Head of Communications at Jospong Group, Sophia Lissah, has asked public relations practitioners 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.
Ms Lissah gave the advice at the 3rd Women in Public Relations (WiPR) Ghana summit held in Accra on the theme ‘Collaborate, Inspire, Lead’.
WiPR is a professional platform created for women in the communications and the media. The event brought together senior professionals in the sector to share their experience and impart knowledge to young professionals and students within the industry.
Among topics discussed 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’, Ms Lissah said entrepreneurs with the visionary leadership and qualities like passion, focus and innovation, among others, are able to push for results that 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 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 the other.
“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,” she said.
In the case of Prince Amoabeng, she said 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 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.
Ms Lisah indicated that a 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 mindset, our profession will remain as 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 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.
For her part, Ms Adiki O. Ayitey, Vice-President, Sustainability and External Relations, Newmont Goldcorp Africa, underscored the need for collaboration in order for one to be successful in this sector.
“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 the need to consider the following key concepts: support, teamwork, communication, trust, motivation, inspiration”.
Mr Gabriel Opoku-Asare, Head of Society, Africa Region Diageo PLC, said a PR woman as the eye of her organization, should be able to analyse, predict and counsel management in its decision making processes.
Resource persons for the summit 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 Consul.