By OKECHUKWU PEACE
President of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), Mr John Ehiguese has threatened to bar a journalist and publisher of an online marketing platform, Ikem Okuhu from joining the association if and when he decides to do so for publishing what he sees as an offensive publication against him and his association.
In a right to reply he sent to the journalist and which was published at www.brandish.com.ng, Mr Ehiguese, who is also the Managing Director of Mediacraft &Assiciates, had written in the closing paragraph of his reply: “Oh, by the way, congratulations on Reliks Media. Welcome to the club, and I do hope you’re already making plans to register with PRCAN. Catch my drift?”
This is an apparent suggestion that should the journalist decide to register his company, Reliks Media Limited with PRCAN, Ehiguese might use his position as president of the association to prevent that from happening.
Ehiguese’s problem with the journalist started when he (Ikem) published an article on his portal, titled, “PRCAN, PR Practice and Six Things an Association of Professionals Should not Be Seen to Be Doing.” In the article, Ikem had given reasons why PRCAN should not have written protest letters to MTN and Guinness Nigeria over the declaration of some PR agencies who are not members of PRCAN as winners of the PR accounts of the companies.
These agencies are DKK, which had recently won MTN’s PR account ad XLR8, which won the Guinness PR brief. The article had suggested that having participated in the “pitch” process, PRCAN members should have registered their protest before losing and not afterwards.
But in his reply, which the journalist published on 08th August, 2015, the PRCAN President had called him many unprintable names, including being pathetically ignorant, while also pointedly sneering at his career as a journalist.
In one paragraph of the long article, Ehiguese had stated: “I only know that the last time I checked you were a journalist, not a Brand Manager,” apparently suggesting that Ikem and by extension, other journalists, are not intelligent enough to interpret what happens outside the media.
Ehiguese also suggestively accused MTN and other brands in the country of bias in deciding who and who does not win their PR accounts. In another paragraph, he had stated that, “The pre-qualification process for the MTN PR pitch was pretty rigorous (or perhaps was only made to appear so, with the benefit of hind-sight). How did an advertising agency scale that hurdle? What previous PR campaign has DKK handled, and what is their track record in the area of PR practice? If you must know, I am aware that the DKK started to set up an in-house PR team only after they ‘won’ the MTN pitch. You talk about not complaining about the rules, at the end of a game lost. What if there were really no rules in the first place, as now appears to have been the case in this instance? And you’re wrong when you say that people will not understand. Many people do understand. They know how some of these things happen …”
A statement from the PRCAN boss was still expected as at press time.