With the issue of low uptake of standards in the Ugandan economy re-emerging, International Standards Organisation (ISO) and Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) have come face-to-face to tackle the problem.
ISO, a network of national bodies from 160 countries, is training standards developers, communications and marketing experts from over 20 countries in Kampala on how best to sell standards to businesses.
UNBS admitted yesterday that public relations and standards developers on their own are unable to sell these quality requirements among businesses.
“The sale of standards is under the Standards Development department. We have a marketing and communications strategy in place but at times, we are not well aligned in terms of emphasis put on sell of standards because the mandate is huge when it comes to covering the whole institution,” Mr Godwin Muhwezi, UNBS public relations officer said.
Ms Katie Bird, head of communications ISO, said standards bodies have reported challenges over pricing and visibility of quality requirements.
“Many people feel standards should be free and are too expensive and this brings us back to the conversations on value. It is our job as marketers to get standards users to understand the value of those documents,” she said.
Ms Bird added: “We need to concentrate on getting end-users of standards to help us in that communication. One of the most convincing things is to have testimonials and create larger networks so that it is not just the standards bodies but end users too. We need to be using communications channels such as social media so they can tell the story for us.”
Though unattractive for businesses, standards offer best practices or guidelines of delivering products and services to the market.