Barbadians now have a new range of ways to access relevant information and share their opinions, with the social media launch of the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS), this morning.
Hosted at Almond Bay, Hastings Christ Church, the event signalled a move which will see BGIS??? upgraded website and existing YouTube channel joined by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Acting Chief Information Officer (CIO), Sharon Lynch, said that this step ???will allow us to cater to a wider demographic and fill some gaps. For example, the area of feedback???on our BGIS productions and other trending subjects. Our Facebook page will be an interactive companion to our website, giving us greater control over the dissemination of our own material and [offering] additional opportunities to advertise our radio and television programmes.???
The BGIS Chief noted that while the Facebook page will feature tips on health, hurricane awareness, recycling, cultural information and opinion polls, among other themes, the YouTube channel features many of the programmes that are aired on CBC, as well as special web features, with a BGIS YouTube newscast to be launched in the coming weeks.
???We also envisage the effective use of Facebook and Twitter in times of emergency,??? Ms. Lynch said, noting that time-sensitive information, from the closure of a school to a hurricane update, would be facilitated with these social media platforms.
The CIO observed that this social media boost would serve both the local population and those beyond Barbados??? shores.
She added: ???We???ve had a significant increase in the number of questions originating locally and from the wider diaspora about Government???s policies. This has led us to create a section of answers to frequently asked questions. We hope that eventually we???ll be able to offer a full directory of government???s services on our website.???
The event also served to officially launch the BGIS??? Pride and Industry campaign, which the CIO described as a ???nation building project, in which we remind Barbadians that we must all play our part in uplifting our country and aiding in its growth and development. We will be highlighting Government???s activities in the productive sector, that earn and save foreign exchange, while presenting topics such as creating your own kitchen garden, energy saving and buying local.???
She explained that all of the BGIS??? efforts were aimed at creating greater engagement between government and the general public. ???We want to make Government information more accessible and present it more attractively,??? Ms. Lynch said.
The CIO expressed her gratitude to the BGIS staff, especially the members of the Social Media Section, for increasing the organisation???s reach through this endeavour.??