PR practitioners set for Mombasa annual summit

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Information Secretary Manwa Magoma receives from the Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) Chairperson Jane Gitau a copy of the draft Institute of Public Relations and Communication Manag

Public Relations practitioners in Kenya, currently managing operating budgets estimated at more than Kshs 8 billion, have stepped up plans to enhance the professional profile of the specialised communications discipline, to accelerate its economic and social impact.

As part of the plans, Public Relations (PR) professionals’ are set to converge in Mombasa this week for the Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) annual Summit. The Summit will be officially opened by the Principal Secretary, State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunications at the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology, Ms Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed, on Thursday.

Organised under the theme: The Evolution of Public Relations: Safeguarding The Future of a Practice, the Summit will be preceded by a members’ engagement session with a taskforce currently considering views on the draft Institute of Public Relations and Communication Management Bill.

The proposed draft bill, is geared at facilitating the legislative formation of a professional body (INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT) to regulate and promote standards of competence and practice among PR practitioners.

Speaking, when she confirmed plans to host the PRSK Annual Summit at the Pride Inn Convention Centre in Mombasa, PRSK Chairperson, Ms Jane Gitau said the society’s leadership and members have recently renewed the commitment to ensure adherence to professional standards of practice.

The importance of PR practice, she noted, has continued to gain ground in the public and private sectors necessitating the need to enhance the reputation and standing of the profession.

“PRSK members are very keen to see this practice transition to a professional institute, grounded in local legislative instruments and the Summit will provide a platform to review progress already made,” Gitau said.

Already, PRSK has developed a 5 year operating strategic plan to enhance professionalism, respect, standards and acceptability of the profession in the broader professional industry in Kenya.

“This five-year Strategic Plan comes at a time when there is intense desire to separate the wheat from the chaff of Public Relations and Communication Management,” She noted and added that, “Our revised Vision and Mission statements reflect the energy that comes with great ambition.”

As a profession, PR has continued to grow since its establishment in the early 20th Century. The profession is increasingly becoming accepted as an integral part of organizational operations in many parts of the world including Kenya.

In Kenya, PRSK, with more than 500 active members, was established in 1971 and serves as the professional body guiding the PR practice in Kenya. The Society broadly seeks to advance excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management in Kenya and to ensure that the practice continues to thrive within the ethical framework defined by the profession.

Within the East African Region, PRSK is a member of the East African Public Relations Association (EAPRA).  PRSK is also a member of the Africa Public Relations Association (APRA), the continental body for all PR national associations in Africa.  At the global level, PRSK is a founder member of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (GA) among other global bodies such as the International Public Relations Association (IPRA).

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