A Public Relations Officer in the Gutter

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On page 4 of the Daily Guide of yesterday a disturbing story was reported about how a certain Abraham Otabil turned away reporters from newspapers he deemed unworthy of covering the engagement between the Lands And Natural Resources Minister and the Otumfuo in Kumasi.

We find the action of the Public Relations Officer (PRO) if indeed he is, one despicable that requires the immediate intervention of the Minister lest he loses the goodwill which alongside his diligence has offered him an impressive leverage since he assumed office. His pedigree as a powerful personality whose perseverance in the trenches when his party the NPP soldiered on in the face of deliberate bottlenecks on the political terrain set him apart from others, should not be contaminated by the action of a PR novice.

Which PRO worth his salt would turn away a representative of the leading private newspaper in the country from covering an event especially one involving a minister whose ministry is at the frontline of the galamsey war? Not even a dunce would dare.

We wonder also whether the PRO understands what it takes to maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its publics. He certainly does not and so the earlier the minister calls him to order or get him to go for a refresher on how to manage such critical assignments for his boss the better.

Hon Peter Amewu fortunately understands the importance of the media in the scheme of things and would dare not neither do what his subordinate did nor close his eyes to the nonsense.

We have taken exception to this crude and rude conduct from a man we think hardly understands the office he is supposed to be holding.

The change Ghanaians called for and got when they went to the polls on December 7 was real and covered all ramifications of our endeavour including how public officials interacted with their compatriots.

He looks like one of those sulking at the change that has visited Ghana and would have rather the rotten system of the old order remains. Let nobody shed tears for a man we would restrain ourselves from lampooning further.

Change has come to Ghana and those who think by such crazy conduct they are constituting stumbling blocks to this epoch-making phenomenon must rethink their decisions.

The role of the media in the national crusade against galamsey should not be marginalized by the pedantic action of nincompoops who do not appreciate the relevance of PR in public service. The fallouts from the conduct of this officer has incensed many media practitioners at both the lowest rung to the highest echelon of the profession.

It is unfortunate that the minister, a nice and diligent personality whose work is beginning to yield fruits for which he would be remembered long after he has served his tenure should lose face because of the poor judgment of his PRO.

It is a classic case of a PR blunder which lecturers in the subject would find worthwhile as a case study for their students.

We just cannot fathom it; how a PRO is unable to even profile the newspapers in the country successfully and determine which to allow for an important function such as which took place at Manhyia.


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