The Institute of Public Relations, Ghana (IPR), is to institute an awards scheme to reward excellence to elevate the practice in the country.
The reward system, which would help elevate the profession will consider individuals, companies and organisations whose PR practice adheres to principles such as trust, authenticity, credibility and connectivity with the public.
The system would also flag failures to discourage professionals and other people from engaging in such practices.
The President of IPR,Ghana, Mawuko Afadzinu, said this at a PR dialogue in Accra yesterday as part of activities to mark World PR Day to be commemorated on July 16, 2023.
It will be on the theme: “Elevating public relations excellence in Ghana”.
The event, which was organised by IPR Ghana, was attended by practitioners, communicators, business leaders and students, among others, who exchanged ideas and shared experiences of best practices.
Mr Afadzinu said one of the biggest and costly PR failures was “credibility deficits” which, he said, made groups and stakeholders lose trust and faith in an organisation or an individual.
“Invariably, in everything you do, trust should be your most important quality.
So when trust, and by extension credibility suffers, it is so very difficult to try to regain or rebuild that trust,” he added.
The president cited examples of lack of credibility involving governments, companies and personalities, saying “if you are in business and people no longer believe and trust the services you are offering them, they are very unlikely to patronise what you sell or whatever service you are providing”.
“Great PR gives you very solid connection and deep seated inextricable bond with your publics and that is what we are looking at.
We are looking at individuals, companies who can deliver.
We are looking for awards that recognise those principles of PR.
We are also going to call out PR failures and explain why from our professional perspectives we consider those issues avoidable failures,” Mr Afadzinu said.
The president further said that PR was not only a science, but an art and craft, adding that “how you bring all these three together to integrate them and use it to define your work is what makes the difference”.
“A lot of people assume that PR is an extension of communication; although it involves some form of communication it is a lot more complicated than communication because there are clear principles, strong theories, structures and frameworks that you must appreciate and bring all together in the profession,” he said.
There was also a panel discussion on various issues concerning the profession.
The panellists included the Head of Sales and Marketing of Akosombo Textiles Limited, Petra Aba Asamoah; the Head, Access to Information Division of the Information Services Department, Dr Nafisa Mahama; the Head, Corporate Affairs and Communication of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Comfort Akosua Edu, and the Director, Public Affairs of the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Aba Lokko. Dr Mahama moderated the discussions.
They called on practitioners to upgrade their knowledge and skills to ensure excellence in the industry while integrating traditional and social media to provide the public with vital information.