Mike Okereke Advocates Professional Approach in Image Management

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Mike Okereke Advocates Professional Approach in Image Management
By Victor Agi

A former President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, Mike Okereke, has called on government and relevant stakeholders to embrace a more professional approach in managing the nation’s image.

Okereke spoke exclusively with the PR Monthly recently on the occasion of his 80th birthday, and emphasised that the Institute must rise up to its responsibilities as provided by the Act
establishing it, to champion the course of managing the nation’s image and reputation.

“We will like to see a professional approach in the nation’s image management. It should start with a national image survey conducted by an independent consultant. This will identify the nation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It will identify the perception of investors and stakeholders,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, BEEC International also pointed out that a comprehensive PR plan should be prepared based on the outcome of the image study that will serve as policy
statement and guide for the nation.

He called on the Institute to be more proactive and ensure that such a PR blueprint is implemented by both the government and professional members.

Speaking on the expectations of a PR practitioner as information manager, Okereke, who is also a former President of the Federation of African Public Relations Association, FAPRA, now
known as African Public Relations Association, APRA said that the PR person who should occupy an advisory role in an organization must be ahead in all ramifications.

“You must be abreast with the ever-changing operating environment. A public relations manager must be abreast with development in management, business and government. This means that you must train and retrain yourself in the evolving issues in public relations, management, business, government, public affairs and politics. You must continually attend training programmes. When a man or woman is tired of learning, such a person is as good as dead,” he warned.

He said that, giving the current operating environment, the Institute should be in the forefront in
fighting fake news, and speak out when politicians or government officials resort to propaganda.

Okereke urged the Institute to enhance the progression of its members to positions of higher responsibility as well as support the professional growth of members.

The PR guru called on the Institute to ensure the enforcement of the provisions of the PR Act, maintain the highest standard of professional qualification, and ensure that candidates for appointment for Minister of Information or Commissioner of Information should be well trained and qualified Public Relations experts who are members of NIPR.

He emphasized that the NIPR has the responsibility to press for the appointment of its members, while also engaging CEOs in the private and public sectors on the status of the Institute’s Act, adding that a media campaign to educate stakeholders should be launched.

Mr. Okereke expressed satisfaction at the performance of the FCT Chapter, which was created when he was presiding over the Institute between1988-1992, the same period during which the Institute’s Decree was enacted.

“Since the formation of the Abuja chapter of NIPR during my presidency, the chapter has been waxing stronger. I have followed the activities of the chapter with great interest,” he declared.

He congratulated the Chapter led by Dr. Tayo Haastrup for emerging the “Best Performing Chapter” of the NIPR, and also praised the efforts of the PR Monthly team.

He saluted the PR body in Nigeria for providing quality leadership that has contributed to the growth of the continental PR body, APRA, and praised what he described as “the excellent job of the founding fathers for their foresight and growth of the NIPR”.

Culled from PR Monthly is a publication of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, FCT Chapter.

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