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Take advantage of opportunities for career progression, NGWIPR urges women

By Ngozi Egenuka
08 April 2023   |   3:54 am
Women in Public Relations have been admonished to take advantage of opportunities to bridge knowledge or gender gap in Public Relations (PR) practice.

Principal Consultant, Novva Media & Communications, Adaoha Njemanze (left); Managing Director, Hills+Knowlton Strategies Nigeria, Tokunboh George-Taylor; Public Relations Consultant, Founder, Nigerian Women in PR & Convener Experiencing PR Conference, Tolulope Olorundero; Founder, Modion Communications, Odion Aleobua; General Manager – Corporate Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Omasan Ogisi and Founder, LSF PR, Bidemi Akande.

Women in Public Relations have been admonished to take advantage of opportunities to bridge knowledge or gender gap in Public Relations (PR) practice.

The advise was given at the 2023 Nigerian Women in Public Relations (NGWIPR) conference themed, ‘Experiencing PR’, in Lagos.

Council Member and Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Nkechi Ali-Balogun, who represented the President of the institute at the conference, stated that the programme came when Nigeria’s reputation was its lowest, adding that there was an urgent need for deliberate and planned perception management programme to change mindset, heal wounds as well as repair Nigeria’s reputational damage in the comity of nations.

She urged every organisation to develop a PR culture where every participant understands the value and purposes of PR.

According to her, effective PR is crucial in organisations to help them navigate challenges and risks especially one associated with rapid change and uncertainty while maintaining a positive reputation and building trust with stakeholders.

“PR should not be ad hoc or applied only when the organisation is in murky waters. The theme is apt because it offers the opportunity and platform to highlight the potency of PR in building, managing and maintaining perception for organisations, institutions and countries,” she added.

Ali-Balogun explained that NGWIPR was set to advocate for and provide growth resources to Nigerian women working in PR and communications locally and in the diaspora.

Group Head and Director, Corporate Communications, BUA Group, O’tega Ogra, urged practitioners to add value, come up with solutions that align with the company’s goals and be known for something specific.

He noted that the role of practitioners goes beyond journalism and includes planning, budgeting, execution and others.

“The types of advise we give to our clients help shape perception. The mistake is thinking you always have to be in the news to make impact; you just need to know the right strategy to deploy per project,” he said.

Founder, Nigerian Women in PR (NGWIPR), Tolulope Olorundero, stated that the conference was historical for the development of PR in Nigeria and the elevation of the practice in the global industry.

She noted that the body started as a passion but has been structured to deliver impact initiatives that improve the understanding and value of PR while supporting the growth and relevance of Nigerian women in PR.

She expressed her believe that PR conversations should be of interest to business executives and public office holders.

Managing Director, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Nigeria, Tokunboh George-Taylor, urged practitioners to always plan ahead of crisis by anticipating possible reactions to a project and creating crisis management documents per outcome to offer right response if the need arises.

Speaking on the importance of data, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Yemi Kale, urged Nigerians to help ensure access to credible data by cooperating with the relevant government agencies, noting that information gathered could be used to shape policies and government decisions.

He advocated for increased deployment of technology for credible data gathering in the country.

“For instance, if I ask you how old you are, whatever you say to me I would accept. When you give the wrong information it affects the data I give to the government and the government will now plan policies based on the data you gave them. So, I think it is best to give honest, accurate and transparent information and to cooperate with data collecting agencies because the objective of what they are doing is to get information that can assist members of the public,” he said.