The purpose of Government Communication is to provide citizens with information about Government actions, policies and objectives as well as reasoning them.
Communication is always a two-way street – the government communicates with the public and takes into consideration the positions of citizens. Our activities are based on respect for the Estonian constitution. We operate on the basis of and in conformity to legislation. As public servants we are in the service of citizens and communicating with them is our duty.
Core values of government communication
Every government action has results that affect citizens, companies and organizations, society and the international community. Thus communication must be part of every government activity from planning to final implementation.
Objectives of communications at government bodies:
- to explain to the public the government’s goals, decisions, actions and activities
- to keep people up to date with their rights and obligations
- give them instructions for how to act in the case of an emergency
- to increase awareness of public administration
Read more in the Government Communication Handbook (1.17 MB, PDF)
Government communication is neutral
One of the key principles of government communication is neutrality. We do not justify or support government policies with partisan political rhetoric or talk of any politician as “belonging to” or “being a member of” any political party. We make reference to only the uniform government policy.
Communications are part of Governance
The head of every government body is responsible for planning, organizing and evaluating the agency’s communications and is the primary spokesperson for his or her agency. The head of the agency is responsible for creating a position of communications specialist or communications unit. The need for communication must be taken into consideration in planning personnel and budget issues at the government body
Fields of Government Communication
- Developing aligned Government Communication
The purpose of Government Communication Unit is to ensure that people get comprehensive and clear information regarding the actions of the government and governmental authorities. The Government Communication Unit coordinates the communication and principles of ministries and is also training officials working in the field.
- Developing common visual identity for governmental authorities
The introduction of a common visual identity helps to make the Government communication more coherent and supports the principle that the governmental authorities are working as a cohesive team at the service of the citizens. A common visual identity makes communication with the citizens more clear, since the design and using style of the logos is integrated.
- Communication of Estonia's European Union PolicyThe task of the government is to notify people of Estonia’s goals and activities in the European Union and rights and responsibilities related to European Union membership. Government communication also supports the participation of citizens in decision-making in the European Union.
- Developing of crisis communication
A crisis may be caused by a natural event (such as storm, flood, epidemic, drought) or human activity (environmental pollution, disorders, extensive infrastructure disturbances, alerts, war). Crisis communication involves more than informing the public. Crisis communication also includes risk and internal communication and information exchange between agencies, companies, non-governmental organizations and media organizations that react to the situation.
- Communication of the work of the government
The decisions made at each government sitting must be justified, clear and comprehensible. Already at the beginning of the drafting process at the ministry, it should be thought through and documented how the draft legal act should be defended, why the decision is necessary, who it impacts and what its effect is, and what expenses and revenue are related to it, etc.