Friday, January 26, 2018

It’s that time of year again where Public Relations (PR) persons will gather to strategize for the 2018 fiscal year. To make this year’s planning different, I will be sharing some strategic ideas, communication trends and international best practices.

If you plan on soaring in 2018, here are some ideas to pay attention to.

VISUAL STORYTELLING

In 2017, many companies spent a chunk of their communication budget on broadcast media alone. We can’t keep paying over GHS 6000 for TV news coverage when Facebook Live is free, effective and interactive. We can’t pay for a channel or segment our target audience don’t watch, listen to or read. Feel free to disagree though.

Ask yourself this: “are the demographic factors of my target audience in sync with my choice of media platform?” At the end of the day, we as PR practitioners must review what works in our industry and what doesn’t.

The power of video is undeniable. More than 8 billion average daily views and 100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook. As PR and business practitioners living in Ghana, I’m not sure we have milked the dawn of video storytelling enough.

I don’t know if you have noticed also that attention span is shortening. People hardly read newspapers from cover to cover. People hardly listen to news from the beginning to end, etc.

Dear PR people, if you are not harnessing the video era, start now. Go to Udemy, Skillshare and the Khan Academy to take free online courses.

MEASUREMENT

Most people at agencies or with client start off their PR career doing media monitoring and clippings. This necessary evil has become a trend the world over. Because of time and staff constraints, the average PR practitioner monitors for monitoring sake. No trends, patterns, opportunities and the deeper analysis are suggested for planning. I dare say the absence of project/campaign measurement has fuelled the perception that PR doesn’t bring much to the table.

In 2018, let the relevant measurement tools and analytics do the talking in our reports. Tools like AMEC Integrated Framework and Google Analytics can help with PR campaign measurement. You can take free webinars on measurement at Ragan’s Measurement for Communicators Conference.

Let’s look at more PR measurement tools below:

TrendKite: Trendkite’s PR analysis helps to know PR’s true impact. It does this by measuring impact, enhancing quality coverage, and strategically shaping your approach to PR.

Gorkana: Media database, monitoring and social media analysis

Meltwater: Meltwater offers the largest global media database, ensuring you’ve found all of your media mentions. With intuitive dashboards and one-click reports, it’s easy to demonstrate campaign performance and ROI.

Newsmeter: Newsmeter is an online global news tracker service with an award-winning indexing technology. Our platform traces all the global news resources around the world continuously. Our platform has the capability to gather all published news together and generates detailed reports on topics that interest you by analyzing these news articles.

Talkwalker: Protect, measure and optimize the impact of your brand communication with our leading social listening and analytics suite

Hootsuite: Manage all your social media in one place. From finding prospects to serving customers,
Hootsuite helps you do more with your social media.

TweetReach: Monitor all the topics and profiles important to you on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Improve your social media strategy and execution across social media with Union Metrics.

MUST HAVE TOOLS/SOFTWARE

Departments like Marketing, Finance, Operations, etc. have always questioned how PR budget is used. Some practitioners are not able to justify in detail how a campaign’s performance is linked to ROI. In an era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), PR divisions must invest in platforms that provide value and analysis on projects.

Cision: The award-winning Cision software brings together the elements you need to engage the right influencers, get coverage, achieve measurable results and manage your campaigns. Cision circulates media stories globally and with so much convenience. Hence there’s no need to bother media cabal here in Ghana to publish your stories for you; the system does the distribution for you.

Trello: Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.

Mention: Mention monitors millions of sources in 42 languages, helping you stay on top of all brand mentions. It monitors social networks, news sites, forums, blogs or any web page. The app lets you keep track of your team’s actions, shares alerts and assigns tasks. Generating reports and exporting mentions can help you get a snapshot of your mentions by source or language over a selected period of time.

By Paa Kwesi Forson

About the Writer

Paa Kwesi Forson's writing love started after some girl broke his heart 'yayaaaya' (a Twi phrase meaning painfully. lol). That negative experience helped unearth the best in him. He officially started blogging on Myfirstcopybook.blogspot.com and moved it to www.paakwesiforson.com

Mr. Forson never knew he was this funny till he started blogging. He noticed that whether he is writing a piece on nostalgic moments, religion, social issues, or business, there is always a satirical and/or humorous touch to it.

Aside being busy at his day job at Ghana's biggest Public Relations Agency,  he love making music, relaxing with his family, reading stuff and many more.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Joe Mettle
Joseph Oscar Mettle better known by his stage name as Joe Mettle, has reacted to the top 20 most played songs released by The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) for 2017 describing it as an opinion.

A few days ago, MUSIGA released the list for the top 20 most played songs in Ghana for 2017, which had Ebony Reigns topping the chat with her hit song ‘Sponsor’.

The release that did not list any of gospel artists flooded the Internet as people questioned the authenticity of its source.

The Award-Winning Gospel artiste in an interview on Happy FM’s ‘After Drive Show’ yesterday said, MUSIGA is not being truthful with the list they collated.

“Without research, one can tell gospel songs are played constantly on air,” he stated.

The ‘Bo Noo Ni’ hit maker challenged the authenticity of the list with reason that most presenters start their shows with gospel songs.

“I am wondering how the research was done,” he said.

Mettle further added that gospel musician’s work hard and though they encounter challenges in promoting their songs, most played songs does not mean most successful.

“ Until we are shown the bases of the research, the top 20 most played songs is just their opinion and that cannot be challenged,” he said.

Having hit gospel songs such as ‘Bo noo ni’ and ‘Owanwanni’ and others to his credit, Joe Mettle, despite the list released by MUSIGA, looks forward to maintaining his reign as Artist Of the year 2018.

By Diana Teiko Amankwah.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

King Ayisoba
Ghanaian music act, King Ayisoba, has revealed that he is more popular than Shatta Wale and Sarkodie on both local and international front.

Speaking on Happy FM’s Showbiz Xtra,  King Ayisoba, known in real life as Albert Apoozore, said his style of music instantly pulls more crowd on the street and carries deep messages which ensure discipline across.

According to the ‘I want to see you my father’ hit maker, he doesn't feel threatened by Shatta Wale and Sarkodie at all.

“Let the people of Ghana will put both Shatta Wale and I on the streets of Accra and let's see which amongst us will be hailed. You will then notice the number of praise I will get over Shatta,” he said.
 
By Oparebea Sugar

Monday, January 8, 2018

Kidi
Ghanaian music germ, Kidi says his ‘Odo’ hit song deserves an award at the upcoming Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA). 

Speaking on Happy FM’s Showbiz Xtra, the Afro Pop singer, the hit song has made a lot of rounds in the year under review and as such an award at the VGMA would mean that his work and effort in the music industry is appreciated.

He was however quick to add that he will be cool if his song does not get a single at this year’s VGMA.

“You don't do music because of awards and if you are an artist who does music purposely for awards, you will never excel rather focus on your vision for doing music. Don't let awards distract you from doing good music," he stated.

Meanwhile it could be recalled that, Charterhouse Productions Limited, organizers of the annual Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Festival opened nominations for the 19th edition of the event earlier in January.

By: Oparebea Sugar

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Some of you may think I have taken things exceptionally personal about the appeal for the TV License. I started practicing journalism about exactly a decade ago but have not been practising for about half a decade now. That should qualify me considerable as a member of the Ghana Inactive Journalists Association.

This is a surreptitiously averse union which many members are not proud of.  (Mind you, if you are a practising journalist and you are not a registered member of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), or your stories have not caught the attention of the GJA to nominate you for an award, you need no membership fee or periodic dues to automatically qualify as a member of the my imaginary and nascent Ghana Inactive Journalist Association).

One thing about the inactive journalist is that, gate-keeping means such as “soli” and editorial scrutiny have no influence of what we write or say, and in seldom cases, think. We may not have the remote control to set the agenda but we can, in our own infinitesimal ways coax or coerce decision: One of them, among the many, is the push for the payment of TV License fees.

I have read the views of many on why Ghanaians must not pay the TV License and reasons associated do not transcend the personal feelings or experience of those against the payment of the TV License.

One of such views that my attention was drawn to were those of Mr. Bright Simons on Facebook. I learn a lot from notable personalities like Bright Simons everyday even though I am yet to meet him in person: I hope one of my occasional visits to Graphic affords me such an opportunity. My unending interest in meeting him has even made me replace my son’s picture with his as my phone’s screen saver.  You can sense my love and admiration for him.

In a Facebook post, Mr. Simons recently stated that the GBC must not benefit a Cedi from funds generated from the TV License. I felt should the smallest unit of the Ghanaian currency (Pesewa) been commonly used, he would have wished GBC not even receive a single Pesewa.

I copy these points from his Facebook post:  “Even if we are to pay for TV licences, there are at least 5 reasons why GBC mustn't receive a cedi until it fully reforms its ways and norms.

1. It (GBC) competes with the private media agencies for advertising money. Adding tax money on top of that is unfair. The decision to give a sop out of the licence money to the private industry lobby group, as a counterbalance, is a cynical tactic that only worsens the illogicality of the whole endeavour.

2. It does not respect public interest advocacy. When I used to help manage IMANI's events, GTV was the only station that refused to honour a single invitation despite detailed written explanations regarding the public interest value of those events. They refused to carry comments and cover treatments on STX, China CDB loan, China Hassan, etc. All of which became matters of topical public interest.

3. It charges for covering non-commercial events, even those of obvious news value. I have seen invoices issued by GBC to cover newsworthy events of a non-promotional and non-commercial nature. This means that GBC considers its airwaves as available to the highest bidder. To use taxpayer's money to endorse such a retrogressive notion of broadcasting is tantamount to subsidizing unethical broadcasting. This is because charging to cover an event requires that the said event be treated as an advertorial and not as news (viewers need to know that airtime has been paid for by a party connected to the subject or event being covered). GTV regularly flouted this basic ethic.

4. Unlike public broadcasting systems elsewhere, GBC is not organised properly as a Public Trust. It's governance and management are highly susceptible to government of the day influence. Though recent assertiveness of the NMC has somewhat improved the situation there remains insufficient safeguards against state influence in the appointment of board members, managers and other key functionaries.

5. GBC is no longer the primary community broadcasting medium. It's audience share across the country has shrunk to a point of near irrelevance. There is now no basis to suggest that a tax funded model is more effective in delivering any content or covering any niche that the advertising funded model cannot penetrate. GBC's own "strategic business units" probably recognises as much hence the limited investment made to date in community broadcasting and the increasing, even if also awkward, attempts to match the private stations in entertainment programming. Why should public taxes go to underwrite this lifestyle?

It is shocking that the government is allowing the controversy about the TV licence 'wahala' to go to waste. What happened to "strategic policy making"? Isn't this the right time for Government to ride on the wave of discontent to announce wide ranging reforms to public broadcasting with a view to fixing what is clearly a very broken model?”

It is clear that Mr. Simons’ IMANI scenario is just like saying the president should not develop a region because it did not vote for it. Isn’t that too personal?

We can deduce from Mr. Simons’ post that one (if not the only) way GBC could reform its norm is to have honoured IMANI’s invitation on events such as STX, China CDB loan, China Hassan, etc. This, according him, are all of which became matters of topical public interest (which Ghanaians are discussing currently).

It is axiomatic that GBC happens to be the major beneficiary of the TV License. It would, however, be very hypocritical of Ghanaians to downplay the relevance of funds generated from the TV License; It transcends funding, largely, the oldest media house in the country.

Even though many arguments have been raised about whether funding of the GBC by government is not enough, we should not forget that Ghanaians are the most powerful, though invisible, arm of government but not Nigerians, Mexicans or Indians. Even if elected government is to pay for the TV License for us, let us not forget that “He who pays the piper, call for the tune” (https://www.tvlicence.com.gh/qna.php ). And, government has for almost two decades been calling for the tune on (G)TV content ever since Ghanaians stopped paying the TV License somewhere around 1999.

One thing about the one who calls the tune is that, he ensures it goes with the dance steps of no other person than himself. And, if you are among the few who have similar dance step, you enjoy too. This, however, has not been the case of the viewers of GBC.

Let us not forget that ever since the TV License fees collection took a long pause, those who continued funding the GBC were the periodically elected government. And we all know that one of the ways government brings an institution under its subtle control is by stifling their budget or funding.

The only way we can have our share of say is to use the alternative means of funding which we once used about two decades ago—the TV License. Don’t forget that the world's oldest national broadcasting organization, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which almost all broadcasting organizations emulate, is still being funded through the TV License fees.

This is charged to all British households, companies, and organizations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts has helped in making the BBC since its establishment to what it has always been till today. The BBC is a corporation incorporated under Royal Charter granted by the Queen under the Royal Prerogative and currently came into force on 1 January 2017 and runs until 31 December 2027.

This explicitly recognises the BBC's editorial independence and sets out the Corporation's public purposes and sets out the BBC’s public obligations and funding arrangements by mandating the BBC to collect the TV Licence— (http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/foi-about-tv-licensing-AB15 ). 

This is not entirely  different from the Ghana legislation which says the “TV licensing Act 1966 (NLCD 89) as amended, directs that a “a person shall not install or use a Television receiving set unless there is an existence in relation to that set a valid television receiving set license by the licensing authority under this Act.” Section 1.

As a young boy in the 1990s, I realized we exuded a more Ghanaian identity irrespective of our diverse culture or ethnic background. We have done it before and Television content made a clear cultural sense.  That, however, cannot be said now.

Ghanaians nowadays only exhibit their cultural identities through dropping of their first (foreign) names and put on Friday (African) wear. We tend to focus on surface identity and throw away every form of knowledge about our culture in terms of language, festival and lore (history). Who told us history and lore more than the GBC in terms of program content?

Whether to entertain us from BY THE FIRESIDE to SHOWCASE (IN AKAN, GA, EWE, HAUSA, DANGBANI etc), or to inform us through NEWS or THIS WEEK, the GBC programs were carefully tailored with a touch of culture irrespective of the diverse demographic and psychographic factors. The Ghanaian was well informed about his or her diverse culture without necessarily leaning from classrooms or visiting respective rural areas.

Nowadays, the program content of the new Ghanaian have been operationally defined on TV screens: Entertainment is redefined as “foolishness”; Love is redefined as pornography and Ghanaian culture have been raped by foreign ones. How long would we pretend and overlook how appalling our TV screens have become lately? The influx of Asian and Latin American telenovelas exacerbates the current situation of the Ghanaian culture since these programs generate more income from sponsorship and advertisement.

The new Ghanaian gets lost gradually on what actually entails our culture and other independent broadcasters have overlooked all these cultural details since they do not generate more profit.
It should ring a bell for you that this never happened when GBC was GBC two decades ago. And what made GBC GBC was when citizens were committed to paying their TV License fees. GBC was better when my father and other existing septuagenarians were paying their TV License fees for their respective household, though not many, at that time.

They say sleep is the cousin of death. The difference is that the former is temporary while the other is permanent. While we have the ability of waking up or being woken, the latter needs divine abilities to resurrect or be resurrected.

GBC was asleep but not dead. This has been a long sleep induced by the attitude of most Ghanaians on payment of TV License Fees. Doesn’t one get hungry after waking up? This is enough reason to pay the TV License Fees.

Source: Elorm Dogbo

About the Writer

Elorm is an experienced Customer Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the food production industry. Skilled in Advertising, News Writing, Propaganda, Business Process Improvement, and Business Ethics. Strong support professional with a Communications Studies focused in Public Relations/Image Management from Ghana Institute of Journalism (G.I.J).

About Me

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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