To hand the PR baton into safe hands, PR Personality of the Year 2016, Gayheart Edem Mensah has called on students interested in pursuing PR as a profession to master the rudiments of the profession.
Speaking on YFM’s Ryse N Shyne programme, Vodafone Ghana’s External Affairs and Legal Director said young professionals ought to be affable, be networked listen more than talk, be analytical, understand strategy, social performance and the concept of sustainability, and have a flair for basic communication skills.
The IPR Personality said the nature of media and PR practice has changed, giving way to new concepts, challenges and imperatives. That he said calls for a certain profile of the PR practitioner and the need to constantly upgrade one’s professional skills.
“The media we use to have years back is not what we are seeing today. The media has become broader to the extent that social media trends alone can dictate how we operate, what we respond to and what we ought to take advantage of.”
Debunking myths about PR practice, Mr. Mensah said that not everyone who can string words together is a PR person. “PR is a very technical area. Of course, practitioners need adequate knowledge of language and its usage. However, if you can’t put together a simple communications strategy, implement and monitor it in a way that adds to your organisation, it will be difficult to call yourself a communications person.”
Gayheart is a sought-after speaker on Public Relations themes and has, in the year under reference, shared ideas on various PR topics at the Philanthropy Forum, the Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) and forums of the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP). Gayheart has also been a regular speaker at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), an adjunct lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA). He is also a resource person for the IPR Accreditation Courses.
Aside his 13 years of practice as a journalist, Gayheart has practised Public Relations at senior management level across four different companies – Unilever Ghana (4 years), Barclays (5 years), Tullow Oil (3 years in Ghana and 2 years in London) and over 3 years at Vodafone Ghana.
The Institute of Public Relations (IPR) is the professional body for Public Relations practitioners in Ghana. It exists to provide a professional development, structure and the requisite recognition for the practice of Public Relations across the country. The IPR last year adjudged Gayheart the best PR Practitioner for the year.