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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Why we need to rebrand NIPR – Ike Neliaku

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Dr Ike Neliaku, a public relations expert and member of the governing council of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, has said his dream for the institute is to transform and rebrand it so it can truly reflect the image-making institute it ought to be.

According to him, one can’t build reputation if he does not have reputation and one can’t make image if he does not have image himself. He said it’s for this reason that one of his top priorities if he takes up the leadership of the institute would be to relocate the secretariat to a better place while working so hard to build a befitting one for the institute.

Explaining further on why he sees himself as a better person to improve things at the institute, he told AFRIPOST:

“I have always seen myself as a natural phenomenon in public relations. I began my career as far back as 1987 in the University of Jos when I was appointed Public Relations officer for a campus enterprise. At that early age I had not known public relations as an institution, but it’s something that I always enjoyed. And I enjoyed my work and I did so well by the Grace of God. And then, thereafter, I did youth service at the Nigeria Police Force, Imo State Police Command.

“I served in the Public Relations department under the then Police Public Relations officer who is now retired. So I did my one year national service under him. Based on the work that I did, I became the best youth corps member in my local government. I became the best in the state and I became one of the best in the nation. Consequently, I was given a national award. That was during the era President Babangida. And that national award comes with an automatic employment. So I found myself in the ministry of information as an information officer and then I began my career from there. Then I joined the institute because all information officers are expected to be members of NIPR. That’s how I enrolled into the institute as an associate. By 1995, I became a full member of the institute and by 2005, I became a fellow of the institute. And throughout my activities, I have eaten PR, I have spoken PR, I have slept on PR, I have woken up on public relations. so it became part of me. I have also served in many other areas for the institute both at the state, chapter and national levels.

“In 2021, I was elected into the governing council. That gave me the opportunity to come to the close range with leadership of the institute, challenges of the institute, prospects of the institute, dynamics of the institute and I began to nurture the idea that more needed to be done. I had the opportunity of initiating a programme which was accepted by the governing council and that was the citizens summit for national integration for peace and security. Council felt it was a programme to take on and they graciously approved that I should chair the national planning committee for the citizens summit. Through that platform, I could see so many things that I thought could be done for the institute if given the opportunity. In terms of programmes, projects and other things, I see that we can do more.

“We are currently using a rented facility as our national secretariat. An institute that is 60 years this year – that is a no-no and it requires somebody that has the capacity and network to be able to do that. God so kind, we were able to secure a land from the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, for the national secretariat of the institute. But before that is done, we just relocate from the plaza where we are to somewhere that is more befitting. This is because public relations is an image-making thing. It is a perception management platform. You can’t build reputation if your reputation has not been sorted out.

You can’t make image if you don’t have image yourself. So looking at the dynamics of what is to be done, and knowing that I’m skilled and gifted, in most of those areas, I have showed interest. Most importantly, you cannot lead a people unless they want you to lead them. I have a very vibrant chapter that has called on me to come out. They felt I should be encouraged to run for this office. I must be honest and I must give it to them that they were the ones that started the process. The capacity is there, the understanding of what is required is there, the right emotional intelligence is there. In terms of the network, it is there. In terms of enjoying the respect of your colleagues, it is there. I will be denying the institute the great opportunity to turn things around.

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