The 2021 Reputation Summit and Award ceremony of Anambra State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, comes up on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at Hilton Leisure Resort and Hotel, Awka. According to the Chapter chairperson, Professor Chinyere Okunna and chairman of the planning committee, Dr Ikenna Umeanolue, Prof. Angela Nwammuo of the Department of Mass Communication, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University, Igbariam will present a paper titled, “Security Challenges in Nigeria: Implications for National Stability and Reputation”.
Governor Willie Obiano, who is the patron of the state chapter of the institute, is expected as the special guest of honour, while NIPR President, Mallam Muktah Zubairu Sirajo will be the chief host. The State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C. Don Adinuba, will be the guest of honour. The MD/CEO of ABS, Dr Uche Nworah, will be the chairman on the occasion. Some prominent Nigerians who had contributed to the growth of Public Relations will be honoured.
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, as a professional association, was established in 1963 but was given legal backing by Decree 16 of 1990. The Decree declares it illegal for anyone to practice public relations without being a registered member of the institute.
Presently, the activities of charlatans who parade themselves as PR practitioners often give the profession a bad image; a situation which makes it difficult for corporate organizations, government agencies and policy makers to appreciate the invaluable services PR professionals render; thereby preventing them from giving the profession its pride of place in policy making and implementation.
Despite the role PR practitioners play in relationship management and national unity, many people, including governments, still relegate the profession to the background. The effect of this neglect still stare us at the face as different organizations and government spend billions of naira, in crisis management and restoration of battered images; a situation that would have been avoided if the service of PR professionals are recognized and square pegs put in square holes.
It is also regrettable that many corporate organizations and government agencies are yet to comply with the provision of the Decree establishing NIPR. Some people who parade themselves as PR professionals working in different corporate organizations and government agencies are yet to identify with the institute; thus making their activities illegal.
In this technological age when there is a cacophony of voices, both truth and falsehood, seeking attention, the use of PR professionals in information and reputation management becomes inevitable. Apart from other areas of PR practice, the profession harps on doing good and letting people know about the goodness. That is the essence of PR.
Today, Anambra State Chapter of NIPR is rated as having the largest number of PR professionals in the country.
The chapter also has its own dose of Fellows of the Institute and has consistently maintained a seat in the Council; a seat currently occupied by Reverend Father Prof. B. A. C. Obiefuna, who was last month, in Bauchi, re-elected for another two-year term.
As the State Chapter of the Institute marks another milestone in her existence, it calls on organizations and government agencies that have relegated PR practice to the background to drop the attitude and enjoy the benefit accruable to those that engage PR professionals in their activities
Also, those individuals engaged in PR practice in whichever guise but are yet to identify with the Institute are advised to do so in their own interest.
As our motto, Professionalism for Excellence, says it is only through adherence to professionalism that we can achieve excellence.
WRITTEN BY DR. IKENNA UMEANOLUE