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National Integration: Public Relations germane if well harnessed, Says Nkwocha – From Chukwudi Ejimofor/Port Harcourt

Dr. Nkwocha: PR has power to open doors to opportunities

The Public Relations profession has the power to be a catalyst for national peace and harmony as well as for organization growth, says Dr. Jossy Nkwocha, a Public Relations expert.

He made this assertion in a keynote speech at the 2023 World Public Relations Day (WPRD) organized by the Rivers State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in collaboration with the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, Rivers State University, on Monday, July 17, 2023.  

Speaking on the theme “Harnessing the Power of Public Relations”, Dr. Nkwocha noted that the Public Relations concepts of Issues and crisis management as well as Stakeholder Management are keys for resolving industrial and national issues and helping to engender national cohesion and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

Dr. Nkwocha who is a Fellow of NIPR, highlighted several issues that the use of PR can resolve to impact positively on society. He also stated that Public Relations has the power to steer public perception and public opinion in the positive direction, which in turn, can be a business enabler by using goodwill, positive image and reputation to grow businesses and increase a company’s profit.

He stressed ”Public Relations has the power for social re-engineering and peace in institutions, governments and nations through effective stakeholder engagement and management.” adding that Public Relations has the power to predict the future through trends analysis and credible forecasting, while opening doors to opportunities. 

The speech outlined the origins of the WPRD, different definitions of Public Relations, the role PR practitioners should perform as they celebrate the special Day, the amazing possibilities of Public Relations and how these can be harnessed for the public good. 

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Dr. Nkwocha, who is the head of Corporate Communications at Indorama-Nigeria, a multinational giant, after his postulations, recommended that practitioners should see their profession as a serious business that must be practiced creditably and ethically, before he concluded that “Indeed, Public Relations is powerful if well harnessed.” 

In his opening remarks at the event, the Chairman of Rivers NIPR, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim notified that the institute is to set to start the enforcement of the law to prosecute anybody practicing public relations in Rivers State without requisite certification from the NIPR. 

“Very soon, our Ethics and Disciplinary Committee would swing into action because the Public Relations Decree of 1990 makes it a criminal offence to practice public relations without certification and that law provides for imprisonment of not more than two years or a fine or both for offenders.”

The Vice Chancellor, Rivers State University, Professor Nlerum Okogbule assured that the institution is committed producing quality Public Relations graduates that will impact society positively. He was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Professor Valentine Omubo-Pepple.



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