ZAPRA Holds Conference – AGM

Zambia Public Relations Association recently held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference in Livingstone which focused on how to integrate Communication in the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

ECZ Public Relations Officer, Mr. Raphael Phiri represented the Commission’s Public Relations department at the annual conference and AGM.

The Conference took place at David Livingstone Lodge and Spa from 27th February to 2nd March 2018. The AGM took place on Wednesday, 28th February.

Livingstone Mayor, Eugene Mapuwo who officially opened the Conference on Thursday 1st March, 2018 said he was glad that communication experts had started talking about SDGs, a subject that was taking centre stage globally.

He said that in the face of hunger, poverty, gender inequality, climate change, inadequate clean water and various economic hardships, it was time for communicators and PR practitioners to use their skills to address such challenges.

Mr. Mapuwo said that PR practitioners and communicators must make the public aware of all the challenges that the nation and the world at large were facing in order to contribute towards the attainment of SDGs.

He urged all organisations represented at the conference to enhance their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and incorporate activities that would contribute to the attainment of some SDGs.

The Mayor said that the Association was playing a critical role in fostering ethical conduct in the practice of public relations and encouraged that as the association grows, it should work towards transforming itself into an Institute through an Act of Parliament.

Earlier, ZAPRA president Mwamba Siame said that the call for relevant and impacting public relations practice is at its highest now than ever before, in the wake of the push towards the SDGs.

Mrs. Siame said that the SDG were not for the United Nations or Civil Society alone but that these must be driven by PR practitioners and communicators. She said that during the conference, PR practitioners should examine how their role would enhance the attainment of the SDGs.

Mrs Siame said PR should not just be about Press Releases but an action oriented practice that should appeal and deal with the social aspects of business.

The president informed the conference that the Association had been involved in the drafting of Public Relations Curriculum to ensure professionalism among upcoming practitioners.

During the Conference some presentations were made on various topics including Social Media, how to deal with the media and other stakeholders.

One of the presenters, Ms. Brenda Bukowa emphasided the need for all organisations to be present on cyberspace and more so on social media platforms.

She remarked that in this modern age, if an organisation is not in cyberspace especially on any social media platform, it is as good as not existing.

Ms. Bukowa cited some of the advantages of social media as interactive, permanence, self-publishing, little or no geographical barrier, anonymity, market segmentation and cheap audio visual text among others.

Other notable presentations were made by Daniel Munslow, a consultant from South Africa and Mr. Enock Ngoma, the Chairperson of the Media Liaison Committee.