I'll Push For Nigeria’s PR Standards To Be At Par With Global Practice - Nkechi Ali-Balogun
Nkechi Ali-Balogun

I’ll Push For Nigeria’s PR Standards To Be At Par With Global Practice – Nkechi Ali-Balogun

8 months ago
3 mins read

Foremost public relations practitioner and member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Nkechi Ali-Balogun, who is seeking to be elected as president of the Institute, says she would work towards advancing the standards of the profession in the country to be at par with global best practice.

Ali-Balogun, a Fellow of the Institute, and two-term former chairperson of the Lagos State chapter of NIPR, says she is bringing in her unflinching passion for the profession and almost three decade wealth of experience to lead the Institute.

Members of NIPR will between August 23 and 25 gather in Abuja for the 2023 Annual General Meeting. The election of a new national executive and members of the Governing Council of the Institute is scheduled for August 24.

Currently a principal consultant at NECCI Consulting, Ali-Balogun had previously served as head of Corporate Affairs of two banks – Nigeria Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank and Equitorial Trust Bank, before becoming the chairperson of the Lagos NIPR chapter.

In an exclusive interview with Prime Business Africa, the veteran PR practitioner said she wants to lead the institute to deploy her passion and wealth of experience to build on the work of the predecessors and raise the bar of standards in the profession in the country to contemporary practice.

She said: “What informed my decision to contest is my passion for the practice. When you have a passion for something you would want to, as much as possible, make sure that the thing is in good standing. I am seeking to have a contemporary Nigerian Institute of Public Relations that would be at par with global practice.

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“I have paid my dues in the industry, a leading public relations practitioner, a veteran with 28 years experience in client service and public relations consultancy. So, you can see that I have garnered experience over the years. I have intuitive ability, I’m audacious, loyal, and I have earned every respect and the right to drive a contemporary Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.”

“The awards and honors I have had doing this, testify to the fact that I am qualified for the job,” she said.

Speaking further on the reasons driving her quest to lead the institute, Ali-Balogun said that since public relations is all about mending fences and building relationships, she wants to see that NIPR as a national body should be at the forefront of driving the discourse for national integration so that the diverse nature of the country would not be a source of disunity but strength.

She also disclosed that part of her plans when elected, is to flush out quacks parading as professionals who give the profession a negative perception. She also hinted on repositioning the industry in the country to ensure that genuine practitioners reap benefits of their practice.

“Another passionate reason for me is the people, the members in practice, in terms of how they can benefit more from the practice, and how we can collectively position the industry to have a recognizable relevance.

“It is a collective effort, and I cannot do it alone. Now, that is not to say that people who came before us didn’t do anything or they did it wrongly. I hate this idea of people saying no, I want to improve on what people did, it is not so. It is like a building block. You come, build your own, and give what you have. The people in the past did what they could do. So, we are coming in to do what we can do. It’s a shift system. You come in and continue, but make sure that what you do is an improvement and a contribution to the growth and development of that particular industry. That’s what I am coming to do.

“My slogan is ‘NIPR Future Forward’. So, we are looking ahead of the future. We’re thinking of things like inclusion, visibility, compliance, education, global Practice among others. I’m very passionate about the industry; that is what drives me.”

On regulating the industry to ensure professionalism, Ali-Balogun said: “There are many things we can do to curtail the presence of quarks in the industry, first of all, like I said earlier, it will not be something started by me. Our predecessors have done a lot in that regard. They went as far as getting the Chief Justice of Federation to give a go-ahead that we can bring to book anybody found to be committing quackery. So, I will strengthen that support that we have already been given.

“I will use the necessary organs of government to enforce what my predecessors have started. You see, sometimes, we have issues because we are reluctant to execute or implement some hard measures. I am known to comply. I’m very, very compliant and would as much as possible, deal seriously with the issue of quack.

“We have the backing of government, and then we have a constitution that backs us, as a regulatory body; and then of course, we have the media as friends to use in this journey.

“We have had a lot of issues, having quacks in public relations, especially in the management of crisis, and in building of a reputation. So these people (clients) come they mess them up. These are people who have been destroying the practice. It’s going to be a major concern of mine.”

She also disclosed that her team in the institute will collaborate with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to carryout reorientation of the citizens about civil conduct and also project the concept of “non-violent communication” to curb the use of foul languages and dissemination of hate messages, especially during election campaigns.

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.


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