Determined to promote professionalism in the practice of public relations, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has introduced programmes to train uncertified officers willing to develop a career in public communication in the country.
The Chairman of the NIPR, Abuja chapter, Dr. Tayo Haastrup who made the disclosure at the monthly Professional Platform of the Institute at Transcorp Hilton Abuja, urged information officers and public communicators to avail themselves of the programmes of the Institute for membership certification.
Haastrup said “The NIPR Decree 16 of 1990 empowers the Institute to regulate and monitor conformity to the ethical standards of Public Relations practice in Nigeria. The law bars non-members from practicing public communication in the country. The regulation also empowers the Institute to prosecute offenders.
“The NIPR has windows of opportunity, through capacity building and certification programmes for registering and inducting new members into the profession.”
The Guest Speaker at the occasion and Publisher of PRNigeria, Mr. Yushau Shuaib urged PR practitioners to improve their media relations techniques and update their social media skills for strategic communication.
Shuaib who spoke on Online PR said that the future of communication is unfolding with the revolution of social media. He said “PR practitioners should realise that while traditional media still remain relevant and reliable, developing social media skills is very essential because information online are affordable, faster, instantaneous with larger crowd of audience
“The working schedule in this era of social media is 24/7 for monitoring and responding to enquiries towards avoiding avoidable crises.”
Speaking on PR practice in Nigeria, the publisher urged the NIPR to emulate other professional bodies that jealously guard the integrity of their members and proudly protect the dignity of their professions. He said: “I urged the NIPR to use its powers appropriately in sanctioning individuals or organisations that abuse the regulations on professional ethics and other sundry requirement of public communication.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, urged Public Relations practitioners to use their skills to promote national unity, peaceful coexistence and good image of Nigeria.
Okechukwu, who solicited support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s crusade on corruption and economic prosperity, noted that the PR practitioners are the image makers therefore, NIPR could be a strategic peace maker that can persuade good relationship between the executive and legislative arms of the government.
He said “As communicators you should endeavour to contribute to a better informed society that is stable, peaceful, united and prosperous. You can achieve that as image makers by abiding to their professional training and ethics and eschew hate campaigns.”
Participants at the monthly Professional Platform of NIPR Abuja chapter include: Directors in the public and private sectors, PR Practitioners, Media Executives, communications scholars and students.