PROCEEDINGS OF THE ONE-DAY TRAINING FOR NITP PUBLIC RELATIONS SECRETARIES
THEME: EFFICIENT INFORMATION MANAGEMENT FOR IMAGE PROMOTERS IN NITP HELD AT THE NITP- BAWA BWARI HOUSE ABUJA ON 2ND MARCH, 2017
The training session was approved by NEC after a proposal was submitted by the National Public Relations Secretary Tpl Ashiru Olugbenga Oladimeji. The One-day training started at exactly 10:45am with the introduction of Public Relations Secretaries of State Chapters of the Institute. The meeting was presided over by the National Public Relations Secretary. He equally charged members to be up and doing in branding the image of the Institute. The training had thirty participants in attendance.
The training was declared open by the National President of NITP, Tpl. Luka Bulus Achi FNITP around 11 am. The President in his opening advised the Public Relations Secretaries to pay adequate attention to the training session and charged them to present and promote the good image of the profession and the institute.
Tpl. Ibrahim Yinusa MNITP the Registrar of Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC) in his goodwill message advised the public relations secretaries to ensure positive image promotion, he also affirmed that the relationship between TOPREC and NITP is very cordial and advised public relations secretaries to ignore rumours.
1ST TRAINING SESSION: EFFICIENT INFORMATION MANAGEMENT FOR IMAGE PROMOTERS IN NITP BY TPL. MOSES OGUNLEYE. FNITP
The first training session titled “Efficient information Management for Image Promoters in NITP” was presented by Tpl. Moses Ogunleye. FNITP
Tpl Moses Ogunleye FNITP appreciated the Institute for organizing what he termed a golden opportunity for training the public relations secretaries of the institute, he stressed that being the former public relations secretary of the institute, it’s a right step in the right direction as the need for the profession and the institute needs publicity. He advised the Public Relations Secretaries to boost positive information dissemination of the Institute.
In his presentation he pointed the following:
- For Town Planning, the source of information is the Institute, while the receiver are multivariate in location, socio-economic status, gender etc.
- For a professional body like NITP and for its Public Relations Secretaries, image making should be a “make belief” activity.
- The market environment for an image for Town planning is diversified consisting of various stakeholders who form opinion and create impression about the profession.
- The stakeholders include the public, government at all tiers, private sector, the academia, communities, professionals in the built environment, regulator (TOPREC), the media, Town Planners in the public and private sector and multilateral organizations.
He furthered his presentation on “CASE STUDIES OF LIKELY EXPECTATION OF SOME STAKEHOLDERS”, in which he pointed out the role of some stakeholders in image-making of the town planning profession as highlighted below:
Government at all tiers
- Promote evolvement of functional and efficient human settlements
- Commitment to service delivery
- Adherence to code of conduct etc.
Developers / Investors/Manufacturer
- Providing opportunities for higher yield in investment inlands and other real estate component among others.
- Enhance a Service environment
- Understand the critical needs
- Use planning tools to evolve functional communities etc.
Academia (Staff & Student)
- Encouraging the students on their hope in the profession
- Encourage continuous learning
The Built Environment professional / Industry practitioners
- Promote Inter professional interaction for project execution.
- Maintain Integrity
- Abhor quackery
- Total adherence to code of conduct and practice regulations
- Payment of dues by individuals and registered planning firms.
- Feedback on matters of practice and conducts etc.
- Immediate response to problems on matters related to planning practice.
- Provision of Information etc.
Town Planners in Public Sectors
- Facilitate the planning process
- Enhance Service delivery etc.
Town Planners in Private Sectors
- Show understanding in service delivery
- Provide support
- Provide proof of relevance
- Show competence
Tpl. Moses Ogunleye FNITP pointed out the unclear nature of what the profession represents and what its practitioners can offer as a big challenge that the profession is facing in the country. He mentioned some salient points. In his presentation, he highlighted low appreciation of the profession as one of the hindrances to achieving good image in town planning. Other principal issues includes:
- The perceived vengeance
- The nature of the society
- The overriding powers of the political leaders
- The dominance of practitioners in the public sector
- Poor conviction
In addition, Tpl. Moses Ogunleye identified the duties of a Public relations officer as highlighted below:
- Identify challenges confronting the profession
- Analyse the challenges
- Identify partners for actions
- Make friends with media
- Always make the Institute visible on media
- Send messages to members
- Create Social platform to members
- Personal development (attend lectures)
- Participate in other professional bodies activities
- Repackaging of the profession must be joint effort
2ND TRAINING SESSION: SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY AND BEST PRACTICES BY MISS ZAINAB SULE
In the second training session, Miss Zainab Sule focused on the ways by which Public Relations Secretaries can maximize the social media platforms. Miss Zainab Sule explained that social media helps to enhance our productivity in terms of public relations. It also allows direct contact with our customer, prospect and brand representatives. She declared that the mission of Public Relations Secretaries is to make the Town Planning profession look good.
In her lecture Miss Zainab Sule talked on the best practices for social media listening, engagement, publishing, advertising and measurement. According to her, these practices include:
- Set measurable social media goals
- Choose the right social media network e.g. Facebook
- Brand your social media profile pages
- Content quality over quantity
- Monitor social media analytics
Miss Zainab Sule stated that as Public Relations Secretaries, their goals must be specific, in the case of the NITP, 76% of the goal should focus on awareness, 47% for Lead generation, 34% for customer, 25% for sales and 17% for customer care. In addition she emphasized on the need to choose the right social media profile page through effective social media analysis.she later trained the Public relations officers how to make use of some social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook.
3RD TRAINING SESSION: TOWN PLANNING AND IMAGE MAKING BY TPL ASHIRU OLUGBENGA OLADIMEJI
The third training session was handled by Tpl. Ashiru Olugbenga in which he presented on the need for the Town Planning profession to be better branded to enhance its image, the qualities of a good Public Relations Secretaries and the ways by which Public Relations Secretaries can create awareness for the Town Planning profession. In his presentation he made some salient points as highlighted below:
- The Public Relations Secretary is the spokesperson of any organization. As a Public Relations Secretary
- We need to educate ourselves more and also relate with others
- The PRS must be sociable and control aggression
- Delete every form of irrelevant message
- The best PRS puts things in context
- You have to be knowledgeable about the information you are giving
- You don’t use abbreviation. Avoid eg@x = at
- Try as such as possible to avoid mistake or limit it
- Internet is competitive, you must be there
- Try to be multitasking e.g. diversifying to the work or all other executives. You are the image maker of the institute.
Tpl. Ashiru Olugbenga noted the following as the qualities that should be found in a Public Relations Secretary
Tpl. Ashiru Olugbenga concluded his presentation on the various strategies that should be adopted by Public Relations Secretaries to create better awareness of the Town Planning thereby enhancing its image. These strategies include:
1. Press conference
2. Preparing media plan
3. Communication Budget
4. Cordial relationship
QUESTIONS RAISED BY PARTICIPANTS
- In a situation where the PRS came up with some proposals and the Chairman refused to accept his argument. What can he do?
- When there is financial constraint in the state chapter, how can we successfully handle the media programs
- Linking the private business to the institute website, is it not against professional ethics
- Among the social media platforms, which one is more effective in branding our image
- What can be done when other members of the exco are taking up the responsibility of the PRS
PRS were charged to work with their Chairman and be relevant in their state chapter,they were advised to follow the constitution in discharging their duties.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE PRS MEETING
1. All state chapters must have social media platforms such as Facebook, website, twitter and WhatsApp group
a. WhatsApp group of state chapters must consist of only chapter members
b. Set down rules must be applied at state chapters platform to prevent abuse
c. Admin of state chapter platforms must be the state chapter Exco only
2. Create comprehensive database of members in the state and make it available at the national level
3. Report on monthly basis the activities of the state chapters at the national level
4. The post of the Assistant Public Relations Secretary is to be created in all state chapters as these will promote transition of duties.
5. All Public Relations Secretaries should feel free to relate with each other and share our challenges.
6. Prepare media plan for every calender year.
7.The NPRS, ANPRS and the Chapter PRS thanked the National Executive Council for approving the training and proposed that it should be an Annual event
The programme came to an end around 6:45pm with the issuance of certificate of participation to members by the National Public Relations Secretary Tpl. Ashiru Olugbenga
Tpl Ashiru Olugbenga Oladimeji
National Public Relations Secretary