Ojobo, NCC spokesman advises government to engage only PRCAN agencies

L-R; Chido Nwakanma, ex-officio, PRCAN, Guest Speaker, Tony Ojobo ,Director of Public Affairs at  NCC, PRCAN President, John Ehiguese, Mrs Nkechi Ali-Balogun, PRCAN member and Chinda Manjor of Airtel  Nigeria at 4th PRCAN Breakfast Meeting in Lagos recently
L-R; Chido Nwakanma, ex-officio, PRCAN, Guest Speaker, Tony Ojobo ,Director of Public Affairs at NCC, PRCAN President, John Ehiguese, Mrs Nkechi Ali-Balogun, PRCAN member and Chinda Manjor of Airtel Nigeria at 4th PRCAN Breakfast Meeting in Lagos recently

Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has expressed his support for the ‘Engage a PRCAN Agency’ campaign of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) by advising government and government agencies at all levels to hire the services of professional Public Relations consultants. Ojobo was the guest speaker at the 4th PRCAN Monthly Breakfast Meeting held in Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday last week. Airtel Nigeria and Compact Communication agency sponsored the event.
Discussing ‘Communication in the Public Sector: Issues, Challenges and Prospects’, Ojobo said that it was high time government took public relations seriously. According to him, “Public Relations is more than radio, television and newspapers. Public Relations involves a lot of ‘behind-the-scene’ engagement that cumulates in good will that helps in times of crisis.”
Ojobo further advised Public Relations consultants to be mindful of different nature of consulting for private and public organisations. He explained: “The private sector is essentially motivated by profit; consequently, communication is driven by the desire to make more money. However, the burden of social responsibility has also extracted pragmatic commitment by many private organisations to seek stakeholder cooperation.
“On the contrary the public sector is the part of economy that serves the public and consists of governmental entities at different levels. Their sources of income are taxes, resources generated from natural endowments, foreign grants and other similar funds belonging to central and local governments. Therefore, their main goal is to communicate government policies and get citizens’ support for such policies.”
Highlighting some challenges PR consultants are likely to face while consulting for government agencies, Ojobo said “most organisations in the public sector do not have public relations officers or spokespersons. Sometimes, the CEOs of public sector organisations do not understand the role of public relations and therefore cannot fully appreciate the value of the communication strategies proposed by public relations consultants, let alone seek to engage their services.”
He added that a major challenge would be the inability of PR consultants to public sector organisations to strike a balance between their loyalty to government and the interest of the citizens.
The President of PRCAN, Mr. John Ehiguese, said the breakfast meeting was in furtherance of the commitment of the association to boost the capacity of PR consultants in Nigeria so that they could better understand the clients’ point of view and thereby manage their expectations better.
Previous editions featured communication professionals from the private sector. They were: Kufre Ekanem, Corporate Affairs Adviser of Nigerian Breweries Plc; Emeka Oparah, Director of Corporate Communications and CSR at Airtel Nigeria; and David Okeme, President of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) who is also Brand Building Director at Unilever Plc.
PRCAN is legally chartered by a Bye Law of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) to cater to the interests of the consultancy side of PR practice in Nigeria. It currently has a membership of 51 PR consultancy firms providing services across at least 21 PR practice areas.