It’s 39 days into 2017 already. As it stands, the personal/professionals plans and resolutions made for the year are in full gear. To all intents, I can tell you that it is a year, where many envisage great initiatives and executions. For most PR/Communications professionals like myself, the early part of the year has been expended on strategy and execution sessions.
I must hasten to also add that like every new year, some professionals will seek to take a “great leap” – the situation where professionals, old or new make their next move or seek to land a job in Ghana’s PR industry. For the former, it is often a familiar undertaking but for new entrants, who may have come out of school or seeking a career change, it becomes a rough sea to navigate.
To assist the latter category with some information on what they need to know before getting a job in Ghana’s fledgling PR industry, I sampled views from some established PR/Communications professionals.
Cyrus deGraft Johnson, Corporate Affairs Manager, Accra Brewery Limited
“PR isn’t only about Media Relations. It goes beyond that. Build relationships within the media landscape. Lies can and should never be part of your narrative, no matter the circumstance. If you happen to find yourself among the dominant coalition, always make your case clear and concise if you want to be taken serious.”
Eunice Asantewaa Asante, Programme Assistant, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations
Richard Ahiagble, Head of Corporate Communications, Airtel Ghana Limited
“Develop a network of influencers not only in the media but across stakeholders. Most of what you do is influencing people. These will be great resources when you have your back against the ropes.
Also understand how the media works in Ghana. You won’t survive your first 100 days if you don’t. Writing and editing skills are your best pals. Irrespective of what level you work, you will do about 90% of the writing.”
Joyce Sackitey-Ahiadorme, Country Sustainability & Community Affairs Manager, Voltic (GH) Limited
“Be interested in your industry since most of the work demands the practitioner to communicate on behalf of the company. There’s the need to learn all the facts, processes and procedures of the company. This helps you to fully communicate efficiency and be prepared anytime. You must look beyond just communicating and understand the key issues in Sustainable Development which matter to your organization; because institutions are concentrating on delivering Corporate Social Investments to enhance their reputation.”
Stephen Boadi, Head of Digital Marketing (Africa), PZ Cussons
“In our digital age, a good knowledge and understanding of the digital landscape and familiarity with listening tool is essential. Also, familiarity with crisis management models and the impact of online is also key.”
Michael Sarpong Bruce, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Tigo Ghana
“PR is extremely rewarding but also challenging. It is a high-stakes industry driven by results and you’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game to the table. Often, I tell friends and colleagues to develop a thick skin, because, the organisation or client you work for will be counting on you. The industry requires multi-tasking and quick thinking; don’t take things too personal. Prepare, prepare well, stay positive and reliable.”
David Appiah, Public Relations Officer, Huawei Technologies (Ghana) S.A Limited
“You should be good with Marketing Communications and understand how you can support Marketing and Sales with PR campaigns. Good writing and presentation skills with a key knowledge in putting together a power point presentation is also essential.”