Nigeria’s king of public relations, Mazi Mike Okereke, is a man embued with honour – both at home and abroad. Having won many awards and laurels here and there, the icing on the cake came last November at Salt Lake City, Utah, in the United States, when he received the ATLAS Award Presentation on International Public Relations.
Out of about 1,000 nominations for last year’s award, founded and organised by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), two – including Nigeria’s legendary head of Public Relations Department of the United African Company (UAC) – were selected. With his nomination coming from Sweden, Britain, India and four African countries, and initiated by a former president of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in Britain, Okereke thus became the first African to receive a global lifetime award in PR.
This feature, captured in 10 well-laid pages, made the cover of the current edition of PR Review, the now enlivened quarterly journal of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria, which has remained the most authoritative tab on the practice of PR in Nigeria.
“It is fitting that he (Okereke) is the first personality cover story we would be doing in PR Review,” notes the editor, Chido Nwakanma, who is the chief executive officer of Taijo Wonukabe Limited, an integrated communications solutions company and PRCAN member.
Adds Nwakanma: “Mike Okereke stands tall in public relations in Nigeria and Africa. He has made epochal contributions and stands out for the structures and institutions that he has helped to build…Okereke has for long been a standard bearer for the industry.”
The report — “Mike Okereke: Nigeria’s Mr. PR Celebrates Footprints on the Sands of Time” — is anchored by wordsmith Godwin Adindu, a journalist and PR consultant who is associate editor of the journal. It traces the elder statesman’s voyage into PR, his presidency of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) between 1988 and 1992, educational develo-pment efforts and his consultancy practice, among others.
In the interview, in which he talks about his passion for human resources development and training, he takes a futuristic look at the practice of PR in Nigeria and Africa in general, assesses the trend of local agencies affiliating with international agencies and reflects on the state of PR consultancy in Nigeria. His pronouncements are oracular. Spread on two pages, the citation on Okereke at the PRSA Award is a condensed biography of the 68-year old public relations impresario.
The report is complete with the selection criteria for the Atlas Award for Lifetime International Achievement and a list of the 15 recipients so far, the last being Mazi Mike Okereke.
The contribution by Simon Quarendon, the secretary general of ICCO (International Communications Consultancy Organisation), entitled “Calling all Nigerian PR Agencies: Are you Ready for the Upturn?” is a clarion call that cannot be ignored by any serious practitioner of stakeholder in PR practice, for that matter.
In addition to this, the current issue of the 48-page journal also has a situation report on the hottest events venues which is quite invaluable for the database of PR practitioners and events management consultants. The news and reports under the various other sections – News Round, Perspective, Cutting Edge and Global Trends – combine to enrich the journal and make it the true voice of the industry.
Published by the Publications Committee of PRCAN, PR Review is designed and produced by the Customs Publishing Department of Taijo Wonukabe Limited and printed through the DI (direct imaging) process by its subsidiary, PrintPro Projects Limited. It comes in A4 size and is printed on Matt paper in full colour.
In view of the high calibre of its audience, its profile as an advertising medium is rising by the quarter.