Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of KomsKraft Consult, Mr. Gayheart Mensah, has challenged Public Relations (PR) practitioners and communicators to offer confidence and optimism to their stakeholders, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, today’s publics of organizations have been consumed by isolation, boredom, stress, job losses, erosion of incomes, loss of symbols of normal life among many others thus, the need for the PR fraternity to lead in a way that offers hope in the face of the anxieties and commit to a message of hope.
Speaking at a lecture at the Maiden Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) Alumni Association Webinar in Accra, Mr. Mensah, who also doubles as the President of the GIJ Alumni Association, called for a revision of PR approaches in the context of the pandemic to align with changing priorities.
He identified three perspectives to messaging and stakeholder priorities that are relevant today.
“First is the “Near-term periscope into the crisis”, which he said refers to providing insight into how Covid-19 is impacting employees, stakeholders and the larger public. The second is the “Mid-term blueprint of what recovery might look like”, whilst the third is the “Long-term roadmap”, visualizing the global village when it surfaces from the ashes of the pandemic,” he said.
He also encouraged PR professionals to avoid insensitivity and opportunism in their messaging, strive to be useful and not clever in what they communicate, demonstrate ample empathy in their messaging and “demonstrate that our publics, particularly the customer, is more than just a transaction: he/she exists in our hearts as well”.
Mr. Mensah, who is also the Chairman of the Professional Development, Education and Accreditation Committee of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR), proffered some pointers for PR practitioners on how to conduct Advocacy, Government Relations, Social Investments, Sustainability Interventions, Investor Relations and Issue Management in a pandemic era.
The Rector of GIJ, Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, in his welcome remarks, commended the executives of the Alumni for coming up with the webinar series as a vehicle for mobilizing old students to be active members of the association. He spoke about the impact of Covid-19 on the academic calendar of the institute and the interventions that have been introduced as a result of that.
Professor Kwansah-Aidoo was confident that the teaching and practice of Journalism and PR will emerge stronger post the Covid-19 era.
The lecture witnessed past students of the institute from diverse locations including the UK, Scotland and the USA.
It was under the theme “Journalism and PR Teaching and Practice in a Covid-19 Era”.