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The Essence of PR Communication, the #PRConnect

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(“As a man thinkest so shall he become.
Inhale and exhale positivity.”
Photo courtesy)

It’s 5.11pm. I walk into intercontinental hotel and staight to reception. “Good evening? Where is the PRConnect event happening?”

“Good evening too” The receiptionist responded. He then reached out for a list showing all the events happening at the hotel. He seems not to get the “PRConnect” event I had inquired about.

While turning to me and showing me a paper, “Would you kindly check with me here, I can’t see the event you’re referring to”. Took the list and scanned through it, “Yes, this is the event. It’s written, ‘Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK)’ event”.

“Walk straight ahead and turn to the left side of that ATM booth” he pointed.

The corridor was full of people. Many in their official wear. Ladies in high heels. Gents in suits. All were standing around tall round tables with no seats around them. Was asked to register my name in a form that had several columns such as the organization one comes from, name, contacts, amount paid and the M-pesa transaction code as payment was done through paybill straight to the PRSK Barclays bank account.

As I was doing the registration, soft music was playing in the background. The frequent members of the PRSK were exchanging pleasantries, others networking while having bites and visitors like this writer took front seats at the hall.

The photographers were doing their thing and the administrator of the PRSK Twitter handle kept on updating all that was transpiring as they happened. One remarkable thing, everyone was wearing a heavy smile indicating a jovial mood.

A black middle-aged man of medium height walked into the podium, greeted everyone and called the meeting to order. He introduced himself as Kamuzu Banda before ushering the audience into introduction session where one’s name, what they do and nicknames was to form part of this process.

It’s during this process that I met the few individuals who I have yearned to meet physically. One such person is a middle-aged lady working as a communication director to the cabinet. This is one lady who managed the communication of the cabinet secretaries during the Dusit II attack. I watched her directing the senior government officials led by the Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i on where to stop, when to speak, allowed for questions and indicated when the questions were enough. It was beautiful.

It’s during this session that I saw those working with Ethics and Anti corruption Commission, those working in various government offices, the geothermal team, those in private sector, name them. Worth noting is that, apart from the less than ten students who were present, only two were job hunting, the rest of the members fully employed.

Then came Mr President, the PRSK Boss Dr. Wilfred Marube. He appeared a relaxed fella with deep understanding of Public Relations communication. He did few briefs before welcoming the speaker of the day CHRP Dorcas Wainaina, the CEO, The Institute of Human Resource Management. She dwelt on how individuals can transform from communication specialists to managing an organization. This, she said, one can do by first understanding who they are through Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and DISC(Dominance, Influence, Steadfastness, conscientiousness).

She maintained that one’s journey to become CEO starts from discovering one’s self, drawing personal development plan, being a resource mobilizer and also perfecting what you do as a person.

She went on to say that to become a CEO, you must have the following DNA in your system; track record of high performance, personal vision sandwiched with the organization’s vision, passion for the job (‘passionometer’), remain assertive, create your own narrative or your own story, be aggressive, manage your ego, intuition (as in listen to your inner voice), build and keep quality relationship, believe in the impossibilities, have backbone and heart (that is, be felt as human), reinvent, embrace obstacles, be courageous and decisive, be authentic and credible, be a good communicator and finally, learn to listen.

The cocktail session came and this writer managed to interact with a young PhD researcher in the field of communication at the University of Nairobi. How to make PRSK stronger became center of discussion. It is through this discussion that the writer learnt the efforts being placed to have various changes effected by the PRSK.

The writer further interacted with a handful others and the discussions remained healthy. Sad that I never met the communication director to the cabinet.

I have attended many events but this particular PRConnect event was one of a kind. I encourage those in communication to identify with PRSK and make it a priority to attend their events. Looking forward to more interactions of similar magnitude.

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