Why Every Ghanaian Celebrity Needs A Public Relations Professional

Nadia Buari1

Nadia Buari

Just like every businessman strives hard to succeed in his/her business, celebrities (focusing on those in the entertainment industry) also endeavour to be successful in their line of career.

As an independent celebrity, you thrive at doing it all yourself; you create your own blog or website, engage in media relations, and love working on all aspects of your ‘business’. However, it can sometimes be more than advantageous to work with experts.

When it comes to the issue of Public Relations (PR), working with a professional can really serve you well as a celebrity. Sometimes, while one may think all PR does is merely about marketing – related stuffs so he/she may do it him/herself, a celebrity should know it involves much more than that.

PR mainly deals with carving and enhancing a positive reputation or image (something that every individual and organisation go all-out to attain) for an organisation (in this case a celebrity) and liaises on behalf of that celebrity between the celebrity and his/her target audience (fans, corporate organisations etc). These practitioners often plan and organise meaningful events that could lead to more favourable visibility of a celebrity.

Unfortunately, one aspect which forms a major part of their career that most Ghanaian celebrities lack is branding or building a reputable and recognisable image for themselves. Most of these celebrities think they can handle this aspect on their own, forgetting that they need an expert to perform this vital task.

PR practitioners are well – trained communicators who know how well to relate with the media, put out proper press releases, communicate well – meaning thoughts and ideas to the public. These are things that shouldn’t be taken for granted if you are a celebrity.

Strategically, PR practitioners plan for media interviews and even what the celebrity ought to say when certain questions are posed at him/her. These even include things which the celeb can and can’t tweet and the kind of things to upload on various social media sites. These help to shape the image that the management wants to portray.

What I’ve realised in Ghana is, one person may act as the manager of a certain celebrity. That same person will again work as the publicist, the agent, legal adviser, and everything that one can think of. How can one combine the work of different professions together? Is it that our celebrities want to cut down cost and maximise profit?

As the maxim goes; “One needs fish in order to catch fish.” In order to have a successful and long – lasting career, celebrities need to put in much effort and hire the appropriate professionals.

One of the areas PR practitioners specialise in is managing crisis. In the entertainment industry, this would be referred to as “bad publicity.” How well do our celebrities handle this? As trained professionals, PR people are well endowed in knowledge on how to confront such situations and make the best out of it for the celebrity.

Just like a garbage man wouldn’t be allowed to handle one’s legal matters, in like manner, a celebrity shouldn’t just allow anybody to handle matters relating to his/her image or brand. In this, the power of PR should not be downplayed; as the success of a celebrity in terms of image building depends on it.

Article was submitted by Kwame Hagan, a level 400 student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

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