in the long term, as it bolsters synergy (Abdul-Jalal, H., . Toulson and D. Tweed. “Knowledge Sharing Success for Sustaining Organizational Competitive Advantage.” Procedia Economics and Finance 7 (2013): 150-157).

[2] The intranet is today a must-have for most modern organizations. Through this tool, organizations are able to post general, yet organization specific and sometimes confidential information. The intranet is easily accessible to the relevant parties, yet well protected from external parties, which may seek to compromise it. The intranet has also been found to enhance collaboration between parties within an entity. These benefits will be especially important in the organization (Usman, M. “Intranet and Its Significance in an Organization.” Researchgate (2015): 10.13140/RG.2.1.3612.4326).

[3] Even as information is personalized, there is a need to ensure it does not breach confidentiality laws that seek to protect people and their private information. The information need not be of a personal nature, such as a condition someone suffers from, or even his or her age. Instead, it can even refer to sensitive information which is targeted to a specific person or group, but which they would not readily share with others. For instance, in a society where homosexuality is not widely accepted, information on how LGBTQ people can protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections must be communicated in a way that does not jeopardize their social status and personal safety (Clark, C. and J. McGhee. Private and Confidential?: Handling Personal Information in the Social and Health Services. Bristol: The Policy Press, 2008).

[4] Personalizing information has a significant impact on how people regard an institution and the message it seeks to communicate. Studies have found a strong link between customer loyalty and personalized information as well, meaning that people are likelier to respond to information they feel specially suits them. This can be achieved through algorithms, which analyze a customer’s details to target them. The Communication Agency will utilize this approach to better communicate with participants (Ball, D., P. Coehlo and M. Villares. “Service Personalization and Loyalty.” Journal of Services Marketing 20.6 (2006): 391 – 403).

[5] As discussed under Usman M (intranet and knowledge sharing)

[6] In most western democracies, the people have the right to information, apart from when such information may negatively affect national security, or the rights of other people. The Communication Agency will endeavor to provide as much information as possible, so that the participants can have a clear idea of how the system is working, its health, and its direction into the future (DoS. The Freedom of Information Act. 27 06 2019. 06 07 2019)

[7] Online training has some key benefits for those entities that are looking to cut on cost, and enhance the efficacy of their training sessions. This is because research has stablished a link between online training and better training outcomes. Online training is also cheaper, and does not take too many man-hours, something the community’s public servants will not have much of (Salas, E. “The Science of Training and Development in Organizations: What Matters in Practice.” Association for Psychological Science 13.2 (2012): 74 –101)

[8] Businesses need to have practical skills in communication. The communication consultancy offered by the Communication Agency goes beyond basic expression. Participants gain skills in crisis communication. This involves effectively communicating during times of disasters, or extreme negative publicity about a business. Consultancy will also involve skills on how to package their communication for a greater impact, and for a wider reach (Frandsen, F., W. Johansen and A. Pang. “From Management Consulting to Strategic Communication:.” International Journal of Strategic Communication 7.2 (2013): 81-83).

[9] Communication on bylaws will be part of the community’s wider effort to conduct effective civic education. The Communication Agency will seek to communicate information about the bylaws, their responsibilities and rights in a way that they clearly understand. A populace which understands their civic duties and responsibilities will be more involved in decision making and public participation, ultimately guaranteeing the community’s survival as a social entity (Bayeh, E. “Role of civics and ethical education for the development of democratic governance in Ethiopia: Achievements and challenges.” Pacific Science Review B: Humanities and Social Sciences 2.1 (2016): 31-36).