Posted by Abdullahi O Haruna Haruspice | 4 June 2018 | 1,882 times
He communicates in measured patterns, selling the policies of his boss in fascinating manners, while others inundate the public with rambunctious actions and inactions of their bosses, he selects information that are in tandem with the reality of the times. From his schedules, he has raised the bar of information and reputation management. From the manifestations of this man, the media professional has been redefined from the traditional everyday information management that include press releases, rejoinders and press conference to a more systematic and coordinated information flow.
Niger State was notoriously in the news for the unpalatable reasons until the professional boat of Jibrin Baba Ndace berthed. Within a blink of the eye, candor was restored, civility returned and unmitigated peace reigned. What was the magic deployed? Using the lens of professionalism, Ndace gauged the psychology of the state and discovered that the citizens were in hurried expectation for the delivery of good governance, they were itchy and wanted quick action.
Unfortunately, answers to their justified yearnings weren’t provided, this created a thriving abode of discontentment, agitations and palpable anger. With a professional media practitioner on ground, he quickly swung into action and engaged the population who were yearning for deliverables. And the podium that was filled with constricted anger paved way to an environment of agreement as the people and the government reached a mutual circle of mutual understanding.
States battling with restive population can borrow the Niger State media management model – the state employed effective and persuasive communication tools to woo back its citizens – using not forced padded propaganda but honest dissemination of tangible information. The
society of today has grown passed the era of using subliminal stunts to convey messages of government. Regardless of your modest achievable and otherwise, when as a media manager, you give information the way it is, the public build credible belief in your information and in no time, you get their absolute buy-in. Niger did that and is basking in the euphoria of honest information management.
There are many models to explain the role of a spokesman, which will find different degree of accepters and rejecters in the world of scholars. However, there would be little disagreement about the notion that Jibrin Baba Ndace – Niger State Chief Press Secretary – has sustained the temple of ethical media management, reputation building, perception management and ethical considerations. His ability to turn citizen discordancy to harmonious appreciation of government postures and policies is one measurable pointer to my assertion. Instead of engaging a few who raised concerns of governance, he addresses a whole thus creating an atmosphere of enlightened citizens thus reducing the Trojan horse of joining words with rabble rousers. A media manager that does this has eliminated unnecessary rancor in the polity. When you dwell too much in responding to negativity through rejoinders, you deny the public more cogent information from government. Rejoinders are naturally designed to defend, rebuke and deny but not necessarily to put the word straight as claimed.
Rejoinders are mere ego bloating tool employed by communication managers, it adds nothing tangible to the issues. It is a mere distracting ploy.
Governments generally have an interest in providing the dividends of governance, providing citizens with adequate information on priorities, programmes, and activities ensures the legitimacy of the government and therefore stabilises the political situation. A government with weak communication team suffers the disruptive barrage of oppositions as well as crisis of legitimacy that may affect its ability to carry out its mandates. It is therefore in the interest of governments to communicate effectively about the work they do on behalf of their constituents. As legitimate players in evolving public spheres, governments benefit from developing and maintaining effective communication capacity with citizens, to better take stock of their needs and preferences, and to foster a more deliberative public space for multi-stakeholder participation, informed policy debate, and development effectiveness. And Jibrin Baba Ndace comes handy here, to his credit; he has demonstrated absolute capacity in effectively communicating the mandates of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State.
Using on-the-field experience, relying on hindsight, cultivated ingenuity, sociological understanding of the people and the terrain, Jibrin Baba Ndace has helped Mr Abubakar Bello to engage, inform and persuade the people of Niger on the deliverables of government. He has utilised his rich understanding of media management to in building broad support base and legitimacy, knowing citizens needs and responding to them as well as explaining government stewardship and providing the mechanisms to hold government accountable.
•Abdullahi O Haruna Haruspice wrote in from Abuja.
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