By Princewill Ekwujuru
Public Relations practitioners in Africa, under the aegis of Africa Public Relations Association, APRA, have described the level of public relations practice in the continent as very low.
The Association stated that there is need for collaboration among practitioners in the continent to make the practice more competitive globally.
Speaking at a review session of the just ended APRA Mauritius 2014, in Lagos recentlyMr. John Ehigueze, one of the participants at the Conference noted that it had become imperative for PR practitioners in the continent to re-position the practice to enable it change the culture of multi-nationals using points men, instead of real professionals, in different African cultures.
Ehigueze , who is the Chief Executive Officer of the MediaCraft, believes the time has come for practitioners to begin to act on how to harness the much-touted potential that abound in the continent and prepare themselves for competition at the global stage.
Speaking, Secretary General of the association, Mr. Yomi Badejo Okusanya, argued that the continent had continued to have its brand equity eroded because opinions about it were being formed from materials provided by the western media.
The CMC Connect boss explained that the association would be coming up with the Campaign Africa, an initiative that is designed to change the negative perception about Africa, in partnership with the African Union Commission.
‘The whole idea is to allow Africans to tell their own stories, instead of the outside world telling it for us.
‘We believe there is a lot to do in laundering the continent’s image. We have to take it upon ourselves to begin to tell the outside world that Africa is no longer that dark continent,’ he argued.
According to him, besides its primary aim of providing a veritable platform for the nurturing of professional excellence on the continent, the current leadership of APRA had also identified some key intervention areas on the continent, where it plans to focus its activities in the next few years.