Dr Joyce Aryee, Executive Director of Salts and Lights Ministry, has been recognized by the Institute of Public Relations, Ghana as the Public Relations personality of the year 2014.
Mrs Gifty Bingley, Head of Corporate Communications, Tigo Ghana, a telecommunication company, emerged the Public Relations discovery of the year 2014 for developing a ground breaking corporate social responsibility concept for the company.
Airtel Ghana won the best community relations programme of the year, Ghana Ports and Harbour won the Public Relations campaign of the year, Stratcomm Africa emerged as the Public Relations consultancy of the year while Ghana Revenue Authority won the website/social media page of the year.
Ghana Ports and Harbour won the Public Relations organization of the year for the public sector, while Stanbic Bank won the financial sector and MTN Ghana won the telecommunication sector.
Awards were presented to past executives for their selfless role and contribution to the institute including Retired Major Albert Don-Chebe, Perry Ofosu, Esi Hammond, Margaret Kpodo, Sylvia Annor, Eva Amegashie and Joseph Datty.
The ceremony was on the theme: “Public Relations and Peaceful Elections: Your Role, My Role”, and chaired by Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, Minister of Education
Mr Alhassan Andani, Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, said Public Relations is about relationships, the building, nurturing and sustaining of healthy mutually beneficial relationships and engagements.
“You don’t achieve great results in Public Relations on the back of a single issue, you need to go at it consistently to gain credibility and validation”, he said.
He said a survey carried out by the United Kingdom commissioned by the Cooperative Bank on how people felt about various professions revealed that, the most trusted professionals are Pharmacists, Medical Doctors, Engineers and Dentists.
Mr Andani said the survey also revealed that the least trusted professions included Politicians, Bankers and Journalists.
“Collectively we need to work well and hard to gain back the trust and respect of the country. Trust, believe and hope are sacrosanct in nation building and that no nation progresses when any of these are compromised”.
He said the country needs to have a big picture view in our quest to help increase the peace quotient during, before and after the 2016 elections.
“Elections must be about peace and the prosperity and development of the country and that our personal growth and development would only happen when there is peace and prosperity in the country”.
He urged Public Relations practitioners to adhere to their role by shaping the political dialogue using their reach and network to encourage the adoption of their principles to serve the public in an efficient and effective manner.
He suggested that the Institute should consider the development of a set of political communication protocol for the political parties and key actors.
Dr Aryee thanked the Institute for the recognition, urging the Institute to put in measures to streamline the profession from abuse.
She said the public must be made to know that Public Relations is not just a job but a mission to use communication to make life better and expressed concern about how organizations cut down the Public Relations unit budget when faced with difficulties.
“Truth, integrity and excellence should be the core values in the profession, since without these values, there will be no effective Public Relations”.
Ms Elaine Sam, President of the Institute, said its objective is to run a respected institution, train public relations professionals and strengthened the professional capacities of members to effectively take on the needs of corporate institutions, government and high profile individual.
She commended the committee for the awards and the sponsors for their efforts in ensuring that the event becomes a success.