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24.07.2005 Feature Article

Kojo Yankah - A Working PR Man

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Kojo Yankah is definitely a world class Public Relations expert, a pride of Ghana and PANAFEST is attributed to his dedication and sacrifice. He is well known, knowledgeable, very experienced and because of his excellent skills, he is the President of the African Institute of Journalism. As a PR expert/Publicist by profession myself, Kojo Yankah is definitely my definition of a PR working machine and one of my heroes. He has the vibe, the spirit and eager to make things known at the right place at the right time. He is also the PR person for Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the Asantehene ; who is proud to have such a great individual in his corner.
While this article is not a profile on Kojo Yankah entirely, I would say he is a genius because a real PR knows a great opportunity when he sees one. Example; I had read an article by Graphic regarding PANAFEST, where it read; The Ministry of Tourism had expressed fears that high fares by airline operators were likely to affect participation of Africans in the Diaspora and other visitors to this year's celebration. At the same time North American Airlines (NAA) were ready to take off their maiden flight to Ghana. Taking that article as a PR nightmare; I called Peter Bogovich, VP of NAA and mentioned that PANAFEST was about to begin this years' celebrations in Ghana and that they can contact the organizers and see how best they can work together. I also called Kojo Yankah and made a suggestion that North America Airlines would now be flying directly to Ghana from New York and that I had spoken to the VP about PANAFEST. I told Kojo that the direct flight will be a great opportunity for those destined for PANAFEST and having problems with expensive airfares and long journeys. .
Because he realized that opportunity from a PR standpoint, he immediately contacted Peter and the next thing happened, North American Airlines had flown to Ghana, met him and had reached a memorandum of understanding to work together. He proved that my suggestion was a great one and never ignored it. That agreement debunked that article published earlier. Now travelers can be confident of going to PANAFEST with no hassle and that is a testament to Kojo Yankah's work ethics and dedication.
Kojo Yankah never ignores any allegations concerning him even if he thought they were lies. He will immediately say what he knows and what is supposed to be and that is the power of a world class PR machine. There have been numerous articles regarding PANAFEST and he always keeps up with updates keeping the media and the public abreast of what is happening. Every Governmental spokesperson must learn from his ideologies because after 4 years in their capacity, politics would be in the back seat and knowledge will be power.
Mr. Yankah gets my full support concerning his views on the nature of PR on government's spokespersons. The article posted in The Independent and featured on Ghanaweb; July 18th; Inconsistency in government's PR where it cited Mr. Yankah as saying; “too many officials putting their feet in 'soup' concerning issues about the presidency has brought about the inconsistency in government's public relations. "Anytime there is inconsistency, you will detect a fault in public relations and as a result has affected the credibility of government, he said. " I believe that with time particularly with the controversy over the hotel affair, it is becoming clearer that government should have positioned itself very well in order to get many people putting their feet into the soup, he said.
According to Mr Yankah, government's spokespersons should have differentiated between private affairs and government affairs and dealt with each matter separately with a certain level of inconsistency," which in my opinion has not come out."
Mr. Yankah gets my full support concerning his views on the nature of PR on government's spokespersons. In my opinion, government spokespersons have a poor way of telling the public what they need to know regarding allegations. I have always believed that there are two sides to a story; story A (lies), story B (truth). If allegations about the government or individuals concerned are published in the media, definitely it should not be assumed as lies. There must be an explanation from the spokespersons constantly as to why those allegations are lies and then the truth to be told too (with evidence). Consistencies should be the norm throughout the period of those allegations. The public in the end would decide whether those allegations are true or false.
When the Ananegate were all over the news daily, where was his PR man? What we heard were lies and silence from his end and that silence became a nightmare. It was indeed horrible to see the way Mr. Anane was handled in the media. He was "butchered in the ring". If his PR man had done a better job, the public would understand where he was coming from and probably some would have sympathy for his demise. The amazing thing was that Kwabena Agyapong, Presidential Spokesperson was not the right person to explain to the media that Mr. Anane was having personal problems (inconsistency), that was not his duty to give any explanation. Mr. Anane's spokesperson was the one to give the public his/her boss' side of the story. .
Ministers should not go to radio stations and defend themselves concerning allegations. That job should be left to their spokespersons. Credibility is always at stake and the spokespersons should not divert the truth for the sake of pleasing their bosses but must be truthful, clear and concise. Inconsistencies do create problems and serve as officials are not performing up to par, not being trusted or taking the public for granted.
Kudos to Kojo Yankah and we appreciate all his dedication, hardwork, sacrifice and the consistencies in his news delivery.
Mr. CNN says more grease to your elbow, Kojo Yankah “the Hall of Fame PR machine”.
Source: Mr. CNN (Charles Nimmo Ntiamoah-Mensah, MSc. BA) Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Mr. CNN-Mensah
Mr. CNN-Mensah, © 2005

The author has 23 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: CNNMensah

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