Public Relations is one of the most misunderstood roles in many organisations. It takes a back seat and is relegated to the sending of email and the production of a news weekly every so often. What many do not see, in broader terms, is effectively the strategic management role of PR in positioning an organisation to communicate with both its internal and external publics.
Strathmore University’s Head of Communication and University Relations, Mrs. Betty Ngala, held an interactive session with 2nd year Bachelor of Arts Communication (BAC) students, to explain exactly what this dynamic and vibrant mandate entails at Strathmore University.
Mrs. Ngala cited both rewarding and challenging incidents during her tenure, and the role her office played. The students were happy with her presentation on the variety of scenes presented by a day in public relations, which could spin from a peaceful talk on branding of the University, to the adrenaline and tension that comes up when the university is caught up in an unforeseen crisis. She reiterated that her key message as Public Relations was about building and strengthening relationships between an organization and its stakeholders.
The students felt that she had helped merge them perfectly with the classroom theoretical discussions covered in their unit on Introduction to Public Relations, with the practice of the profession. Some students hope to specialise in PR, and they got a golden chance to hear from a practitioner living their future career.