Brief History of the Public Relations Department (PRD)
Originally called the Publicity Division, the Government Public Relations Department (PRD) was established on 3 May 1933, almost one year after Thailand had changed its administrative system from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. It was given the unique status of a special agency under the control of the Cabinet and acted somewhat like today’s government spokesman. The agency was entrusted to create better understanding about democratic administration and parliamentary democracy among the public. On 9 December 1933, it was upgraded to the Publicity Office and was later given the status of a department. From this modest start, the office grew rapidly and its name was changed to the Public Relations Department on 8 March 1952 Functions PRD is under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office. Its mission is to inform the public, both local and foreign, of the Thai governments policies and activities, while reflecting the peoples needs and concerns. It also creates a bridge of understanding between the government and the people, as well as the international community
As a Public Relations and Media Policy Planner The PRD National Policy and Planning Development Office serves as the Secretariat of the National Public Relations Committee, which gives advice on public relations to all government agencies, and at the same time monitors and evaluates public relations projects implemented by them. It also conducts public relations campaigns on national agenda items.
As PR and Media Training Center
The PRD Institute of Public Relations, Broadcasting and Mass Communication offers in-house training and arranges training programmes on public relations and media for other government agencies and general public. As a Multi-Media Operator PRD operates the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT). NBT Radio (Radio Thailand) handles AM and FM bands for local listening and short-wave frequencies for overseas listeners. Its services are also available online. Programs in dialects for tribal groups are also presented to suit audiences in different areas. Radio Thailand World Service now broadcasts in 10 languages, namely English, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Myanmar, Lao, Vietnamese, Khmer, Malaysian, and Thai. NBT Television has its main station in Bangkok and operates 12 television networks, covering all regions of Thailand. It has also added new media outlets in order to expand the service to a wider audience, including online television and social network. NBT World, Thailand’s national English-language television services, offers a variety of programs ranging from news, current affairs, and talk shows to documentaries. It now reaches viewers around the globe via satellite television and the Thai TV Global Network. Audiences can also access its services anywhere, anytime, online and on smart phones, as well as international airports in Thailand. Foreign audiences can find out more about Thailand through PRD publications and web sites (http://thailand.prd.go.th and http://thainews.prd.go.th). PRD also has considerable interface with the print media. It issues press cards for journalists, both domestic and foreign. As a Public Relations Network PRD has its headquarters in Bangkok and has eight public relations centers in different parts of the country. These public relations centers oversee radio and television broadcasting to suit the needs of the local people. There are public relations offices in all provinces to assist the provincial administrations.
The PRD Foreign Office is the core agency for conducting international public relations through various media and activities to create a favorable image of the Thai government. It facilitates the operations of members of the foreign media based in Thailand and cooperates with media organizations throughout the world. PRD plays an active role in implementing programs under the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), the Southeast Asia-Pacific Audio Visual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA), and the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA). PRD has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) in the fields of broadcasting, news exchange, information, and communication with several foreign media organizations.
Transition to Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting
As a broadcasting network provider, PRD is in the process of switching from analog to digital terrestrial television broadcasting services, in accordance with the Broadcasting Master Plan of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). It has worked out a plan to develop the digital system to cover at least 95 percent of all households nationwide. PRD’s analog switch off is scheduled by the end of 2017.