The Founder and President of the African University College of Communications (AUCC), Mr Kojo Yankah, was last Friday given the Public Relations Practitioner of the Year 2012 award.
The Media and Public Relations Manager of UT Holdings, Ms Sophia Lissah, was given the Promising Practitioner of the Year 2012 award under the Competitive Awards category.
The awardees were honoured at the Institute of Public Relations Excellence Awards and Presidential Ball held in Accra on the theme: “IPR at 40: Consolidating the Image of Ghana as a Peaceful and Democratic Nation”.
Past presidents of the IPR were also awarded certificates of recognition for their laudable service to the institute.
Other special awards were given to individuals who had played various roles in the development and progress of the institute since its inception in the country.
In attendance were the Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Mahama Ayariga; the Minister of Women, Gender and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, and the Chief Executive Officer of Rlg Communications, Mr Roland Agambire.
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Other awardees at the ceremony were Global Media Alliance and Airtel Ghana, which won the PR Consultancy Firm of the Year 2012 and the Best Community Relations Programme 2012, respectively.
The rest were PR Organisation of the Year 2012 (Telecommunications category), Vodafone Ghana; PR Organisation of the Year 2012 (Public Sector category), Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), and PR Campaign of the Year 2012, Airtel Ghana.
Some corporate institutions which had exhibited their immense support to the institute over the years were also rewarded.
They include the Graphic Communications Group Limited, SSNIT, the Volta River Authority (VRA), the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited and Accra Brewery Limited.
The rest are GTP NUSTILE, the Ghana Commercial Bank, Contact Consultancy and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company Limited.
In a speech read on his behalf, President John Dramani Mahama said it was important for all forms of communication in the country to be free from insults.
He said the government was committed to making use of existing trained professionals and PR officers who had been deployed by the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) by building their capacity to play their roles for the development of the country.
“The Ministry of Information, in collaboration with the IPR, is undertaking programmes that will enhance the skills and build the capacity of PR officers and properly place them at the forefront of dealing with the communication challenges of MDAs,” he said
The President urged the IPR to partner the ministry and other stakeholders to make use of the Media Development Fund for the improvement of communications in the country.
The President of the IPR, Major Albert Don-Chebe (retd), said PR practice in the country had gained considerable acceptability and due recognition over the years.
“We, as PR practitioners, have a crucial role to facilitate the cultivation of an image of peace and security in order to differentiate our country from others and consequently attract the critical investments that will transform our socio-economic conditions,” he said.
Mr Agambire, who chaired the function, urged PR practitioners and the media to continue to positively brand and propagate the good works of the country, saying, “The way we choose to brand our country has a great impact on the economy as a whole.”
Story: Zainabu Issah