Public Relations practitioners have been told to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset to drive the development agenda of their various companies and the country at large.
“Such a positive mindset will also drive them to be passionate and innovative about the work they do, yield great results and impact society,” she stressed.
Madam Sophia Lissah, Group Head of Communication for the Jospong Group, gave the advice at the 3rd Women in Public Relations (WiPR) Ghana summit held in Accra under the theme ‘Collaborate, Inspire, Lead’.
WiPR is a professional platform created for women in the communications and media sector. The event brought together senior professionals in the sector to share their experience and impart knowledge to upcoming professionals and students within the industry.
Among the topics discussed were included: ‘The Next Generation of PR Woman’; ‘Fostering Strategic Collaboration in the Digital Era’; ‘Putting Entrepreneurship into PR’; ‘The Relevance of Social Media and Organisational Context in PR Management’; and ‘Applying Emotional Intelligence to Leadership’.
Speaking on the topic ‘Putting Entrepreneurship and Development into PR’, Madam Lissah said entrepreneurs with visionary leadership and qualities like passion, focus and innovation, among others, are able to push for results which eventually impact society through job-creation and contributing to national development.
Drawing lessons from her personal experiences in the industry and the qualities of two of Ghana’s most celebrated entrepreneurs – Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies (who is a household name because of his exploits with Zoomlion), and Prince Kofi Amoabeng, President of the UT Group – she said: “These are two great personalities who remained resolute and kept their focus of impacting lives through innovation, despite being vilified at one stage or another.
“They showed great passion for their work, took risk, remained focused, challenged the status quo, were solution-driven and did not take a ‘no’ for an answer,” adding that in the case of Prince Amoabeng, even though he is largely associated with the collapsed UT Bank, what many people do not know is that he still has many thriving businesses like UT Properties, UT Logistics and UT Private Security, which speaks volumes of his zeal and hard work.
She pointed out that the basic responsibility of a Public Relations practitioner is to serve as a bridge between their institution and its stakeholders, while at the same time creating a positive image about the organisation at all times – adding that the PR person must also work at building good relationships and partnerships between their organisation and its publics (stakeholders) using various tools.
“To achieve this, the practitioner must work with passion, be ready to acquire knowledge on a variety of issues and articulate same. Until we adopt such entrepreneurial mindsets, our profession will continue doing business as usual, but the onus lies on us to change the narratives,” she stressed.
On her part, Ms. Faith Senam Ocloo – Founder of Women in PR (WiPR) Ghana, said the summit was to create a platform for women in public relations to network, learn, mentor and share their experiences with each other, so as to bring growth in their respective organisations.
“The PR woman in this digital age must be innovative and employ new methods to enhance her productivity and growth in the industry,” she added.
Madam Adiki O. Ayitey, Vice-President, Sustainability and External Relations-Newmont Goldcorp Africa, in her contribution said to be successful in this sector, there is a need for collaboration.
“You need to build a team to work together with the common purpose of reaching your goals,” she said, adding that in order for collaborations to be effective and successful, there is a need to consider the following key concepts: support, teamwork, communication, trust, motivation, inspiration.
Mr. Gabriel Opoku-Asare, Head of Society-Africa Region Diageo PLC, also shared a few words and said the PR woman, as the eye of the organisation, should be able to analyse, predict and counsel management in its decision-making processes.
At one stage, the summit moved into a panel discussion moderated by ace broadcaster Naa Ashorkor Mensah Doku. The resource persons, who deliberated on the topic ‘Emotional Intelligence and Leadership’, included Dr. Eric Rhiney, Chair-Management Department, Webster University; Cynthia Ofori-Dwumfou, PR Business-Ogilvy Ghana; Emma Wenani, Chief Director-Global Media Alliance; and Mrs. Baaba Cofie, Snr. PR Consultant-Mahogany Consult.