Public Relations Officers (PROs) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have been instructed to use digital media tools for public communication.
The call was made during a training retreat organized by the service for its spokespersons and public communicators.
Speaking on the theme of the programme, Commander Customs Training College (CTC), Ikeja, Comptroller Kalamu Ayinde Aremu pointed out that managing an organization’s online reputation and brand identity through the Targeted use of digital and social technologies is essential in the digital age.
“Public communicators should develop passion for their profession by being innovative and creative in their messages, especially in the digital age,” he said.
National Customs spokesperson, DC Timi Bomodi, said the workshop was specifically designed to equip officers in the Service’s Public Relations Unit with the tools to serve as positive perception catalysts.
“Projecting the image of any organization can be a formidable task. Projecting an image of an organization whose roles are often misunderstood, misinterpreted and sometimes deliberately distorted can be herculean and daunting.
“However, despite the challenges, our job as PR practitioners is to correct these perceptions through constant engagement with our audiences. Managing information, especially in an environment like ours, can be challenging.
“That’s why we must continue to update ourselves with the necessary tools that will allow us to provide our audiences with the right information at the right time. Fortunately, we have among us resource people for this retreat who have distinguished themselves in practice,” he said.
In his presentation on “Effective Public Communication in the Digital Age”, PRNigeria Editor-in-Chief Yushau Shuaib said that advances in technology have transformed public relations with social media by expanding the channels used to s engage with new audiences in building reputations. .
He said: “With the immediacy of social media, some of the hallmarks of online PR campaigns include deployments of hypertextuality using hyperlinks and web links to posts.
“Similarly, the multimediality of integrating videos, audios and images in digital media platforms enhances interactivity through comments and engagements.
“Notable engagement tools are computers, smartphones, editing software, search engines and sharing platforms.”
Other speakers, including Dr. Ganiu Okunnu from Lagos State University (LASU) and Abayomi Adisa from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), in their various presentations on crisis communication and storytelling, urged participants to use modern engagement tools in the exercise of their profession.
According to them, this will help them maintain mutually beneficial relationships with their target audiences.