Lagos NIPR Embarks On Re-Certification, Set To Flush Out Quacks From The System

Comfort Nwankwo, Chairman, Lagos NIPR

The Chairman of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Lagos State Chapter, Mrs. Comfort Nwankwo has disclosed that plans are in place to stop quacks from practicing public relations in the state.

She explained that this will be done in conjunction with the national body to ensure that quacks are flushed out totally from the system. 

She added that the chapter will continue to support members with training and retraining including re-certification to expose them to trends in PR practice. “We have laid down rules, codes, ethics and guidelines in the practice. What is the use of guidelines if there is no compliance, and how can people comply if there is no enforcement? There are many people practicing PR today and they don’t know anything about PR.”

She added that “In conjunction with the national body of NIPR, we are going to flush the quacks from the system. We need professionals to handle PR jobs to ensure positive paradigm shift in our sector because if professionals are doing the job, you are going to see the difference in the quality of the jobs done and in the quality of counsel given to organisations.”

She urged organisations to hire professionals not only during crises management because they will see the difference, adding that it will continue to expose its members to training opportunities.

“It’s not only in crises management that organisations should go looking for professionals. I want to say that for the people that are in, we will continue to support them with training and retraining to expose them to trends in PR practice. It is an ongoing thing; the practice will get bigger and better. But these are some of the areas we must look into: flushing out quacks, encouraging re-certification, retraining of professionals and even affiliating them to other bodies of like functions in other to balance out what they are doing.”

In addition, she explained that it will first embark on enlightenment with companies before taking legal action, knowing that practicing PR without registering with the institute is a crime. 

“For instance, very soon we are going to enlighten them on the implications of employing non-members of the Institute as PR officers in their organsations.

“We thought of publishing the names of such organsations but being relationship menders, we are doing letters to them first. So, if you are not a registered member of the Institute and you are practicing PR, know that it is a crime to do so. 

“The Institute has made membership registration very easy and cost effective to enable members legalize their practice. If they fail to do so we are working with the ministry of justice so that such will be prosecuted. If you are interested in your brand, we encourage you to stay out of trouble and do the needful by ensuring that people who work in your communication department are certified,” she said.

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