Public Relations and Publicity

The Information and Public Relations Section (IPRS) plays an instrumental role in the dissemination of information and the promotion of the Department's services, facilities and programmes. To facilitate media coverage and increase the transparency of the Department's work, the IPRS issued 2 168 press releases, arranged 127 press visits, and hosted 82 press conferences and media briefings in 2008-09.

Disseminating government information through press conferences is one of the key roles played by the IPRS.

The IPRS is also responsible for the planning and implementation of the Department's promotional/educational campaigns and serves as the executive agent and co-ordinator for the advertising of events. For example, throughout the year, the Section continued to use the 'McDull' cartoon piglet, which is much-loved by children, to drive home the message of the 'Keep Swimming Pools Clean' campaign. The IPRS also provides creative and photographic service support for the production of publications and publicity materials, such as posters, outdoor displays and exhibitions, as well as television and radio announcements and commercials.

This colourful 'Wish Making Corner' at an Olympic Live Site in Sha Tin Park, which was heavily visited during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, was designed by the Design Team of the IPRS.

The major publications produced during the year included an e-version of the Department's Annual Report, which outlines its functions and development; a quarterly staff bulletin to enhance internal relations amongst its 8 800 staff members; and a magazine designed to promote community sports participation and cultivate a sense of belonging amongst the Community Sports Clubs.

To reach out to the ever-increasing Internet population, the Department maintains an informative website on which the public can gain firsthand information about its many services and facilities, leisure and cultural programmes, publications, application forms and tender notices. With a total of 310 597 482 page views in 2008-09, the Department's website ranks fourth amongst all government websites in Hong Kong. Weekly highlights of major activities in the form of an e-magazine are emailed directly to subscribers, whose numbers had reached 170 561 by the end of the financial year.

The Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games were the first to be held on Chinese soil. Hong Kong had the honour of co-hosting the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian Events, and the HKSAR Government collaborated with the Beijing Games organising committee to provide full support for the staging of these events. The LCSD also staged a series of Olympic-related events, including the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay in Hong Kong, a number of Olympic Live Sites and free admission to LCSD leisure facilities. The IPRS joined hands with colleagues from the LCSD and other government departments/organisations to promote and publicise these events with a view to encouraging mass community participation.

In the event of such emergencies as typhoons, IPRS officers are deployed to operate the Emergency Information Centre and issue announcements to keep the public informed of the current status of LCSD programmes and activities.
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