Fighting COVID-19 with PR


Nnamdi Nwigwe, Owerri, Imo State:

It is high time the attention of the relevant authorities was adverted to the enduring attributes of Public Relations in tackling some of the problems of this country.

Indeed, practically every case of public discontent, leading to one form of uprising or the other, has its solution in the application of PR.

But, very unfortunately, little regard is given to this area of social engineering by our governments and public office holders. They can’t even note how the corporate organisations, particularly the international companies, go about their businesses with PR top in their management structure.

Let’s take this issue of COVID-19 pandemic as a case study.

Right from the time the first case of a carrier was reported a year ago, and the Federal Government set up a Presidential Task Force to handle the control of the spread of the infection and related issues, but no mention was made of the application of PR nor inclusion of a PR practitioner in the team.

See also  Thank you, peerless LKJ

And yet everything about this scourge revolves on Public Relations application.

It is PR professionals that would have prepared the minds of the citizens to better appreciate the seriousness of the viral attack.

The medical authorities with the knowledge of the disease needed to have had sessions with those in the information sector such as the Ministry of Information, National Orientation Agency, Nigeria Union of Journalists and finally the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations which should then draw up a programme to target specific areas for the dissemination of relevant and appropriate messages.

See also  Thank you Lateef Kayode Jakande -You were peerless!

Messages meant for the nursery and primary schools would not be suitable for the general public, for instance.

Concentrating on this SIMPLE wearing of masks, our attitude should be on compliance, not always on punishment.

All the resources wasted on setting up roadside courts, or, even more laughable, “mobile courts” could better be channelled by deploying security personnel at road junctions to send EVERYBODY not wearing masks to GO BACK. Such people may be lucky to buy from hawkers of the face masks if they are nearby. The important point is to stop the offender from continuing their journey UNTIL they comply.

This method could be replicated everywhere people are massing, like the marketplaces, motor parks etc.

See also  Sunday Igboho and the rise of social order

We fall back too easily on force and punishment that we often forget our objective in enacting laws and regulations.

Maybe, PR practitioners may wish to begin a massive sensitisation and public awareness campaign on how easily national problems can be nipped in the bud or ameliorated by applying Public Relations principles of laying bare all available facts, talking them over at a roundtable and possibly assuring disputing sides that their quarrel can end in a win-win solution.

What is required are transparency, sincerity and even handedness.

And you can’t do away with the professionals in such matters.


p style="text-align: justify;">


p style="text-align: justify;">


p style="text-align: justify;">


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply