Governor’s Aide, AKBC DG, Identify Recipes for Contemporary PR Practice
by Mfonobong Ukpong
With evolutions in the communication trend, it is important for Public Relations managers to be smart, creative and equipped with social media skills to fit in to the dynamics of contemporary society.
This was the submission of the Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Research and Documentation, Comrade Essien Ndueso, Thursday at a public lecture on the theme: ” Evolution of Public Relations Profession:The Shifting Skills Required in Today’s Public Relations Practice, organized by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations Students Association, NIPERSA, University of Uyo chapter, held at the Town campus of the university.
Comrade Ndueso, a former Director of Information and Public Relations in the Student Union of the University, was a guest discussant at the event, which keynote lecture was presented by the Director General of AKBC, Pastor (Dr.) Anietie Ukpe.
Others at the lecture included, Head of Communication Arts Department in the University of Uyo, Prof. Peter Esuh, Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Mr. Aniekeme Finbar, Akwa State Vice-Chairman of Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, Mrs. Mercy David, Chairman, Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, Akwa Ibom State, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, lecturers in the Communication Arts department, Newspaper publishers, Communication Arts and Public Relations Students.
Describing Public Relations as a ‘very serious management function in any organization’, the Govenor’s aide harped on the need for those aspiring to become PR practitioners and those already in the field to ensure they are abreast with latest trends in the society in order to excel in their assignments.
“Public Relations is a very serious management function in any organization’. PR is beyond ‘landing’, ‘brown envelopes’ and writing of press releases.
“Any body practising Public Relations must be in-tune with the latest trends and must have social media skills to be able to do better”.
“Skills in photography, typing, editing photography and video, and having an influencial presence in social media make it possible to key into the dynamics of the global village, where with a press of a button, the ears of the whole world is within one’s reach.
“You must be very creative and must be dynamic in your mode of communication. You need to have easy access with the people you relate with. You must be very creative and must be dynamic in your mode of communication”.
Mr. Essien Ndueso, an alumnus of the department and former President of the Association in 2004/2005, launched a scholarship scheme for indigent students of the department with a cash donation of 50,000, and pledged to always be associated to programmes in the department.
Delivering a keynote address, the guest lecturer, Pastor(Dr.) Anietie Ukpe, who is the Director General, Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, AKBC urged Public Relations practioners to see publicity as a means and not the end, and must at all times ensure that every detail of their PR job is geared towards customer’s satisfaction.
He advised that they must ensure that their products or services have no defect as such could register a negative impression in the public space.
Ukpe, a former Chief Press Secretary to the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State stressed the need for PR experts to churn out truthful and inspiring stories that would capture their audience.
In his words; “Public Relations – not Publicity: Before it was all about publicity. But today, publicity should not be the end of your efforts. Everything should be wrapped around customer satisfaction.
“Publicity should be the means, not the end. Why? Because dissatisfaction spreads fast and bad news travels faster than good news. So, ensure that your product or service has no defects and works perfectly. After that word of mouth testimonies and online posts may drive it to great heights
Pastor Ukpe hinted that, “Every public relations practitioner, worthy of the name, should always remember that crisis and opportunity are different sides of the same coin. That every cloud has a silver lining,” adding that “public relations is story telling and in order to tell the right stories, you need to source, analyze and scrutinize data.”