Businesses must adopt effective communication and public relations – Cynthia Lumor

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Cynthia Lumor

The Corporate Services Executive of MTN Ghana, Cynthia Lumor, has urged aspiring Executives and CEOs to see corporate communications and public relations as integral parts of a business,
According to her, they contribute positively to business success and sustainability by building internal and external goodwill for sustained competitive and business advantage.

Sharing insights during the breakout session of the 2017 Festival of Ideas organized by Legacy and Legacy in Accra, Mrs. Lumor stated that corporate communications and public relations should be part of a well-planned, well executed, cohesive integrated communications strategy seeking to link organizations with identified stakeholders.

“The decision by customers to patronize a company’s products and services, as well as investment, regulatory and policy decisions are hugely influenced by credibility and trust, which are built over time and influenced by stakeholder experience with a company’s actions and communications,” she said. She emphasized the need to develop an effective, well-thought out plan that fits within the goals of the organisation, with clear timelines and monitoring, metrics for measurement, and the flexibility for adjustment where necessary.

“Knowing your business, understanding the company’s vision, goals and strategy, as well as the broader industry and the needs and expectations of stakeholders is extremely important; that knowledge will drive the relevance and effectiveness of your communications and PR strategy,” Mrs. Lumor stated.

She advised communications practitioners to be proactive in the anticipation and identification of issues, to better implement mitigation plans before they turn into crises. Reiterating the importance of crisis management planning, she stated that a good crisis management plan includes comprehensive analyses and plans for possible and potential crises. “Treat it as a living document that needs to be examined frequently. Additionally, when there is a crisis elsewhere – in another company, another industry, another country, another region – consider if it could happen with your company and if you have an effective plan in place,” she said.

In the area of employee communications, Mrs Lumor said employees are every company’s best ambassadors, thus it is important to engage them effectively and frequently. “They must understand the company’s vision, goals and strategy and the part they play in achieving them. Factor them in the rollout plan of all your communications activities and the results will be phenomenal.”

Source: Edward Adjei Frimpong l thebftonline.com

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IPR Ghana elections slated for October

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The Institute of Public Relations (IPR), Ghana, has fixed Friday, October 20, 2017 for the election of officers for its council during its 24th Annual General Meeting slated for Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
Nominations for the various positions: president, vice-president, honorary secretary, deputy honorary secretary and treasurer opened on Monday, August 7, 2017, and will close on Monday, August 28, 2017 at 4 p.m.

Statement

In a statement signed by the Chairman of the IPR Electoral Committee, Mr Charles Nii Ayiku Ayiku, the institute explained that in accordance with Article VIII (2) of the IPR Constitution and Article V (2) (b &c) of its bye-laws, “Only members in good standing shall have the right to vote. This includes affiliate, associate and accredited members.”

The statement asked members desiring to offer themselves for election to any of the council offices to collect nomination forms from the secretariat or request soft copies to be emailed to them.

“Current officers are eligible to serve another term in office and thus are eligible for re-nomination except for the position of the honorary secretary where the current occupant has served the maximum two terms and cannot serve in the same office,” the statement added.

Source: Daily Graphic

Government PR must seek to mobilize all behind it’s vision – Gayheart Mensah

 

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Gayheart Edem Mensah

Public Relations (PR) Personality of the Year 2016, Gayheart Edem Mensah, has suggested that one of the key roles of Government PR is to mobilize Ghanaians behind the vision and major objectives of the government. That, he believes, is an area where the PR Machinery of successive governments have struggled to deliver on.

Speaking on YFM’s Ryse N Shyne programme, Gayheart, who is Vodafone Ghana’s External Affairs and Legal Director, called on the managers of the government’s PR to undertake to deepen Ghanaians’ understanding of government’s vision for the country, particularly for the key sectors which drive growth and development. That he believes is the surest way to obtain the support and contribution of the ordinary Ghanaian to the attainment of the country’s vision.

“I am persuaded that today, a huge chunk of the youth, workers and the middle class in Ghana know next to nothing about the vision of government beyond campaign promises. At best, what you will get from them, should they be asked about the government’s vision for the country, is likely to be diverse views.”

He said he was willing to be a member of a team from the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) to support the government in this effort at mobilising all behind the endeavours at attaining a commonly articulated vision for Ghana.
“That will be a source of motivation and empowerment for Ghanaians to contribute to the success of our country”.

The IPR Personality of the Year said he was looking to draw on his vast experience in PR practice across mainstream media, manufacturing, banking and finance, oil and gas, the telecommunications sector and academia in documenting practical PR approaches and solutions to serve as a guide to upcoming PR practitioners and students.

“I look forward to making insightful, informed and practical submissions to help the PR profession, organisations and government communication machinery to deliver value through the application of PR solutions.

On how PR practitioners can remain relevant to their organizations, Mr. Mensah said they need to acquire the relevant skills and competencies that are in demand in the changing world of the profession. “The knowledge of how to develop, implement and monitor various PR strategic interventions that contribute to achieving an organization’s objectives is critical. So is stakeholder mapping and analysis in order to better understand your organization’s publics and deploy effective and impactful channels and messages to reach them.”

Gayheart is a sought-after speaker on Public Relations themes and has, in the year under reference, shared ideas on various PR topics at the Philanthropy Forum, the Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) and forums of the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP). Gayheart has also been a regular speaker at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), an adjunct lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).

He is also a resource person for the IPR Accreditation Courses.

Aside his 13 years of practice as a journalist, Gayheart has practised Public Relations at senior management level across four different companies – Unilever Ghana (4 years), Barclays (5 years), Tullow Oil (3 years in Ghana and 2 years in London) and over 3 years at Vodafone Ghana.

The Institute of Public Relations (IPR) is the professional body for Public Relations practitioners in Ghana. It exists to provide a professional development, structure and the requisite recognition for the practice of Public Relations across the country. The IPR last year adjudged Gayheart the best PR Practitioner for the year.

Source: Ghanaweb.com

Institute of Public Relations launches Communications Excellence Awards

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The Institute of Public Relations Ghana has launched its National PR and Communications Excellence Awards 2017.

The National PR and Communications Excellence Awards are opened to all parties involved in the use of PR and Communications; PR consultancies, free lancers, in house communications departments, Government and Non-Government agencies and media owners.

A press statement issued and signed by Henry Nii Dottey, Secretary, said IPR introduced the new award categories to reflect the ever-expanding communications eco-system.

He mentioned the new exciting categories as communicator of the year, internal communicator of the year, crisis communicator of the year, best in house team as well as digital and social media campaign of the year.

Mr Dottey stated the PR campaign of the year awards, PR consultancy of the year, PR organisation of the year for the commercial, Financial and Public sectors of Ghana.

Other categories include best community relations programme of the year as well as the most outstanding young professionals of the year as the already existing awards.

The programme would commence for entities on Monday 17th July to Friday 25th August 2017.

He added that winning entries would be announced at a dinner and dance ceremony at the State House on November 17.

Source: GNA

The next generation of women in PR: Embrace change, distinguish yourself and go digital

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Though there are no available statistics, let’s be honest, public relations is a profession dominated by women in Ghana. They are found at multinational and indigenous firms across the country.

Over the weekend, I had the honour of listening to women executives in the public relations industry at the inaugural ‘Women in PR Ghana’ seminarorganised in Accra by E’April Public Relations in partnership with the Institute of Public Relations, Ghana.

The event was such a huge success, thanks to the great line-up of speakers that were able to share their experiences and gave attendees an insight into the world of PR they may not find in university lecture halls.

Attendees were told that the PR industry is growing in size and scope — the work is even becoming more complex and challenging. As the future holds lots of opportunities, the enthusiastic participants were also counselled to adapt to the changing environment.

“PR is everything. It’s not necessarily what you’ve read in a textbook. Everybody likes working with people who can deliver,” Gifty Bingley, an award-winning communications and public relations leader with over 15-years of experience in telecommunications, government and broadcast media organisations, told the participants.

Engaging the participants on how to transition from any career into PR, Ms Bingley, said: “In aspiring to go into PR, do a SWOT analysis before transitioning into PR; get expert advice, look at various PR roles and requirements, look for things that will keep you busy, focus on your strengths and focus on the rest which you think are threats.”

Ms. Bingley, who landed her first PR job at the British High Commission in Ghana, advised the next generation of PR women to distinguish and differentiate themselves. “Do not leave your competence in question. When you get into the job market, ace it and kill it. PR pays well when you are able to show that you can deliver value for money.”

Speaking on digital PR, Cynthia Ofori-Dwumfuo, a PR business leader for Ogilvy & Mather Ghana, an integrated communications agency, highlighted the need for women in PR to build a digital arsenal. “Digital is now PR; be creative and innovative and tell a story because people like stories.”

Based on her vast experience in communications, Ms Ofori-Dwumfuo explained that PR is about adapting, adding that PR people need to put extra value on the table through digital measurement.

“Digital is organic; it just happens. But you need to understand the risk and be open minded. You also must know the digital channel to help you define what you want to do I your PR activities. You need to know your reputation goals with online PR,” says Ms Ofori-Dwumfuo.

Urging the attendees to classify their online audience properly, she explained that engagement on digital platforms is queen and PR people cannot afford to lose that.

During a panel discussion moderated by a communications professional with Stratcomm Africa, Ms. Akosua Ogyiri Kwafo, panellists including the Sustainability and Community Affairs Manager, Voltic Ghana; Ms Joyce Ahiadorme, the Head of PR Department, Ghana Institute of Journalism, Ms Paulina Kuranchie; Head of Public Relations, Trust Hospital Ms. Afia Drah, and Ms Fati Shaibu, News Editor, e.TV Ghana also encouraged women in PR to demonstrate value by measuring their PR activities. They also urged them to build a better relationship with the media.

“It is my wish and that of the many other women in PR who have dedicated their time to see women achieve more in their career advancement and are able to balance their role as leaders and personal life the best way they can,” Ms. Faith Senam Ocloo, the Convener of the seminar told me on the margins of the event.

She continued: “We can achieve whatever we aim for if we work for it. As these speakers, panellists have made it as leaders in their various organisations, so can other young women in PR at entry-level make it to the top of the organisations.”

Ms Senam Ocloo, a PR fashion blogger and Founder of E’April Public Relations disclosed that the seminar would be an annual event which is aimed at gathering women in PR and Communications related profession to share their lessons, journey and inspire the young PR people in the industry.

If you missed the event, it was great to see young, passionate PR people who are highly interested in the industry. From women working in corporate Ghana with students who came to learn the rules of the profession.

The women who spoke had to learn all the lessons they taught the hard way when shaping the image of their organisation. It was certainly a successful event; attendees were absorbing information and networking with the professionals.

After an informative weekend like this, I believe the next generation of women in PR now knows that PR is not easy; patience is a must, embrace change, distinguish yourself and go digital.

PR Ghana Networking Event slated for 26th May

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F Project will host a PR/Communications Industry networking and cocktail event on Friday, 26th May, 2017 at Villa Monticello Hotel, allowing industry professionals in Ghana, an opportunity to connect, engage and reflect on the role of communications in Africa’s development.
This event will be one of concurrent meetings around the world, as part of the 1st annual Africa Communications Week (ACW), which takes place between May 22 and May 26 2017. Countries such as Nigeria, India, Belgium, South Africa, and Kenya will have similar networking events to dialogue on the role of communications in Africa’s development

Powered by a virtual international team of multi-talented communications professionals who share a vision for transformative change in Africa through strategic communications and in partnership with the World Communication Forum Association, Africa Communications Week’s key objective is to encourage and engage communicators across the board to critically assess how the communication industry impacts Africa’s development.

ACW is open to all communicators with an expertise/interest in Africa, from African countries and across the globe. “Along with other fields such as economics, agriculture and technology, communications now has the opportunity to position itself and demonstrate its relevance as a real management discipline that contributes significantly to Africa’s socio-economic rise. And this is a collective effort that the industry should lead”, explains co-founder Annie Mutamba.

The Africa Communications Week is supported by an advisory board of seasoned communications professionals passionate about changing Africa’s narrative. They include:
  • Wynne Musabayana, Head of Communications, Africa Union
  • Yana Dubeykovskaya, President World Communication Forum Association
  • Moky Makura, Country Representative South Africa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Mimi Kalinda, MD Africa Communication Group
  • Khalid Baddou, Head of Communication Africa, Western Union
  • Thierry Hot, Founder, Rebranding Africa Forum
  • Tidiane Dioh, Fonctionnaire International & Media specialist
ACW’s special report on the role of communications in Africa’s development will be published annually featuring the research and informed opinions of communication experts from over 40 countries.

ACW also promotes knowledge and professional development by hosting informative webinars and masterclasses as well as providing practical tools on how Africa focused communicators can begin to advance more realistic narratives about Africa.

“It’s time to critically assess our role and impact and take more deliberate actions to shaping Africa’s narrative,” says ACW co-founder Eniola Harrison.

Source: Cypress Entertainment

Burson-Marsteller Africa CEO to head training workshop in Ghana

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Robyn De Villiers, will be in Ghana to facilitate a training workshop entitled Corporate Branding and Reputation Management.

The half day training program will take place on Wednesday, 26th of April, 2017, and will cover key areas in Corporate Branding and Reputation Management, such as the process involved in Discovering, Defining and Implementing a Corporate Brand.

The training program aims to bring corporate organisations and individuals to a common understanding of the significant impact of effective communications and the benefits derived from managing public relations well.

With 25-plus years’ experience in the field of Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Robyn founded a network of in country communications consultancies which provides local and international clients with market relevant communications services in over 50 African countries.

The Burson-Marsteller Africa network, of which Infocus Burson-Marsteller, Ghana, is a partner, is recognized locally and globally as the premier communications network on the continent and in 2016, Robyn was recognized by the Holmes Report, the PR industry’s most highly regarded trade publication globally, with an EMEA SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement.

A respected communications practitioner, Robyn is called upon by business associations and local and international communications associations to address, and facilitate training for, communications professionals, public relations and corporate communications students and corporate audiences on a range of topics including reputation management, issue and risk management and crisis communications management.

Commenting on her upcoming visit to Ghana, Mrs De Villiers said, “It is a privilege to visit Accra again and to be able to highlight the importance of effective corporate branding and reputation management to communications executives and organisations in Accra.  Globally it is accepted that CEOs are responsible for managing the reputations of their organizations and protecting the value of their corporate brands.  In my experience, this message is beginning to hit home in countries across Africa and I value the opportunity to   share my understanding of this increasingly important area of overall business success during my visit.”

Alberta Akosa, General Manager of Infocus Burson-Marsteller said, “Infocus Burson-Marsteller is honored with the presence of Mrs. De Villiers, an internationally recognized thought leader in corporate communications to facilitate the training, we extend invitationsto Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Senior Executives and Marketing Managers to participate as the Ghanaian market is growing increasingly competitive and customers are gradually evolving. Corporate branding and reputation management form part of organizational DNA and cannot be over looked.”

– Source: Citifmonline.com