The President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Dr. Ike Nellaku, and other experts in the profession have commended the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for equipping the information officers in the service of government with contemporary knowledge.
The experts made the commendation at a two-day training programme organized for the Press Secretaries and Information Officers in the Ministries, Agencies, and Parastatals of government held in Ilorin, the state capital.
A communique issued at the end of the training read in part: “It is pertinent to appreciate His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kwara State, the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, CON, for understanding the roles of the Press Secretaries and in his magnanimity to approve and sponsor the workshop.”
The participants also thanked the Head of Service for changing the narrative by engaging a well-experienced Triumph Corporate Ltd who invited professionals from all fields in Communication and Public Relations for the training workshop.
The trainees were tutored by the experts in the profession led by the President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Dr. Ike Nellaku, academician, Saadat Abdulbaki who is an Associate Professor at the University of Ilorin, Raheem Adedoyin, veteran journalist and Chief Executive Officer of Triumph Corporate Ltd, Gbenga Okeowo , Public Relations Specialist, Bola aolukoju, Commissioner for Communication and Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor.
Nellaku who spoke on the strategies to become efficient and effective Information Officers and Public Relations Managers outllined the tools for successful public relations which include understanding your operating environment and the stakeholders, the significance of the message, and the feedback from the audience. Above all, he emphasized developing passion and training and retraining on the job.
NIPR Vice President and Chairman of the Institute’s education committee, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura emphasized passion for the job as a driving force for any successful undertaking.
Olukoju presented a paper on how Information Officers should handle social media, which has become a threat in the media industry. She advocated for the use of strong social media platforms through creating valuable content with compelling profiles and consistency. She implored Information Officers to make use of Internet technology such as Google Alert, Google Workplace, and Google Alert Photo AI, among others.
The CPS to the Kwara State Government, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaiye who spoke on how to succeed as an image maker of an organization, said controlling the narratives, telling your stories, personal integrity, and social listening are methods of successful image makers.
Mr. Gbenga Okeowo spoke on the path to success as a Public Relations Officer, including seeking and pursuing knowledge, reading, and studying widely.
In her paper, Associate Prof. Saadat Abdulbaki spoke on the application of public relations strategies for consensus building by Information Officers. She outlined the duties of Information Officers to include analyzing trends, predicting consequences, counseling organizational leaders, I’m and implementing planned programmes. She outlined PR strategies to include goal setting, research, action, communication, and evaluation. She described lack of trust, perceptual errors, and self-serving bias, among others, as potential obstacles in consensus building in public relations.
The experts recommended continuous training and retraining for Information Officers. They also advocated for the provision of adequate working tools for Information Officers while stressing the need to educate political office holders and managers on utilizing their information/public relations officers in their respective MDAs.
The training programme ended with a roundtable where Adedoyin, a past multiple cabinet member in Kwara State engage in a robust interactive session with the current cabinet members.
Adedoyin stressed the primacy of constituency work as critical to the success of the commissioners.
Adedoyin told the cabinet members:
” Your job does not start and end in your ministries. You are the eyes and ears of the governor in your various constituencies. You must be good at the policy and politics of the job. ”
The commissioners spoke eloquently about the challenges of their job, nothing the need for a better synergy among themselves.