Members of the board of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) on Thursday held an interactive forum with workers of the company and charged them to support efforts to recover debts owed the company.
Advertising agencies, government institutions and corporate bodies owe the company over GH¢20 million, making it difficult for the leading newspaper publisher to undertake some of its activities.
The situation is dire, particularly so when the newspaper industry generally is faced with a myriad of challenges, especially stiff competition from the electronic media, social media and online content.
At the forum, the Board Chairman, Professor Kwame Karikari, underscored the need for concerted efforts to be made by all workers to improve the financial status of the company.
“Too much money that could have ensured that the GCGL reinvested to expand, train its staff and reposition itself to make more impact is in debt and must be collected,” he said..
He stressed that to recover the huge debt owed the company, there ought to be concerted efforts and effective collaboration among the management, the workers and the board.
While highlighting the challenges confronting the company, including competition posed by other media platforms and the relevance of the content of the newspapers, Prof. Karikari observed that it would require commitment, ingenuity and strategic thinking to come out of the woods.
In particular, he stressed that it was important to strategise to improve the quality of the content of the newspapers in the GCGL stable to make them more relevant to attract readers.
In that regard, he charged the Editorial Board to take up the challenge to ensure that the brands of the GCGL stood out.
Responding to concerns raised by some of the workers, including poor worker motivation, delayed promotions, wasteful expenditure and victimisation, Prof. Karikari called for effective communication to ensure that the company’s structures worked efficiently.
While sharing in the views expressed by Prof. Karikari, the acting Managing Director of the company, Mr Ransford Tetteh, called on the workers to support the management to tackle the challenges head on.
“The company’s sales are dwindling, while we still have outstanding debts to recover from our clients, so if we want to come back to winning ways, we need to work hard,” he stressed.
The Chairperson of the Editorial Committee of the GCGL Board, Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, said the editorial board would put in place mechanisms to ensure that the newspapers produced quality content.
“It is our aim, as the Editorial Committee, to give a new life to our newspapers through proper content, so that they will be considered as a necessity to the public,” she said.
Responding to concerns raised by a section of the workers that management had stopped giving them complimentary newspapers, she said the editorial board would take another look at that issue.
Some management members of the company took turns to address issues that related to their units.
For instance, the Director of Finance, Mr Kwabena Baah-Adade, said as part of measures to recover the debts owed the company, a special task force would be constituted to lead the process.
The Head of Information Systems, Mrs Christabel Addo Afoamfo, also said processes were underway to address the information technology challenges confronting the company.
She said a committee had been set up to recruit a service provider to build a robust information system to facilitate the work of the organisation.