Sixteen public relations practitioners were honoured at the 7th Institute of Public Relations (IPR) awards in Accra last Friday for their various roles in the promotion of the profession.
Ms Adiki Ofeibea Ayitevie, who is the Vice President, Sustainability and External Relations, Newmont Africa, received the ultimate award as the PR Personality of the Year, with Mr Clarence Amoateng of Newmount Ghana being named as the Discovery of the Year.
Vodafone Ghana and Ogilvy Ghana Limited received the highest number of honours of three each.
Vodafone won the best in-house PR team of the year, PR organisation of the year and best promotional event, while Ogilvy was declared the PR campaign of the year, best community relations programme of the year and best in social media communication.
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The other winners were Newmount Ghana (Best content and best organisation of the year for the extractive sector); the Electricity Company of Ghana (Best in technology); Stanbic Bank (PR organisation of the year for the financial sector);
Touchpoint Magna Cartar (Most outstanding PR agency of the year); Compassion International Ghana (Best in non-profit communication), with the Ghana Institute of Journalism emerging as the PR Educational Institute of the Year.
The event was held on the theme: “Deriving values from values: A test from corporate government”.
The President of the IPR, Ms Elaine Sam, said the issue of value was important to the institute, as it underpinned every facet of human endeavour, saying that if value was well harnessed, it could lead to the realisation of social ideals.
“However, how are we safeguarding our values in the face of rapid societal transformations? We can only answer such a complex question by ensuring an open and continuous discussion on the issues,” she added.
According to the president, it was heartwarming that the event was gaining industry recognition, as attested to by the number of new entrants into the awards competition.
The Chairman of the Council of State and Omanhene of the Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, urged PR practitioners to respect their values to enable them to define their role as intermediaries between organisations and their customers.
For his part, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the government was putting measures in place to ensure that the Information Services Department (ISD) was enrolled as a corporate member of the IPR.
That would ensure that ISD staff benefitted from regular training and skills development opportunities of the IPR to enable them to build their capacity to assist the government in the effective management of its communications.
“The Ministry of Information, through the ISD, supplies public relations officers to ministries, departments and agencies, but over the years the ISD has not had a formal relationship with the IPR. We are going to do this as part of efforts to sharpen government communications,” he stressed.
He added that the ministry had also started an engagement process on the possibility of passing a law to accredit practitioners to facilitate the practice of PR profession in the country.
The minister noted that since the inception of the IPR, it had been at the forefront of sharpening the skills set of PR practitioners.
“It has trained a good number of practitioners, including staff of the ISD under my ministry. Additionally, it has contributed to shaping public discourse in the country since its formation and advocated responsible communication, especially of political actors,” he added.