The Nigeria Customs Service has organised a three-day training retreat for its public relations officers across the nation.
The retreat with the theme, “Upscaling PR Tools and Strategies for Optimum Performance” was held at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, Lagos.
The training, according to the NCS National Public Relations Officer, DC Timi Bomodi, was organised to equip the Service’s spokespersons with advanced skills on the use of social media for public communication, how to detect and manage crisis in the present age using digital tools and writing effective stories.
“The aim of this event is to strengthen our Public Relations Officers in managing and responding effectively to issues in the present digital age. This is considered necessary due to vital roles played by Nigeria Customs in protecting the nation’s borders and contributing to the economic development of our dear nation,” the NCS said.
The event featured lectures and practical sessions by seasoned Public Relations practitioners, scholars and broadcast journalists. Yushau Shuaib, Editor of PR Nigeria, facilitated the session on the use of social media for public communication and contemporary issues in media relations, while Dr Ganiu Okunnu of the Department of Public Relations and Advertising, Lagos State University, conducted the simulation sessions on crisis management tips in the digital age and harnessing internal communication for reputation management.
Abayomi Adisa of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC Africa) provided techniques for writing an effective story on digital media.
The event is part of a series of ongoing intellectual empowerment programmes aimed at strengthening the capacity of the officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Speaking on the theme of the programme, the Commandant, Customs Training College (CTC), Ikeja, Comptroller Kalamu Ayinde Aremu, pointed out that the management of online reputation and brand identity of an organisation through purposeful use of digital and social media technologies are essential in the digital age.
While urging the Customs spokespersons to utilize digital media for public communications, he said public communicators should develop a passion for their profession by being innovative and creative in their messaging, especially in this digital age.
In his presentation on Effective Public Communication in a Digital Age, the Editor-in-Chief of PRNigeria, Yushau Shuaib said advancement in technology had transformed public relations with social media expanding the channels used to engage with new audiences in building enduring relationship and nurturing reputation.