APRA Morocco 2017 Papers

Over 100 Public Relations & Communication professionals attended the 29th All Africa Public Relations and Strategic Communication Summit convened by the African Public Relations Association (APRA) at the Most Event Centre, Casablanca, Morocco from May 10th – 12th, 2017.

Participants deliberated extensively on the theme ‘Competitive Africa: Effective Positioning Through Integrated Communications’. They are from Bulgaria, Cameroun, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Turkey, United Kingdom and Uganda.

The opening address was delivered by Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, APRA President while Mr. Jon Aarons, Senior Managing Director, Global Head of Network, FTI Consulting, Washington DC presented the key note papers on the theme.

A. Participants NOTED

1. No one can tell African stories better than the Africans themselves and Africa should take her destiny in her hand by moving beyond old alliance of getting aid from developed countries.

2. Africa should by their positive attitudes and determination to develop, win the hearts and minds of investors, local and foreign. Negative attitudes such as corruption, political instability, security threats and bureaucracy in business registration in Africa create uncertainty and erode investors’ confidence.

3.There is need for better regional cooperation and collaboration, good governance, business reputation and improved credit rating as home-grown entrepreneurs are the key to economic development in Africa.

4. The social media has become so pervasive in creating economic opportunities for African entrepreneurs and small business owners who are the engine of economic growth in the continent.

5. Public Relations practitioners to know that the business of public relations is not just about earning money but understanding the global challenges of global economy, technology, accountability, the era of big data and the need for measurement as key factors for continued relevance.

6. That challenges in elections and electoral processes have shown many African governments not following through with their campaign promises. Advocacy for resilience, awareness creation aimed at getting the citizenry involved in all activities targeted at achieving better governance in Africa should be pursued.

7. Emerging trends demand that public relations practitioners should show professionalism across consumers’ desire for personalisation, gender activism, intelligence gathering, integrity and creative solutions in managing clients’ business needs.

8. Women in executive capacity in PR practice must exercise their influence and power to earn self positive perception among stakeholders.

9. Foreign PR affiliations should reflect values, excellence and be mutually beneficial thereby promoting and positioning for global competitiveness.

B. Participants therefore RESOLVED and DECLARED as follows:

1. We therefore resolved that in pursuit of creating a realistic but more positive image of Africa, African citizens and governments should be the ones creating and telling their stories, which is a key area of engagement for public relations practitioners and communications professionals.

2. African Countries and Public Relations Associations are to develop a matrix to have home grown brands telling their stories and promote such brands on the world stage. To this effect, APRA is initiating a 50 Authentic African Brands Project.

3. PR Practitioners must be mindful to pitch their case studies for continental awards as an avenue for measuring impact and value creation. APRA debuted the SABRE 2017 Awards in 20 categories and enjoined practitioners to show more interest in future editions.

4. APRA should champion the need to protect and secure intellectual property both traditional and modern knowledge to the advantage of the continent.

5. That three groups in academia, consultancy and in-house communication should be introduced and four seminars organised before the next edition.

6. That the annual APRA PR & Strategic Communication Conference be reconvened in Botswana in May 9-11 2018.

Jane Gitau
Secretary General

May 12, 2017