Chandigarh: Amid the growing global importance of the social media in battling the COVID-19 crisis, the Punjab government on Wednesday decided to expand its social media outreach by setting up 15 expert teams on an outsourced model.
The Cabinet approved an annual budget of Rs seven crore for the teams, which will be constituted by engaging professionals and experts in the field, an official spokesperson said.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh termed the move as vital for expanding the state’s reach and strengthening the Public Relation Department’s efforts in disseminating information regarding various aspects related to the novel coronavirus pandemic in an effective and result-oriented manner.
The cabinet felt that specific departments of the state have a high level of interaction with the public.
All relevant information relating to the pandemic and the preventive measures being taken to combat it needed to be regularly highlighted in the social media.
The social media teams would help in bridging the gap between these departments and the public at large.
To cater to the requirements of such departments, the Cabinet also gave the nod to engage the services of 63 social media professionals and experts. These include one media manager, two assistant media managers, 15 digital media executives, 15 video editors, 15 graphic designers and 15 content writers on an outsourced basis for one year.
It was felt that to keep pace with the fast-paced changes in the field, recruitment of professionals for long periods of service was not feasible.
Besides creating awareness among the people about the precautions, norms, etc., relating to the pandemic, the teams would also help in countering the spread of misinformation.
They would be providing credible and updated information to them regularly.