The Public Relations Office (PRO), a branch of the Colonial Secretary's Office (CSO), was responsible for all publicity work required by the government and its departments. It acted as the spokesman for the government, carrying out all publicity work which included exhibition, campaigns and the production of posters, booklets, pamphlets and films. It also kept the government informed of public opinion on government policy and action and of current world affairs.
The PRO became a separate department when it was divorced from the CSO at the end of 1952. Its function as spokesman for the government remained unchanged. The PRO was responsible to the government for administrative, financial and executive control of all public relations matters in the Colony of Singapore, the islands around the Colony and Christmas and Cocos - Keeling Islands. The Department consisted of the following sections: Administrative, Press, Publicity, Exhibition, Translation.
In 1955, Singapore changed over from a Crown Colony to a Constitutional Government. The two main tasks of the PRO, then, were to explain to the public the importance of the changes and to promote and publicize the policies of the newly - appointed Ministers. The administration of the PRO was included in the portfolio of the Chief Secretary with Public Relations Officer acting as the spokesman of the Chief Minister. To strengthen this essential link, a Press Liaison Officer was appointed in the PRO and posted to the Chief Minister's Office for direct assistance to him in his contact with the press. Similarly, direct links were maintained with other ministries.
In 1956, the PRO was reorganised to consist of the following sections: Press , Publicity , Exhibition , Field , Translation.
In Jan 1957, the PRO was renamed the "Department of Information Service".