A Council Member of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR), Mrs Vicky Wireko-Andoh, has underscored the need for accredited communication institutions to package programmes targeted at leaders in private and public sectors to build their skills.
She said most of such leaders, including politicians and corporate bodies, came on radio and television unprepared and, therefore, sometimes compromised their integrity, as well as that of their organisations.
She was speaking at the launch of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, University of Education, Winneba last Friday.
It was on the theme: “A Decade of Providing Communication and Media Studies Education: The Prospects and Challenges.”
Mrs Wireko-Andoh, who is also the General Manager of Groupe Nduom (GN) Media, said the venture would not only create extra income for the departments, but would largely contribute to shaping the communication skills of leaders of the country.
“I believe it is also time for our communication and media educational set-ups to champion the brand Ghana agenda and place our country out there as the best in sectors such as tourism, education and health,” she said.
On the need for Africans to tell their own stories, Mrs Wireko-Andoh said over the years, the emphasis had been on the European and American ways of communicating, with media examples usually coming from them, adding that: “It is time for academics to document the best practices that emanate from Ghana and Africa.”
She stressed the importance of communication and media in the country’s socio-economic development, saying research had established that Communication and Media Studies Education would be the first choice of profession among secondary school leavers by 2030.
Quoting a survey conducted by Forbes to buttress her point, Mrs Wireko-Andoh said Communication and Media Studies would even overtake the study of Medicine and Law, adding: “Looking beyond the 10 years and into the future, the department is going to be one of the busiest and most sought after in the university.”
Mrs Wireko-Andoh said just as communication was relevant, so was the media and these days, social media, saying a research conducted by YouGov Research among 18 to 24-year-olds found that social media was very trendy and much influential in news.
That, Mrs Wireko-Andoh noted, was an indication that new media had a whole lot to offer and it was time to focus attention on media studies in order to take advantage of the benefits they offered businesses.
“One of the department’s greatest challenge, I can tell you straight away, is how to right the wrongs in communication and media practices today in our country,” she said.
She expressed concern about the way and manner people were communicating these days without recourse to the fact that communication was a powerful tool and must be used and managed well.
The Minister of Information, Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, stressed the urgent need for all sectors of the economy to focus on what could be done to brand the country.
He said his ministry was collaborating with the ministries of Trade and Tourism to structure the form and the direction the brand could take.
“We are strongly collaborating so we can set up a permanent office to make it durable so that even if there is a change of government, it will still remain there,” he stressed.
The minister cited how the Gambia and Kenya had positioned themselves in terms of branding, compelling even Ghanaians to troop to those countries as tourists.
In a speech read on his behalf, the acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Rev. Father Professor Anthony Afful Broni, said the nation’s quest to develop and remain truly independent basically depended on well-structured communication and media.
He said the quality of personnel of communication and media of every country was one of the most valued and important resources through which that country could accelerate development and achieve competitive advantage.
Source: Graphic Online