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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is a governmental institution that established in December
1975 by proclamation No.62/1975 as a commission. Following the change in government in 1991 and
with the issuance of the new economic policy, the Commission was re-established in March 1994 by
Proclamation No.91/94. The commission went into its 3rd phase of re-institution on the 24th of August
1995 by Proclamation No.7/1995, following the establishment of Federal Democratic Republic of
Ethiopia as an Agency.

Later on, in 2008 the government upgraded the Agency as one of the Cabinet ministries accountable to
the prime minister and the council of ministers by the proclamation No. 604/2008 and reestablished
recently too in October 2010 according to definition of powers and duties of the executive organs of the
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia proclamation No. 691/2010.

Power and Duties of the Ministry

The ministry of Science and Technology shall have the following powers and duties according to
definition of powers and duties of the executive organs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
proclamation No. 691/2010:

1. Prepare national science and technology research and development programs based on the
country's development priorities, and upon approval by the government, provide necessary
support for their implementation; follow up and evaluate same.
2. In cooperation with the concerned bodies, establish a system for technology need assessment,
identification, acquisition, packaging, utilization and disposal, and follow up the implementation
of the same.

3. Register technology transfers made in every sector, coordinate codification and technology
capability accumulation efforts, and ensure successive use of same.

4. Coordinate science and technology development activities and national research programs; ensure
that research activities are conducted in line with the country's development needs.

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5. Organize science, technology and innovation database, compile information, set national
standards for information management, prepare and ensure the application of science and
technology innovation indicators.

6. Facilitate interaction and collaboration among government and private higher education and
research institutions and industries with a view to ensure research and technological development.

7. Prepare and follow up the implementation of the country's long – term human resource
development plans in the field of science, technology and innovation; cooperate with the
concerned organs to ensure that the countries educational curricula focus on development of
science and technology.

8. Facilitate capacity building of public and private sector institutions and professionals involved in
science and technological activities.

9. Establish and implement a system for granting prizes and incentives to individuals and institutions
who have contributed to the advancement of science, technology and innovations.

10. Establish, coordinate and support councils that facilitate the coordination of research activities.

11. Encourage and support professional associations and academies that may contribute to the
development of science and technology.

Mission

Coordinating, encouraging and supporting science and technology activities that realize the country's
social and economic development.

Vision

To build a bridge for Transformation of knowledge and creativity in science and technology.

Organizational values

 Deep interest of learning


 Integrity
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 Industrious

 Base for generation

 Open mindedness

SWOT Analysis:

Internal External
Strength Weakness Opportunity Treat
The management is Lack of skilled Good working There is no enough skilled
ready for change officers environment man power
The director’s good Lack of strategic Committed to change staff perception for pr
technical skill communication (propagandist)
Very attractive Week internal Positive acceptance for public perception about
permanent digital communication researchers pr
exhibition
All part of the building Week external Huge data center Lack of awareness about
shows of role models of communication (excellent access for science and technology
science and technology. internet)

1.1. Background of the Study

Ministry of science and technology is one among latest ministerial organizations. It is set up with the aim
of Coordinating, encouraging and supporting science and technology activities that realize the country's
social and economic development. In these organization communication seems out dated and traditional
that is why we choose this organization to find out where their potential problems lies in making their
communication latest.

Our research initially will identify the organizational problems which hinders the process of their
communication. Then the researchers will forward constructive, professional and scientific comments
and guide lines with intension of modernizing their communication department. In doing so professor van
ruler strategic communication frame will be our guide line since it is agile and advanced strategic
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communication frame work. Besides our theoretical base will be social theory for the reason that it
promote building bridge role of public relations for mutual benefit of the organizations and the public.

Strategy has no single and simple definition. Many scholars and researchers defined the word strategy
differently at different times and in various social environments. Though, many of them argue that
strategy is away or means of doing something. For the reason that it is a means it is not an end by itself.
According to advanced learners dictionary etymologically meaning of strategy is that, the art of using
similar techniques in politics or business. From these one can deduce that strategy is very decisive for
proper accomplishment of once policy or plan of action. Illustrating from another corner strategy is an
art; an art of doing something. Thus, strategy has subjectivity. It is specific goal oriented in another word;
the strategy which is formulated to implement something could not be applied on other. For instance, the
strategy which is forwarded for realization of once business plan could not be effective for political or
social agendas. What so ever strategy must have artistic and technical values to achieve specific goal.
Therefore, these basic features namely being artistic and technical elements of strategy must be taken in
to consideration for development of strategy.

Strategy may have various types and forms since strategy is specific goal oriented. They could be
political strategies that are designed for the fulfillment of political policies, military strategies which
holds military tactics, socio-cultural strategy holding numerous socio cultural issues. Economic strategy
with the aim of effective accomplishment of once business plan. but we cannot speak about strategy
isolated from communication. That is fact that strategy is integrated with communication.

In this research, researchers are going to analyze bit about strategic communication. Entomologically,
strategic communication is fundamentally a phrase made from two words, Strategic and communication.
Literary, both words have their own meanings. Strategy means system which is set to accomplish
something. In another way, communication is a process of exchanging information. Putting together,
strategic communication means, communicating about once strategy on means of doing something. This
is upgraded form of communication now days. According to Van Ruler (2009) in order to improve the
visibility and credibility of communication department, it is time to fundamentally rethink how strategic
communication is developed and start using modern agile tools to do this. Illustrating citation, strategic
communication is contributing a lot to make communication effective on the basis of mutual benefit
between the organizations and stake holders.

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1.2. Statement of the Problem
Science, technology and innovation sector is important in order to accelerate the country`s fast and
sustainable development. Strengthening the sector will enable the country dedication to shift to industry
led economy to be efficient and effective. In order to achieve these organizational goals public relation
department has main role and communication should be strategic based on public interest. But, most of
the time for the reason that public relation and strategic communication is new disciple, there is potential
problem in strategic communication in most organizations. Most likely, ministry of science and
technology could be one among such organizations.
Thus, this project focuses on comparative analysis of normative and positive performance of strategic
communication in public relations department of ministry of science and technology of Ethiopia.
Because, in Ethiopia most of the time there is potential gap between what is ought to be and what is
going on in light of public relations and strategic communications science and standard.

1.3. Objective of the Study


1.3.1. General objective

In general the objective of this project is to compare the positive performance with normative strategic
communication frame work in ministry of science and technology of Ethiopia and doing proposals
for improvement of PR and Strategic communication in the context of the organization.

1.3.2. Specific objectives

Specifically, the project has the following objectives:

 Identifying strategic communication elements and model employed in the ministry of science and
technology
 Analyzing the communication elements and model contents
 Analyzing the implementation of social theory in their strategic communication
 Doing proposals for improvement of PR and Strategic communication in ministry of science and
technology.

1.4. Research questions

In relation to these objectives, this research would accurately respond the following basic questions after
its effective accomplishment:

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1. What are strategic communication elements included in ministry of science and technology
strategic communication?
2. How they inter-related their contents with the Van Ruler`s strategic communication elements?
3. How to integrate social theory in future public relations and strategic communication policies and
practice in ministry of science and technology?

1.5. Significance of the Study

It is vivid that public relation is new discipline. Though, it contributes a lot for development of once
country. Therefore, conducting the study in this area helps the ministry of science and technology to
know its strategic communication level in light of standard and criteria of social theory. Then, it paves the
way to act normatively or professionally.

1.6. Scope of the Study

This study is limited to analysis of normative and positive performance of strategic communication in
ministry of science and technology, specifically, communication department. This is so, because of
making the research manageable.

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Chapter Two

Review of Related Literature


2.1 Historical Development of Strategic Communication/ Public Relations/

Historically the development of public relations is related with media and media science such as
advertisement. According to some sources public relations practices began in USA with the aim of
marketing to promote the product of organizations to the public. Thus it was linear or one way
communication. But now a day it is a profession based on science with theoretical background models,
methodologies, scientific review, journals and professional competences. Because of changes in societies
and organizations like local developments, globalization, change in needs and expectations of the public
and the impact of social media public relations updated itself as strategic communication.

2.1.1. Stages in Development of Public Relations

Even though it is young and multidisciplinary profession public relations have passed along numerous
progresses. According to some scholars the historical development of public relation has five stages. The
first phase was press agent model. This stage was characterized by linear communication for marketing
purpose in the form of advertisement through mass media. Publicity model was the second phase of its
progress. The third stage was propaganda model. At this stage public relations officers used media as
propaganda instrument to inform and persuade the public in order to influence and shape their attitude in
a way they need. Two ways communication model was the fourth stage where public relation shows
radical progress in its historical development. Because, it has changed from one way communication
through mass media to two way communication in which the public get opportunity to express their
feeling and opinion. In addition to that, it paves the way to the recent fifth model called reflective. This
model is latest and advanced form of public relations (strategic communication) career in which the
public and strategic communication officers come together to discuss on certain issues and arrive on
agreement.

Though there is difference of idea among scholars of social theorists on the means of realization of
reflective model. For example, Habermas in his theory, theory of communicative action reflective
modelshould be realized through public spare. For Luhman, reflective model must be accomplished by
coordination process of public relations expertise and open discussion of the mass. Putnem also
forwarded his idea in his theory called social capital that the base of strategic communication is social

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and the means of realization is building social networks like civic community. Finally Weber in his theory
legitimacy, argue that public relations expertise must work for legitimacy of the organization with
reflective model on the bases of rational, traditional and charismatic grounds.

2.2. Operational Definition of Strategic Communication

Many scholars and researchers define public relations or strategic communication differently in different
times and social environments. This is because of various reasons such as the difference in historical
development from country to country; inter disciplinary nature of public relations as profession, and the
difference in theoretical base of public relations. Whatever the case, let us illustrate some operational
definitions of Public relations for further understanding. In this context we use public relations and
strategic communication inter changeably as old and new trend.

Literally, strategic communication is a phrase made from two words, namely strategic and
communication. Both of them have their own separate dictionary meanings. According toadvanced
English learners dictionary strategic means done as part of a plan that is meant to achieve a particular
purpose or to gain an advantage.

While, communication is activity or process of expressing ideas and feelings or of giving people
information, Putting together, strategic communication means, forwarding pre planned information which
has specific goal oriented to the public.

Operationally Grunig and Hunt (1997/2006) defined strategic communication as the management of
communication between an organization and its publics. Later on organizations managed communication
behavior. In the same way Cutilp et al (2000) defined public relations as the management function that
establishes and maintains mutual benefit between an organization and its publics.

There are also some scholars who defined public relations from the angle of reputation building role for
organizational benefit. For instance, Cipr (2004) said that a public relation is the discipline which looks
after reputation, with aim of earning understanding and influencing opinion and behavior. It is the
planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain good will and mutual understanding between an
organization and its publics. He is also one among system theorists that is why he interprets public
relations as such. But his strong side is that he believed in mutual benefit of the organization and the
mass. Though he make the role of public relations officers retroactive which is ought to be proactive for
building a bridge between the organization and the public far beyond looking after reputation.

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Like its historical development it is clear that the naming of public relations is on evolution. Some
expertise defined it in a broader context of its multidisciplinary nature. According to the International
Communication Association in May 2005 in New York, strategic communication is defined as, the
purposeful use of communication by an organization to fulfill its mission. Six relevant disciplines are
involved in the development, implementation, and assessment of communications by organizations.
These are: management, marketing, public relations, technical communication, political communication,
and information/social marketing campaigns. The nature of the term strategic is examined and key
aspects of communication are identified. For world assembly of public relations (1978) public relations is
the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequence, counseling organizational
leaders and implementing programs of action which will serve both the organization and the public
interest. This seems advanced definition of public relations. For the fact that, it incorporate many things
from the nature and functions of public relations, analyzing from the corner of its nature they capitalized
the artistic and social scientific essence of it. Besides they emphasized the careers of public relations
officers as analyzing, predicting, counseling, and implementing planned program of action. This
definition upgraded public relations profession from traditional concept that was retroactive to proactive.
It has also illustrated public relations work from the angel of dual advantage sense of organizational and
peoples interest. In developing this definition one can deduce that social theory is their theoretical base
for the reason that it contains community benefits.

Some researchers also inter-linked the profession of public relations with the dynamic needs of the
society. To Kruckeberg (2006) public relations can be understood as having the responsibility for
creating, restoring and maintaining the societal linkages between governments, civil society organizations
and corporations. Based on this operational meaning of public relations Putnum developed social capital
theory and forward holistic definition of public relations as the creation and maintenance of
organizational social capital. For him building social capital and linking them through social network is
effective way of public relations profession. Because he believes that social capital is the base for human
and physical capital. He argued that in such a way public relations officers can create strong
organizations and countries.

In the same manner, with the social theory base van ruler broadened the scope of meaning of public
relations as stock holders management, corporate identity, corporate branding, corporate reputation,
strategic planning, campaign management, cross cultural communication, communication strategy,

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community relations, crisis communication, media relations, employees communication, new media
communication, issues management, leadership, and changing communication. This is the latest
definition in evolution of naming of public relations.

2.3. Structure and Function of Strategic Communication

Many scholars tried to describe and increase the visibility of strategic communication/public relation
function in different perspectives. Some of them described it relating with the practitioners position and
role in the organization. Others divided it through their work and identified the function of the strategic
communication. However, there is nothing more relevant to the communications function than
contributing strategic value. In fact, being strategic is the antidote to the trap of the communicator being
relegated to the status of order taker.

According to Ralph Tench, Liz Yeomans (2009) by citing Research undertaken by US researchers Broom
and Smit (1979) and Dozier and Broom (1995) identifies two dominant PR roles. The communication
manager (who plans and manages PR programs, advises management, makes communication policy
decisions and oversees their implementation). The communication technician (who is not involved in
organizational decision making but who implements PR programs, such as writing press releases,
organizing events and producing web content). Technicians usually do not get too involved in research or
evaluation: they are the doers. This indicate that the position and role of public relation practitioners,
owner of strategic communication in organization. So, every success is depending up on the PR and
strategic communication function of the organization.

Ralph Tench and Liz Yeomans (2009) divided the role of communication manager itself into three
identifiable types: the expert prescriber, the communication facilitator, the problem-solving process
facilitator. Also, two other roles, those sitting between the manager and technician are Media relations
role, Communication and liaison role. When they explain this idea the classification into managerial and
technician roles does not mean that lines are fixed. Most PR professionals perform a mix of manager and
technician work, but the point is that one role will tend to predominate. Entry-level practitioners are
normally entrusted with technical tasks at the initial stages of their career. As practitioners become more
experienced they may move on to the manager role. This means, there are many stages, level and position
that the strategic communication is functioned. Practitioners have different level and they take their own

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responsibility to contribute and foster the success of the organization. Additionally they putted the idea of
Fombrun and Van Riel (2006) that they divide corporate communication into three areas.

Management communication is communication by management aimed at developing a shared vision,


establishing and maintaining trust in the leadership, managing change, and empowering and motivating
employees. Fombrun and Van Riel regard management communication as the responsibility of all
managers. They may have a communication expert to help them with developing effective
communication. But Fombrun and Van Riel warn against the danger of thinking that hiring an expert
absolves management of its overall responsibility. Marketing communication is aimed at supporting the
sale of goods/or services.

This will include advertising, sales promotion, direct mail, personal selling, online and mobile marketing
as well as market-orientated public relations or publicity, as they call it. Typically this includes media
relations and events too. Organizational communication is a host of communication activities usually at a
corporate level, not all of which will be necessarily located in the PR department, which include public
affairs, environmental communication, investor relations, labor market communication, corporate
advertising, internal communication and Public relations.

Then, Ralph Tench and Liz Yeomans (2009) criticize this idea and conclude by saying such a division
along functional lines is often reflected in the structure of PR departments. Also they develop the
structure of PR department/communication department in functions as follows:

Figure1. PR department structured in function

The above image shows that, typical functional structure. In such a structure an individual or group will
look after all the activities falling within the area, whether these are media relations, sponsorship, events
or individual relationships.

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Cutlip and colleagues (2000) categorization of public relations work as: writing and editing, media
relation and placement, research, management and administration, special event, speaking, production,
training, contact and counselling are the function or work of strategic communication/Public relations
practitioners. Also, depending on these ten elements, they choose to categories PR work along task lines.

Figure 2. PR department structured by tasks

An obvious danger of both these approaches is that the specialist individuals or teams become functions
or tasks orientated and lose the overall picture of organizational priorities. The job of the manager isto
ensure this does not happen one way in which this is approached in consultancies is to put together
project teams for accounts as they are won. These comprise functional and task experts drawn from
across the consultancy who work another cross-functional/task accounts concurrently Ralph Tench and
Liz Yeomans(2009).

Emanuele Invernizzi (prof) and Stefania R. (Dr.) describe the role and function of communication in
organization as follows:Communication continues to be an increasingly strategic and pervasive
component in the processes of governance and management at all levels of a company. This evolution has
been made evident by the importance that the communication function has acquired, or is acquiring,
inside the organizational structure of companies.This implies that, communication department became
very crucial in the structure of organization and but, still now it is on evolution and needed more attention
to develop well. In management process of governance and overall organization, communication plays a
great role to succeed the organization objective, goal, vision and values. Abdullah Özkan (2015) on his
article published on “Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies” explained the role of
strategic communication in building reputation of the country and relationship as reputable, esteemed and
reliable, countries must build their own nation values in the 2 1st century. Therefore, countries gain many
advantageous in the political, social and cultural fields as well as being an attraction center.

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For countries, the strategic communication management paves the way for proper planning, creating
effective messages and conveying these messages to the target audiences smoothly and determines a road
map to gain success. So, in every aspects of the activities and policy making countries those use strategic
communication are successful, because of they know, target audience, right message for right people on
perfect time.They create road map for success easily. He also said “Communication is the most important
strategic tool for countries to build their own nation brand”. To prove this idea, Özkan stated the
relationship between strategic communication management and building/developing and enhancing the
nation brand as multi-dimensional relation.

American strategic communication consultant Emil Goldman, describes the strategic communication as a
strategy influencing attitude and behavior Karagöz (2015). But, Özkan suggest that, Influencing attitude
and behavior is among the most difficult tasks now as individuals become conscious and communication
technologies become widespread.To make simple this task, effective communication is the first step. The
task will be impossible if you fail to communicate and be listened/ watched by the audiences.

So, having a smooth and effective communication should be the first step before focusing on use of this
method strategically.Strategic communication is not a passive, source-based communication process
conveying the most favorable message to the concerned audiences that aims to inform public opinion
Abdullah Özkan (2015). Besides, strategic communication is an active communication process based on
sharing determined messages with the public opinion in the frame of vision and goals, influencing and
manipulating the perception of public opinion positively. In strategic communication, these are aimed
that concerned public opinion understands the vision, strategic goals, intention, activity and discourse of
country/institution properly.

As, Benita Steyn and .et. al.(2001), stated on the Paper presented to the 8th International Public Relations
Research Symposium Politics of communication and communication of politics: In South African
government departments job titles such as Director: Communication Chief Director abound. This would
reasonably assume managerial top management roles for the incumbent, taking part in strategic decision
making and being concerned with strategic planning. However, in other parts of the world some
researchers have concluded that corporate communication practitioners in managerial positions still focus
on daily routines and technical procedures Brody(1985), Cottone(1987), Pracht(1991), Reagan(1990),Van
Ruler(1997). This means, still there is a question on the role, position and function of communication

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department or strategic communication practitioners. There is variation of role and functions, which
given to communication practitioner.

For example: in South Africa there is communication director and chief director. However, in the other
world PR/communication practitioners seen as technical assistance: If they are function as technical
assistance, they have not any role in decision making and management functions. But, if they are function
as director and chief director maybe they have an opportunity to involve in the decision making process
and management functions.

In another way, Abdullah Özkan(2015)describe the Strategic communication by using scholars idea as a
notion that generally used for describing the planned communication campaign. Also, It is possible that a
state, army, government or small groups could manage a strategic communication which could be
managed by a business or NGO. This means strategic communication is used both for business purposes
and other purposes. So, communication is functioned in all aspect of social life. But, it needs managing
according to organizational policy in relation to public will. However, others stated, Strategic
communication is used for primarily formal studies sometimes informal studies are used), a trouble,
concerned target audiences, measurable goals and aims Çınarlı(2009).

According to the European Communication Monitor, linking communication and business strategy is the
number one challenge for today’s communication practitioners. This is both good and bad news. Van
Ruler explained this good news is communication professionals are ambitious. They aim to support the
organization in realizing its strategic goals. They are eager to really make a difference. The bad news is
that they still struggle with the strategic element of their contribution. From this concept we understand
that, strategic communication, beyond that, communication as a general is seen as minor for organization
and not gained attention for many years.

For the next function or implementation of strategic communication Van Ruler point the following idea in
order to improve the visibility and credibility of the Communications Department. It is time to
fundamentally rethink how strategic communication is developed and start using modern agile tools to do
this.

This indicates that, the future communication department is functioned in professional way. However, to
ensure and develop strategic communication professional competency which supported by professional

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education is needed. To think and act in professional way, many scholars try to develop frame work for
communication department and communication practitioners.

2.4 Characteristics of Strategic Communication

According to Abdullah Özkan (2015) Strategic communication has multi-dimensional structure and
distinctive characteristics. Also, by citing Onat(2012) and Özkan are arrayed the characteristics of
strategic communication as follows:

a. There is a determined super-ordinate goal, target and a victory to gain that independent
from communication processes.
b. Communication tools are pre-planned with the messenger, message and message retriever.
c. Alternative plans are studied to reach goals
d. Required tactic, methods and studies should be conveyed to have successful results after
following determined strategy. The tactic is used in the parts of the integrity of strategy.
Strategy is not the tactic.
e. It is provided that the message is taken for the determined purpose. Perception, decoding
and understanding the message should be controlled. Also, the required measures should
be taken for the aim that messages could only be understood by the target audiences.
f. The messenger should be prepared to convey the message properly.
g. For communication, the most developed technology is used
h. It is aimed about the critical and crucial topics that the target person/people take(s) the
message subconsciously and while practicing this message that person/people have a
perception of their own willing.
i. The required measures are taken to prevent the use of message by unintended audiences

In short, Strategic communication: embodies planning, developing tactics, correcting coding to provide
effective perception of the message, conveying the message to the target audiences in the most smooth
and effective way and using the most developed technology. These distinctive characteristics of the
strategic communication make it valuable and effective besides proper using provides successful results

2.5. Betteke Van Ruler Strategic Communication Frame Work

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2.5.1 Personal Profile

Betteke van Ruler is professor in Communication Science, specialized in corporate communication and
public relations at the University of Amsterdam. Prior to this, she was an associate professor in
communication science and communication management at the Free University of Amsterdam. Her
research is concerned with the practice of communication management and public relations, and the
relationship between communication and organization. Van Ruler is past chair of the Public Relations
division of the International Communication Association (ICA), and past president of the European
Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA).

2.6.2 Frame Work

Contemporary everyday life is influenced by increased complexity, rapidchange, globalization, and the
deconstruction of social structures. As a result, corporations and other organizations today have a greater
need to build relationships with their stakeholders and to communicate with them about their aims and
behavior. Social theory provides strategic communication with a basic understanding of the societal role
of the practice, and its ethical and political consequences. First of all, building on social theory means
recognizing both negative and positive influences of the practice. A whole range of different perspectives
is on describing how society works, and communication has increasingly been placed at the center of
such analyses. Drawing on such perspectives, legitimacy and reflection are singled out as key concepts
for strategic communication, and issues of power and language are highlighted. In addition social theory
invites a whole range of empirical methods to study strategic communication, most of them recognizing
insights from the communicative turn. The simple definition of strategic communication is the purposeful
use of communication by an organization to fulfill its mission Hallah Holtzhausen, van Ruler, Verčič,
&Sriramesh(2007).

. The reflective model of communication management sees strategic communication as engaged in


constructing society by making sense of situations, creating appropriate meanings out of them and
looking for acceptable frameworks and enactments van Ruler &Verčič (2005). This is a societal approach
to strategic communication that takes the society at large as the unit of analysis and looks at the
organization from the outside. So from the perspective of the public sphere, the Communication
management is defined as being concerned with maximizing, optimizing, or satisfying the process of
meaning creation, using informational, persuasive, relational, and discursive interventions to solve
managerial problems by coproducing societal (public) legitimating
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Van Ruler &Verčič(2005).
A social theory perspective in this vain can help fill the gap between the descriptive and normative
studies in the managerial paradigms and the individualistic psychological studies in the behavioral
paradigm. Strategic communication can be seen as different form of communication, ranging from
symbolic, interpersonal and social communication to the no personal communication function in system
theory. It is possible to distinguish between mediated and non-mediated communication on the micro,
meso, and macro levels.
2.6.3 Strategic Communication Elements
Obviously, different scholars identified different numbers of strategic communication elements. For this
research project, researchers intended to conduct research based on Prof Betteke Van Ruler a good
strategy development model requirements and its strategic Communication Frame. There areseven
requirements for a good strategy development and eight building blocks.
2.6.3.1 Seven Requirements for a Good Strategy Development
1. Clear vision on communications and its added value to the mission of the organization
2. Focus on internal and external context as building blocks for constructing ambitions
3. No smart objectives but inspiring ambitions based on clear choices
4. Explicit accountability that suits the ambition
5. Clear choices in every building block, as hypotheses for the future
6. Compact to fit on one page
7. Adjustable at any time to respond to situational dynamics

2.6.3.2 Eight Building Blocks


Ambition: Using the concept of ambition that refers to “strong desire to do or achieve something”. It
refers to basic communication values needed and its achievement.

Vision: “Strategic planning is worthless, unless there is first strategic vision” articulated by John Naisbitt.
Ambition is influenced by a person’s own perception of his/her profession and its added value. It
concerned with in what way communication add value to organizational strategic choice, the role of
communication professional and relevant trends to it.

Internal Situation: It is impossible to define and value the importance to us of phenomena in the
outside world unless you know what is happening inside the organization. It is important to consider what
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is going on in the organization, what are the strategic decision in the board, and in other management
fields, the style of the house-how do we communicate with each other and how do we encounter the
outside world.”

External Situation: It is typical for communication professionals to be aware of the external situation,
of what is going on in the outside world and of public opinions, although we prefer to talk about social
moods these days. NasimTaleb, however, warns not to look for confirmation of what you already know
but look for the unexpected. It is important to consider relevant trends and developments in society, and
relevant issues and social around these.

Accountability: Good ambitions inspire and make clear what you want to achieve, but without
accountability your ambitions are day dreams. Accountability forces you to make what your exact
responsibilities are regarding your ambitions and how you measure progress. Also it considers how you
show that you are on the track.

Stakeholders: In corporate communication we are used to seeing stakeholders as those who have stake
in our organization and as our “target groups” to reach with our communications. We define stakeholders
slightly different by: those groups or persons who have a stake in our ambition. It refers to about our
enablers and our partners.

Resources: A very important part of the strategy concerns resources. Resource is about being equipped
to do the job. It is about budget, budget allocation and about competences. It considers what
competences do you need to realize your ambition, and how much budget is required including
(operational, managerial) and it is about to make wise decisions that is strategic decisions.

Approach: Approach is about translating all strategic decisions done in former building blocks into
operational activities. This is “the proof of the pudding”. All decisions in the former buildings block need
to come together in the approach. It considers what do you want to achieve with which constituency and
how, and also which activities should have top priority, what does that mean for the communication
calendar.

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CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Research methodology is the general term that stands for how and by what means certain study should be
informed. It is where the researcher decides research design, methods, tools and process of data
gathering, organizing and analysis; data sources and ethical consideration are also the core idea discussed
in this section. Fundamentally, there are two types of research methodologies, qualitative and quantitative
methods. In relation to our title the researchers employed qualitative research techniques. The primary
concern of qualitative approach is about meaning making, interpretation and careful analysis of those
data obtained.

3.1. Research design

The study used qualitative research approach. As a result, it enabled the researcher to qualitatively collect
and analyze the data relevant to the subject. Thus, this research design elaborated constituents, ideology
and from what angle selected organization view the issue under study. This approach assumes that
multiple interpretations of human experience or realities are possible. The study at all attempted to
enlighten deep interpretation and explanation of the constructed meaning beyond mere description of the
case.

3.2. Source of data:

In this study both primary and secondary data sources are used:

Primary source: The study used various primary data that were obtained with qualitative tools:
qualitative content analysis of communication department in ministry of science and technology, in-depth
interview thereby the researcher used audio recording and note taking for further interpretations and
analysis of those data.

Secondary source: Secondary data means data that are already available that they refer to the data
which have already been collected and analyzed by someone else. So, this include: previous research
work, policy of Public relations directorate, and other documents which archive and collected by
communication department of ministry of science and technology.

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3.3. Sampling Techniques

In relation to this research, researchers may use two way of sampling methods. Cluster/area sampling,
researchers employed this method for choosing organization. As researchers conduct research while
learning, they chooses organization which not far and suitable for their work in case of place. Purposive
sampling, to conduct and make interview and focus group discussion, researchers may use purposeful
sampling, which enable them to choose participant by their ability or profession.

3.4. Sampling Size

The researchers would conduct interview with 4 out of 8 public relation staffs including the director and
14 from other departments. Also, they conducted focus group discussion with 6 staff members 3 from
public relations department and 3 from other departments.

3.5. Data Collection Tools

In this study, qualitative data collection tools would use. The researcher employed qualitative content
analysis, focus group discussion, and in-depth interview. The tools enabled the researcher’s to get reach
data both from the Public relations practitioner and the organization at large.

3.6. Organization of the Study

This research paper would have five chapters. The first chapter would be an introductory part. In the
chapter two some reviews of related literature included. In chapter three the researchers argued to put
methodologies of the study. Content and interviews of ministry of science and technology on strategic
communication would be analyzed in the chapter four. Finally, from analyzed content and interview, the
researchers drew the conclusions and forwarded recommendations in chapter five.

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CHAPTE FOUR

DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS


In this chapter researchers collected data from the ministry through, content analysis, focus group
discussion and depth interview with both selected employees and PR director to analyze the standard of
strategic communication of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

4.1. Content analysis


This part of our research focuses on analyzing content of strategic communication elements of the
Ethiopian science and technology ministry. The researchers decided to analyze the content of Federal
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia science, technology and innovation policy magazine of the ministry
among its public relations tools. The policy is printed both in English and Amharic languages. High
lightly some of its major contents are introduction, which briefly informs the readers the importance/role
of science and technology for development in Ethiopian context. The second part is whole about vision,
mission, and objectives of the ministry. Policy directions and strategies is the third major content. While
the policy implementation and principles are the fourth one. Besides governance of the national
innovation system and monitoring and evaluation are the fifth and six major contents of it respectively.

4.1.1. Analysis of Strategic Communication Elements of the Ministry


In analysis of the content of elements of strategic communication the researchers employed van rulers’
eight building blocks of strategic communication, for the reason that it is most agile form of strategic
communication and the objective of the research which help future improvement PR function in the
ministry. These building blocks are: vision, ambition, internal situation, external situation, accountability,
stakeholders, resource and approach/action plan design. Thus let us analyze the organizational strategic
communication elements in this frame work.

1. Vision

It is basic philosophic part of strategic communication. It gives motivation and direction how to do. Good
vision must be conceptualizing, creative, counseling and coaching. In light of these facts, the vision of the
ministry is ``to see Ethiopia entrench the capabilities which enable rapid learning, adaptation and
utilization of effective foreign technologies by the year 2022/23”. Interpreting this quote, it seems
conceptualizing, creative, counseling, and coaching. It concerned with in what way communication add
value to organizational strategic choice. But, on website their vision is ``to build a bridge for
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Transformation of knowledge and creativity in science and technology`. This vision has not time limit
and clear idea. So, it is necessary to set a clear, understandable and coaching vision. Besides, the ministry
should not have two visions as basic philosophy in light of professional standard.

2. Ambition

For ambition formulating key value is great instrument. They show the ambitions position and signature.
Key values are the translation of the vision. Only writing them is not enough rather they must give
meaning, spirit, and energy. Key values are visible in behavior, style of advising, action, and leadership.
Another element of ambition is key target. They show their ambition and position; they are translations of
the vision. Illustrating the ambition of the ministry in this corner, the organization has not clear ambition
but it has in the form of mission. Though ambition does not necessarily mean mission, the mission of the
organization is ``To create a technology transfer frame work that enables the building of national
capabilities in technological learning, adaptation, and utilization through searching, selecting, and
importing effective foreign technologies in manufacturing and service providing enterprise”, in this
mission there is no vivid key values and key targets even to be considered as ambition.

3. Accountability

Accountability means reporting organizational needs, taking responsibilities for activities, products,
decision and policy. It has rational and reflective forms. Rationally, it has responsibility and commitment
while reflectivity, accountability force the organization to think about organizational extra values which
can be related to key values and ambition. The main question of accountability can be: for what we are
responsible and how? What impact we want to realize? And how we make these visible? These can be
categorized into professional and social accountability. Accountability has also its own achievement
indicators as strategic communication elements. These are four in number: structure, process, outcome
and prediction indicators. In these rational grounds to look in to accountability part of the strategic
communication of the ministry one cannot find it in such a genre. Rather it is forwarded in a form of
objectives. Thus the major objectives of the ministry are:

1. Establish and implement a coordinated and integrated general governance framework for
building capacity.
2. Establish and implement an appropriate national technology accumulation and transfer system.
3. Promote research that is geared towards technology learning and adaptation.
4. Develop, promote and commercialize useful indigenous knowledge and technologies

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5. Define the national science and technology landscape and strengthen linkages among the
different actors in the national innovation system.
6. Ensure implementation of STI activities in coordination with other economic and social
development programs and plans.
7. Create conducive environment to strengthen the role of the private sector in technology transfer
activities sustainably.

These objectives seem organizational accountability in their strategic communication. Even though it is
very difficult to say it is absolute accountability stressing from van ruler criteria and standards.

4. External situation

Under this element the organizations are ought to analyze trends and developments that may influence
them. It can be positive or negative impact for them. Namely it can be track of fear and hope. The issues
that make the organization fear are track of fear, when trends or developments give new challenging
perspectives are track of hope. Thus, these questions are important for external situation analysis: on
which trends, developments and issues competitors focusing? Which trends and developments can touch
the organization in its heart? Which trends and developments are relevant from content perspective?
Which trends and developments are important from client and stakeholders perspectives? Which trend
and development are advantageous professionally? External situation block is in short one among basic
elements of strategic communication. But it is not in corporate in strategic communication of the
ministry.

5. Internal situation

To get a good picture of the organization it is a must to research ambition and priorities of top
management strategical choices and most important internal issues like behavior of the employees and
style of the house. Do not collect information only from public relations department. Talk with people at
all levels. Identify proactively which internal development can affect strategic communication. Analyze
the reality and desire. What so ever, internal situation analysis is one among important elements of
strategic communication according to van ruler we cannot find it in this organization strategic
communication to interpret.

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6. Stakeholders

In strategic communication the organizations should find the appropriate balance of competing claims by
various groups of stakeholders. All claims deserve consideration but some of them may more important
than others. Stakeholders are every individuals or groups that can influence the organization directly or
indirectly. Therefore it is important to get a good picture of the stakeholders to realize ambition.
Organizations stakeholders can be classified into internal and external. Most of the time, internal
stakeholders are called enablers. They are employees, financial experts, members, trade union, media and
the like. In the same manner external stakeholders are known by the name partners. They can be people
and institutions with whom you corporate to realize the ambition. To develop a cooperation relation the
organization must build a network with them. In doing so, keep record of important contact persons and
edit it continuously to have an updated overview. But, do not only think about what to get from them
rather make clear what you can offer. If so, the organization can create the mutual benefit based on the
relationship. The stakeholders’ block of good strategic communication should respond the following
questions: who are experiencing for the most benefit of the organization? What are their interests? How
can we make them ambassador of our organization? With which stakeholders we cooperate much. With
which stakeholders we cooperate less? Taking in to consideration these scientific and artistic criteria as
strategic communication element, the researchers could not interpret this element of strategic
communication because its strategic communication did not include it.

7. Resources

Resource means the budget by which and the professionals with whom you implement your strategy to
realize organizational ambition. Thus resource has two sub elements, human and financial resources.
Professionally, the organizations should think about which competences they need. This means skills,
knowledge or attitude based, routine or adaptive experts, entrepreneurs’ attitude with proactive trend.
Sometime reflexive practitioners are for crisis management. In addition, self-steering team owners of the
process can also play significant role for the success of the organizations. From the view of budget, the
organizations must implement different methods of budgeting. Though, objective based budgeting is the
best way. Since, it is related to ambition and tasks of the organization. Therefore these are some
recommendations in regard to budgeting. Implement flexible budgeting. Do not budget in detailed level.
Do not forget to arrange budget for capacity building. Have a good budget administration department.
Fight for effective utilization of budget based on organizational ambitions. From the angel of human
capital, identify who are under achievers and the highly talented in work. For strategic communication of
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science and technology ministry, this part remains dream. So, the researchers could not get opportunity to
analyze it.

8. Plan of action (approach)

This part focuses on means of realization or strategy. It must be connected to organization and engaged
with employees, clients, and stake holders. It must show coordination role of the strategy in dynamic
way. According to Van Ruler it is ought to be informing, persuading, dialoging and the like. The levels of
strategy can be: over all, tactical, and operational. From the corner of duration or time planning strategy
can be short, middle, and long terms. Good strategy incorporates list of activities and their budget. In
other words, it is the translation of ambition and accountability towards stakeholders. It vividly put
operation and priority of major activities or reveals organizational interest and urgency. Develop smart
and inspiring strategy to make the difference. To do so, using creative professionals are important.
Questions to be answered under plan of action (approach) are: what do you want exactly (context)? How
to accomplish them (means)? What will be our priority among general plan of the organization? What are
the second and the later? In short, strategic choices must be best possibility choice. Thus, organization
should make strategic choices understandable to inspire by using descriptive decisions and clear
language. In this case, the researchers cannot analyze the approach block of strategic communication of
the ministry for the fact that it is not available.

4.2. Analysis of focus group discussion


Focus group discussion is one method of data collection for this research. As stated in chapter one,
researcher conducted focus group discussion with 6 participants, half of them are in PR department and
three of them are different departments in Ministry. For these participants researchers provide 9 (nine)
initial question which help them to collect raw data. Then, by asking these questions researchers collect
the following answers.

#1 . What is inspiring you in the ministry? It’s management? It’s staff members? It’s employees?

Reflection: in case of this question they reflect three answers. Out of six, two participants are inspired by
environment, three of them are by leadership and environment and one participant by leadership of the
ministry. For the first two participants environment (working environment, organizational environment
and general environment) is motivated and initiated them. This means, the environment is the best
inspiring of their working condition. Then, these kinds of employees need help because they have less
inspiration by other ministry conditions like, leadership style, organizational culture and values of the
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organization. The second three participants are happy by both environment and leadership of the ministry.
So, we need to keep this inspiration and try to motivate them by other means of inspiration. Among,
respondents one participant reflect, he inspired by leadership of the ministry. Logically, it implies that this
kind of employees is unhappy and not motivated by other thing going on in and around the organization.
This also needs support to shape it by communicating what happen to them in improving the way of
internal communication of the ministry. But, to maximize the ministry performance still it need to
research why these employees not inspired other ministry structure and condition?

#2.How you perceive public relation department and employees? What about the management?

Reflection: participants those out of PR department perceive the department as professional. But, they
are working as facilitator and stage leader, when the ministry has the program and meeting. Also, some of
them think PR as reporters, who report the activities of the ministry for internal and external stakeholder.
Other participants in PR department reflect their role as facilitator, adviser, coaching, monitoring and
evaluator. But, they recognized that they do not act accordingly. As they said, they do not act in line with
their role because of low recognition from the management and their ability to perform well. As
respondents suggest, PR department is the member of the management in the ministry. Though,
Management see`s PR as weak department. However, the department is member of management, without
the department director or representative many meeting and decisions are made. Thus, the department
needs improvement to play managerial role for organizational success.

# 3 what is going on in the ministry? Which issues are dominant in informal talks/communication?

Reflection: there are two types of issues which dominate the informal talks. These are: internal (in
organization) and external (out of organization). Most of the time internal issues are raised on further
improvement of the ministry, issues which forward on meeting, about leadership (weakness and strength
of the leadership), complain area: incentives, training chance, education and other services that provided
for employees. External issues which rose in informal talks in ministry are current issues (global or
national level).

# 4 what are the functions of internal communication?

Reflection: participants reflect different thing on function of internal communication. Some of them are:
creating good relationship among employees, reduce complain, create good team work sprit, have high
contribution on ministry survival, support effective performance, have high contribution on realizing

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ministry objectives. But, the reality is not as expected. Internal communication is the heart of the
organization. Organization cannot survive without internal communication. Because of this, many
scholars called internal communication as nervous system of the organization. However, in case of
science and technology ministry internal communication is not this much effective. It needs improvement
for further success.

# 5 which trends, development, issues in society can have impact on the organization? How a society
knows and accepts your organization? Which trends ministry worries in external situation?

Reflection: Less knowledge of technology in the society, poor coordination system among sector
organizations, the difference between the society need and the mandate of the ministry, less performance
to societal satisfaction and ineffective communication. Society accepts with great respect more than the
actual status because of the great name without understanding the detailed activity in the ministry. Lack
of stability, understanding level of technology in the society, unable to compute with the global
technology, and lack of budget are some trends which Ministry worries in external situation. Therefore,
the ministry should give due emphasis on such trends.

#6 does the ministry report about its results, its performance? And does it report about decision making?

Reflection: In general ministry reports its performance and activities by two tools: digital and printed
published material. All respondent`s belief that the ministry reports its results, performance, and decision
making internally as well as externally. Also, they belief that it’s not enough and available for all: For
example in case of print published material, the ministry focused on output only i.e. The ministry (PR
department of the ministry) focused on publishing material, not focused on how many people read it and
what the stakeholder said about material. This implies they are output-oriented communication, not
result-oriented. In focus group discussion one respondent said that:

“There is no means to monitor and evaluate the distribution, accessibility and in general the effectiveness
of published material (printed) in public or stakeholder. We only published and distribute to our branch
and we do not know how much it read.”

When ministry report its performance, result or other activities to their stakeholder, it is important to
collect feedback and other input for further improvement. Reporting itself is not an end; it is the way to
collect information/feedback. Not only this, the ministry also not sure that whether its publication
delivered in right way, for target audience or not. Publishing is not enough in communicating with

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stakeholders. Then, monitoring the performance of publication is most important career in this process. In
case of digitally published materials, it is good and simple to manage and accepting feedback. But, the
problem is about updating and improving website of the ministry. There is no quick website updating and
delivering information on time.

#7 who are experiencing most profit of the ministry? What is their interest? Who are the enablers and
partners for ministry?

Reflection: In general the ministry serves all Ethiopian people. The ministry stakeholders are researchers
and professional associations. This is because they need support and recognition from the ministry. Most
of the time, they ask budget support for research and when they gained new finding they also need
recognition. The ministry has 125 stake holders and 12 affiliate organizations. These, affiliate
organizations are:

1. Ethiopian intellectual property office


2. Ethiopian standardization agency
3. Ethiopian radiation protection authority
4. Ethiopian national accreditation office
5. Ethiopian metrology enterprise
6. Science and technology information center
7. Ethiopia Biotechnology institution
8. Ethiopia space science technology institution
9. Ethiopia institution and Academy of Observatory
10. Ethiopia science academy
11. Addis Ababa Science and Technology University and
12. Adama Science and Technology University

In context of science and technology ministry the above stakeholders are partners, those works with the
ministry constantly. In case of the enablers ministry has supported by some international organization,
such as: Hawaii and South Korean people.

# 8 Do you think that your organization have fair distribution of resource? What do you think about
public relation department resource?

Reflection: On this question respondents reflect two opposite idea. Participants those out of PR
department said “budget is distribute according to the responsibility or work load” then, they said there
is fair distribution of budget in ministry. On the other way, participants those come from PR department
said “there is no fair distribution of budget, we used budget by transferring from other department.”
However, they believed that the condition is now improving. Planning for budget is conducted in the
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ministry at different stage and finally approved by ministry of Finance and Economy. This is the
summarization of budget planning process in the ministry:

3. Budget allocated by ministry of finance and economy

2. Distribution of budget
allocated for directors by
ministry
1. Budget Plan which prepared by
director for ministry

Figure 1: budget planning process in MOST

The above diagram suggests that, the budget approval of the ministry is conducted by another
government organization (Ministry of Finance and Economy). This means, there is a possibility to get as
their plan and not get. If the ministry get according to its plan, it distribute for its department according to
their plan. If not, it might decrease the budget of some department. In case of science and technology
ministry they decrease the PR department budget when such like situation is occurred. As researchers
understand from focus group discussion, there is lack of budget in Ethiopia especially, in government
office at national level. Because of this, ministry restrict PR department from publishing printed material.
This is one consequence on PR department which hinder their work partially.

# 9 what does the ministry want to achieve with key consistency, and how, in the field of strategic
communication/PR?

Reflection: They believe that, in the future every activity in PR department should be open for public that
help them to follow open system of system theory. As they suggest, acting as professional PR, it need to
give more awareness about PR for high level management of the ministry, by increasing the contribution

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of PR effectiveness. Also, they are happy with recent improvement and increasing attention from
management for PR. To empower the department, ministry established the studio and make ready for
work. At the time of this research conducted, the researchers visit the studio, which named as “MOST
STUDIO” and understand the building is ready for work. But, necessary material are not fulfil. In case of
infrastructure for Studio, all materials are on coming and they follow all activities closely with concerned
body.

Logically, as researchers understand from their response, the department has big challenge in the future
for influencing the management body. If the department succeeds by influencing the management, it may
have the following opportunity:

 It have the opportunity to develop the competency of the staffs, by training, education and
experience sharing
 Have relatively enough budget allocation
 Create positive image of the department in the organization
 The performance of the ministry are effective

In short, every success and failure of the ministry is related with communication aspects/PR. So, for
every activities in the organization and around the organization which directly or indirectly affect the
ministry PR department is responsible.

4.3. Interview of the director

The researchers use 8 leading questions to the public relations director of the ministry of science and
technology Ato Mustofa Abdulsemed on December 30, 2010 E.C. These are the response and analysis of
the interview.

# 1. Have you public relations department?

Response: “Yes we have. This is the first key stem need to use it for better performance of the ministry”.
This means on the department level ministry has the PR department as independent department by the
rank of director. They use this department for better performance and effectiveness of the ministry.

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#2. How many staff members do you have? How many of them are public relation Professionals? Do you
think professionalism has contribution for PR career?

Response: Directors` Reflection suggested that, in department there is no enough PR professional which
contribute for the ministry effectiveness. This is his reflection on the question:

We have 8 staff members, out of these 3 of them took the basic public relations training but not more.
Because science and technology needs special knowledge for the fact that it has impact on the
performance of the plan. The government gives annual training for new public relation workers but this
is not enough, so giving further education on the field is essential.

Director believed that, professionalism has contribution for PR career. But, because of low attention from
management, small number staffs and lack of PR professionals/trainers at national level their department
haven`t professional PR practitioners (there is no public relations course especially for science and
technology). However, they have a plan to strength their department by professional training.

#3. What is the role of your department?

Response: as the department is management member, PR has the managerial role. But, there is a question
on their influential role in the management.

The role of our department is managerial role. We are the management member though, trying to be
influential. In the future it needs hard work to be influential. For now we are not as much influential.

#4. Are you working in conducive environment with adequate resources?

Response: He believes that, in department there is conducive environment, but, it is not enough. When
Ato Mustafa explain this:

On this earth there is no full environment. Even though, our resource is digital and all are technologized.
As our ministry is big and serve at national level, these resource and materials are not enough. We need
more yet, ministry provide below our needs. Even if, ministry gives us attention now and supports us by
many things: There is studio, which is already finished and waits for material fulfilment. We are now
become powerful. I hope in the short time we work in conducive and full material of PR department.

# 5. In which way the key values are visible in behavior, actions, and communication?

Response: they are visible in the organization both in behavior and in action.

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Our key values are: Deep interest of learning, Integrity, Industrious base for generation, Open
mindedness. At the first level they are visible by behavior, and then we communicate with employees and
stakeholder, after that they are visible by action. So, our key values are visible by all manners in the
organization and external environment.

Also, he believed that always they are student. They learn from environment, work, boss and colleges.
This is good means for PR work and paved the way for the PR professionalism, which contribute for the
effectiveness of the ministry.

# 6. Do you think your strategic communication has full elements? Are they professionally standardized?

Response: He believed that, above 90% the strategic communication and its elements are enough for the
ministry communication function:

Yes more than 90% are incorporated. But, still they need hard work for effective performance. Directly,
the professionalism of our strategic communication is related with our human resource quality. So, for
further improvement of our strategic communication, we need professionals of this field. Always, there is
a difference between theoretical world and world of work. But, adapting the theories according to our
ministry is our choice. According to our ministry strategic communication is good and somewhat
professional, with the need of improvement.

As the director, PR department of the ministry believed in their work and think that they are professional.
At the same stage they also need improvement. If they have professional PR why they need improvement?
This implies, they do not believe on their professionalism or they are not sure whether they are
professional or not. This is because, they do not know the professional PR or PR competency or they
know but, they are not sure.

# 7. What is the definition of pr/ strategic communication? And what is its function?

Response: In context of the ministry, they see PR as relationship builder between organization and
public. Ministry of science and technology is the government institution which stands or gives service for
all Ethiopian people. According to their definition PR is managing relationship between Ministry of
science and technology and the people. What about stakeholder? Is the stakeholder is included in the
public?

Public relation is managing relationship between the organization and its publics, and its function is to
establish and maintain relationship between the public and the ministry. It also functions as initiator or
motivator in the ministry.

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In the ministry the role of the PR department is restricted. As researchers understand from director
interview, PR has function as relationship manager, motivator and initiator in the ministry. But,
professional PR work as adviser, coaching, facilitators, and generally play a crucial role in the
management of the organization. For such big institution which has many stakeholders and serves large
public this definition is not enough. But, as PR is new developing disciple, its good opportunity and
interesting starting point in the ministry.

# 8. Does your department think in limitations? What are challenges or opportunities for the department?

Response: as director responded, it needs to close to the boss for effective work and think in unlimited
way. He agrees on there is some limitation in the work and in the way of thinking. This may result,
because of the ministry work in the system theory of PR. In system theory every subsystem or individual
in the system is work according to rule and regulation of the organization. This is the answer of the
director:

There are some limitations, our ministry is responsible for the public; we are also responsible for the
public and ministry internally. As we have such big responsibility limitation is not favorable. Sometimes,
if something is occurred in or out of the organization and affect the public, we cannot talk or report for
public. This is because of two things. First, because of many activities/meeting done/held without
participation of PR, the department has no information about the case. Second, all information which
disseminate for public is approved by the top management. So, if they reject we cannot report; if they
approve we report. This is the big challenge for our department. Politics, low economic status of public,
lack of stability in the country, and because of poor awareness, people think us, as image building, but
we are responsible for public. We are not image builder. This is also another challenge. We have many
opportunities in the future: there is studio which is on process to start work, management attention is
somewhat increasing, professionalism is developing in the country (PR), technology and in general the
role of PR is important in the effective performance of the organization is recognized in many
institutions.

PR department of the ministry is work under many challenges and opportunity. As he suggest, every
organization live under challenges and opportunity. Every opportunity has challenges which are equal
with the opportunities or above. To increase the effectiveness of the ministry PR should have to act in
professional way. Understanding the opportunities and challenges are the main strength of the
department. It is not the last task but, good base for further survive of the ministry.

4.4. Interview of other staff members

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In this method the researchers meet 14 staff members in Director of policy and future planning
directorate, stake holders and regions collaboration directorate and director of the minister office (30, 4,
2010 E.C). For all probing questions they gave us different answers. Then, as there are more in numbers,
Researches try to summarized their answer and make analysis as follows.

# 1.what is the vision of the organization?

Response: As respondents reflect, “ministry has two overlapped visions” and other did not know
properly the vision of the ministry. They do only what they have commanded by their Boss and they
believed that the vision is in their work. But, the question is, why these employees did not understand the
vision of the ministry? To answer this questions, the Head of the minister`s general director said:

In our ministry there is high turnover of employees. Many employees are new. Even I do not know them
all. They also did not know the vision of the ministry. But, senior employees know the vision of the
ministry. This is because; there is potential gap on distribution or giving information on the
organizational culture.

This suggested that, PR department is not effective on the internal communication. In principle the owner
of the vision in the organization is only one person. But, it distributed or shared for staff members by
communication. The responsible body of these activities/duties is communication/PR department. This
indicated that, the PR department of the ministry is weak in terms of internal communication.

To summarize the answer of respondents, their answer is analyzed in three ways:

- By commenting the two overlapped visions in the ministry, there is no need to have two visions
while the first vision did not complete its time.
- The vision is the new one, there is no two vision but the time is not bounded and by evaluating
the vision in professional way, it is not time bounded.
- Vision is in the work (we work for the vision). But, they do not know the exact sentence or word
of that vision.

These, three points are the idea which researchers understand from the respondents answer.

2. What are the key values of the organization? Are you behaving as your key values? Why not?

Response: As they respond, not all in all, some of them know all written values of the ministry. But,
others named one, two or three of them only. These suggested, there is weak or poor internal

34
communication in the ministry. If they do not know the values, it is difficult to ask how they behave. If
they know the values, they behave according to the values, but, if not, they do not behave as such.

In short, this is the summarization of their answer:

- To perform accordingly first we have to know the intentional meaning of them.


- They are not well communicated and clarified for internal stakeholder.
- There is effort to internalize values but because of turn over it is not fully implemented.
- Some of them are not easy to understand i.e. they are not clear.

3. How the management and staff members look PR and PR employees?

Response: For many years, PR is seen as propagandist or the mouth of the ministry as some respondents
believe. But, now there is improvement and PR become professional in the ministry. Some employees do
not know the position of the PR and still they have question on their professionalism. Others recognized
as professionals and they do not believe on the importance of PR in the effectiveness of ministry.
Management understands the department as powerless/weak part of the ministry. For more
understanding these are reflection from interview:

- We were seeing them as propagandist but now their stand is not clear (other department
respondents).
- We/They are professionals (PR department and some from other departments’ respondents).
- They are technicians (respondents from other department in the ministry).
- They are not working what is expected from them so; they have to work hard (general director
of the ministry).
- Recently after the director come back they are improving (general director of the ministry).

This suggested, PR department in the ministry is not well organized, powerless, and not professional, has
no managerial role, and weak department. On the role of the department there are two ideas which make
confusion. General direct suggested the department as supporting staff. But, the department director is
seeing the department as management or dominant coalition member. This implies still there is a question
on the role of PR in the department. In short, the management and staff members understanding on PR is
not good, but, on improvement. To foster this, all PR practitioners have to work hard and make them
influential.

4. Which issue is dominant in informal talks in the office?

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Response: Informal talks is the communication between employees in unregularly way. This way, there
are many issues which rose in the ministry. Some of them are issues about the salary, transport problem,
benefits, facilities, jobs and current issues on the national and international levels. The following are the
answer of the respondents:

- About management meeting, function, strength and weakness of the leaders.


- Some political and economic issues of the country/national current issue.
- About new policy on job evaluation and grading reform (JEG).
- Transport/service problem.
- Salary, further education, and training.

This response suggest that informally the staff raise different issues stated above that directly or indirectly
concerned with their own life, also issues about the MoST and country which need solutions, to create
good working environment. These informal talks create good opportunity for PR practitioners to
understand the satisfaction of the employees in the ministry and report to the top management for
effective internal communication.

5. Does the organization report about its results, performances, internal and external decisions?

As they suggest the ministry has report its activities for all stakeholder at different level by different
tools. At the management level they communicate by meeting in a week, for internal
stakeholder/employees ministry report through 1-5 groups which created for the team work in the
ministry. For external stakeholder, ministry reports its performance through different communication
tools. These are: magazines, exhibition (digital way), brochures, broadcast media (Fana TV/ radio, EBC,
Walta information center) and print media (Addis Zemen and reporter newspaper). Also, they report
through web page: such as, Facebook, official website, twitter, and google plus. In the future, ministry
tries to have its own broadcast media and finalized the installation of necessary materials for the new
studio. This enable ministry PR department to disseminate the accurate information to target publics.

On the reporting ministry performance and result the Minister Office general director reflect the
following idea:

We report only result. We don`t want to publicize unfinished project for public. Now we have many
projects but, until we finished we does not report for public. We believed in result.
6. Who are your main stake holders? What is their interest?

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Response: Some Ministry employees believed that, the ministry main stakeholder are researchers. This is
because they need recognition and technical support from ministry. Others believed that, talented and
innovators individuals are the main stakeholders of the ministry. The following is the reflection from
one respondent from policy and future plan directorates:

Our main stake holders are Universities, Researchers, professional associations and their need
is financial and professional support, recognition and further education.
7. In which way the organization experiences a two way influence process in contact with the
stakeholders?

Response: All employees believed there are two way influential processes with stake holders. But there
is limitation of knowledge according to the new technology need. But they will work together in all
processes of annual planning.

The ministry discuss with stake periodically and in time of planning and evaluating (when the budget
year’s planning, quarterly and half year evaluation times.)
8. What kind of communication do you think is needed?

Response: Most of the employees said now we are working hard and there are many things to publicize
but we keep quiet. And some of them said we are trying to address through different channels even if it is
not on suitable time to address more audience. In short, they respond as such:

We are working on science cafes to reach around their area and try to attract youngsters and interested
public to work on science and technology. It has to be in better way which we can address public. It will
be better when our own satellite transmission starts.

Generally, the ministry needs to create public sphere for in depth interaction with the public for mutual
benefit of the ministry and the people.

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CHAPTER FIVE:

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1. Conclusion
After a long serious of critical analysis of the findings like content of Magazine, in-depth interview with
PR director, employees interview and focus group discussion the researchers draw the conclusion
as such:
1. Ministry of Science and Technology has no full strategic communication elements or eight building
block of .Prof. Van Ruler.
2. The ministry employed the old model of communication which is characterized by sender →
Message → Receiver model most of the time through mass media, social media, website, and print
media.
3. Their strategic communication frame has only three clear building blocks. They are also not
professionally standardized. Their building blocks are mission that is professionally ought to be
ambition, the vision is also incorporated but the organization has two visions which must be one
stressing from professional standard view. Because it is basic philosophical element of strategic
communication. Besides, organizational values are also included on behalf of accountability. Because
in light of public relations science and professional standard of Van Ruler key values and key targets
should be categorized under accountability building block. Other elements are not included.
4. In the Ministry of Science and Technology one cannot found full implementation of social theory
concepts in their strategic communication for the reason that their communication model is
predominantly linear or one way communication. In addition, in that ministry organization is central
and communication is part of it which is indicator and major concern of system theory.
5. In that ministry many employees consider PR department as professionals with technician roles like:
facilitators, stage spokesperson, and reporters which is ought to be facilitator, adviser, coaching,
monitoring, evaluation, and managerial.
6. PR department is member of the management in the ministry. But the management considers it as a
weak department. The attitude of the management towards the PR department should be positive to
empower PR to play managerial roles for the success of the ministry.
7. Internal communication is not this much strong in the ministry. Though, it has advantage for the
Organization to create harmonious relationship among employees, reduce complain, create good team
work sprit, and build mutual understanding among employees and top management.
8. Lack of knowledge of technology in the society, poor coordination, and network with stakeholders,
the difference in needs of the society and the mandate of the ministry, and performance to societal
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satisfaction and ineffective communications are some trends, developments, and issues that have
impact on the Organization.
9. The society accept the ministry with great respect more than the actual status of because of its great
name without understanding the detailed activity of the Organization that must be proportional.
10. Even though, professionalism contributes a lot for success of the ministry, it has lack of public
relations professionals.

5.2. Recommendation
Based on analysis of data the researchers forwarded the following recommendation:

 Ministry of science and technology strategic communication must have eight building blocks
of Van Ruler.
 The ministry should follow modern communication models and better if it priorities
reflective model on place of sender-message- receiver model which is the oldest one for
mutual benefit of the organization and the public.
 In this ministry social theory must be theoretical frame work in order to increase community
participation in its strategic communication for building trust and long lasting reputation on
behalf of system theory which is centralized in sense.
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 PR department of the ministry should play managerial roles such as facilitator, advising,
coaching, counseling, planning and management the technical roles with full recognition by
top management and employees.
 PR department must be empowered and influential among management members for the seek
of its success and progress.
 Internal communication of the ministry should be strengthened to create good relationship
among employees, reduce complain, establish good team work sprit and build mutual
understanding among employees and top management as organizational central nervous
system.
 The ministry must analyze and predict the impact of some trends, developments, and issues
in its strategic communication critically
 The social acceptance and recognition of the ministry should be proportional and mutual
benefit relation based.
 PR department of the ministry is better if it is dominated by professionals and fulfill the skill
gaps of existing employees by training and further education.
 Other researchers must conduct further research for deep rooted understanding of potential
weakness of the ministry’s strategic communication with ambition of upgrading it for
organizational effectiveness using this one as stepping stone.
 The researchers should do constructive proposal for improvement of public relation and
strategic communication in ministry of science and technology.

Reference

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Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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Praeger

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Oyvind Ihlen, B. Van Ruler, and M. Fredriksson. 2009. Public relation and social theory: key figures
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Rice University: http://glasscock.rice.edu/blog/
Source: Lidiya K, Creator of Let's Reach Success .2013-2017. https://letsreachsuccess.com/strategic-
communication/ -Online course
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Darden School of Business.
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elements- on line lecture

Appendix
A. Question for focus group discussion
1. What is inspiring you in the ministry, its management, its staff members, its employees?
2. How you perceive public relation department and employees? What about the management?
3. What is going on in the ministry? Which issues are dominant in informal talks/communication?
4. What are the functions of internal communication?
5. Which trends, development, issues in society can have impact on the organization? How a society
knows and accepts your organization? About which trend ministry worries in external situation?
6. Does the ministry report about its results, its performance? And does it report about decision
making, internally as well as externally?
7. Who are experiencing most profit of the ministry? What is their interest? Who are the enablers
and partners for ministry?
8. Do you think that your organization have fair distribution of resource? What do you think about
public relation department resource?
9. What does the ministry want to achieve with key consistency, and how, in the field of strategic
communication/PR?

B. Interview for the director


1. Have you public relations department?
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2. How many staff member do you have? How many of them are professionals? Do you think
professionalism has contribution for PR carrier?
3. What is the role of your department in ministry? Are you member of management? If so, are you
influential?
4. Are you working in a conducive environment with adequate resource?
5. What are the key values of the ministry? In which way the key values are visible? In behavior, in
action, and communication?
6. Do you think your strategic communication have full elements? If it is not, why?
7. Do you think it imposes negative impact on your strategic communication?
8. Do you think the elements of your strategic communication are professionally standardized?
9. What is the definition of excellence in strategic communication from organizational point of
view?
10. Does the organization think in limitations or in challenges and opportunities?

C. For PR and other department staffs


1. What is the vision of the ministry?
2. What are the key values of the ministry? Are you behaving as your key value says? If not why?
3. What kind of communication do you think is needed?
4. Which other organization are attractive for the ministry because of its communication?
5. In which way communication can add value to the position of the organization in society?
6. How the management and staff members are seeing pr and pr employees?
7. Do you think the PR dept. has been achieving its intended key targets or goals? If so, how do you
confirm it? If not, what hinders you from achieving your goals?
8. Which issue is dominant in informal talks in office?
9. What about the 4ps of so called corporate silence?
10. Does the organization report about its results, performance, internal and external decision?
11. Who are experiencing most profit of the organization? What is their interest?
12. In which way the organization experiences two way influence process in contact with the
stakeholders?

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