As the major public relations organization and information center of Thailand, the Government Public Relations Department (PRD) has carried out both domestic and international public relations work. As for international public relations, the Foreign Office serves as the core agency in working out policy and planning for conducting various activities in cooperation with other PRD agencies, namely NBT Radio (Radio Thailand), NBT Television, National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT), Regional Public Relations Offices 1-8, and Provincial Public Relations Offices. Its mission is to promote better understanding of the Government’s policies and strategies in the world community through information dissemination and foreign media relations activities.
The Foreign Office is also in charge of promoting international cooperation and developing media networks with various countries, especially those in neighboring countries. The objective is to enhance Thailand’s role in the international arena.
PRD international public relations consist of two principal activities:
- Public relations activities, which include foreign media relations activities, press conferences, information services on the website <http://thailand.prd.go.th>, and other English publications about Thailand.
- International cooperation activities, which are carried out through various cooperation frameworks:
(1) Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
ASEAN was established in Bangkok on 8 August 1967, when the five founding member states, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, signed the Bangkok Declaration. The declaration set the aims and principles of ASEAN as the acceleration of economic growth, social progress, and cultural development, the promotion of regional peace and stability, the promotion of active collaboration and mutual assistance in various fields, and the maintenance of close and beneficial cooperation with international and regional organizations. The ASEAN Secretariat is located in Jakarta, Indonesia.
PRD conducts media and information activities jointly with the Ministry of Culture and the ASEAN National Secretariat, with the Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as coordinator. It takes part in meetings of the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information.
(2) United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
UNESCO was created on 4 November 1946 to build lasting world peace based on the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind. Its areas of work are education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication. UNESCO now consists of 192 member countries and its headquarters is located in Paris, France.
The Thai government established the National UNESCO Committee, chaired by the Minister of Education, with the Permanent Secretary for Education as vice chairperson, and the Deputy Permanent Secretary for Education in charge of external relations as secretary-general. The External Relations Division under the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Education serves as a coordinating agency.
The PRD Director-General serves as Chairman of the UNESCO National Committee on Mass Communication to supervise UNESCO activities concerning mass communication.
(3) Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD)
Founded on 12 August 1977 in Kuala Lumpur, with Malaysia endorsed as the host country, AIBD services countries of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in the field of electronic media development. Its objectives are to promote professionalism in electronic media in the Asia and Pacific region, to provide an Asia-Pacific regional platform for dialogue in electronic media policies and development, and to encourage member countries to utilize AIBD for consultancy in media matters.
Thailand, through the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT), the broadcasting arm of PRD, is a founding member of AIBD. TV Pool of Thailand (TPT) is another full member, while Thai PBS is an affiliate member. NBT has participated in the AIBD General Conference and has hosted several important AIBD meetings as well as workshops.
Apart from being elected as a member of the AIBD Executive Board, it has also joined the Strategic Plan Team.
(4) Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU)
ABU is a non-profit, non-government, professional association of broadcasting organizations, formed in 1964 to facilitate the development of broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific region and to organize cooperative activities among its members. It currently has over 194 members in 57 countries, reaching a potential audience of about three billion people.
The ABU provides a forum for promoting the collective interests of television and radio broadcasters, and encourages regional and international co-operation between broadcasters. The ABU Secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
PRD, through NBT, has participated in ABU as a full member since the establishment of ABU in 1964.
(5) International Cooperation under Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)
Thailand, through PRD, has signed MOUs in the fields of broadcasting, news exchange, information, and communication with 10 media organizations:
- Information Office of Brunei Darussalam
- Radio Television of Brunei Darussalam
- Radio Broadcasting of Brunei Darussalam FM 95.9 and 96.9
- Ministry of Information of Cambodia
- China Radio International (CRI)
- State Administration Radio Film and Television, Yunnan, People’s Republic of China
- Radio Australia
- State Administration Radio Film and Television, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China
- Vietnam News Agency (VNA)
- Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV)