By Our Reporter
The Public Relations Association of Uganda’s (PRAU) professional development and networking event famously known as the PRAU Nite took place on Friday 31st March at D’Mellos Resto and Bar in Nakasero. The Managing Editor of Chimp Reports, Giles Muhame, delivered a key note presentation themed ‘Breaking the story and picking up the pieces’. It was a presentation about how Chimp Reports has taken center stage in bold, investigative journalism with headline grabbing stories.
Muhame revealed that Chimp Reports started in a computer lab at Makerere University. He was full of inspiration as he shared how they had uncovered stories that no other media houses had dared. These included the 2012 Congo – Uganda border crisis, the 2014 conflict in South Sudan, the 2016 UPDF fake arms scandal and most recently the URA golden handshake.
At the end of his presentation, he provided clear pointers on how public relations practitioners ought to handle their PR in this new age of technology and breaking news where time waits for no man.
“Public Relations actors must follow the trends because monologue conversations are no more; new media has changed things to a more engaged conversation. Therefore you need to keep in touch with editors of online news sites and always be truthful when engaging with them,” he said.
After the key note presentation there was a round table discussion that featured some of Uganda’s best and most experienced public relations practitioners. This included Christine Alupo, the Director Communications at the Bank of Uganda (BOU), Samuel Apedel, the Public Relations Manager at National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and Bernard Tabaire, Director of Programs, ACME (African Center for Media Excellence). They provided excellent insights in response to Muhame’s presentation on how public relations professionals ought to respond to PR crisis and emergencies.
Earlier during the evening Cynthia Mpanga, PRAU President, urged employers to avoid hiring public relations staff who didn’t belong to professional associations or bodies and urged all PR practitioners to keep networking and engaging in such events as the PRAU Nite.
Nyambura is a senior journalist based in Kampala