Public Relations Practitioners elect new officials to push for legislative recognition

Members of the Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) have elected new officials for the position of President, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary in their recently concluded Annual General Meeting.

The newly elected team will be joining other Council Members to advocate and lobby for the enactment of the Institute of Public Relations and Communications Management (IPRAC) Bill into law.

During the Society’s Annual General Meeting, Mr. Arik Karani from the Wikimedia Foundation was elected President taking over the mantle from Dr. Wilfred Marube, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency.

Lafarge’s Viviene Atieno was elected Assistant Secretary, while Samuel Karanja from Hill + Knowlton Strategies was elected as Treasurer.

Speaking during the handover ceremony that was held in Nairobi, the outgoing President, Dr. Marube stated, “As I hand over the leadership to Mr. Karani, I am confident that he will steer the PRSK ship to greatness and finally deliver the long-awaited legislation.”

While receiving the mantle, the current President, Mr. Arik Karani stated that the society has been at the forefront of enhancing professionalism, respect and standards in the PR and Communications industry in Kenya and that this journey will not stop.

“It is my vision to push for the legislation of PRSK from a Society into an institution so that we can enhance the delivery of professional public relations services in Kenya. Our members are yearning for the passage of the Institute of Public Relations and Communication Management (IPRAC) Bill into law. Together with the Council, I will evaluate the best approaches to professionalize and standardize the industry,” stated Mr. Karani.

From left, Mr. Tony Timase, and the incoming Assistant Secretary Ms. Viviene Atieno, President Mr. Arik Karani and Secretary Ms. Noella Mutanda pose for a photo during the PRSK Annual General Meeting that took place at The Sarova Panafric. 

In a statement from Dublin, Ireland, the President and CEO of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (GA), the confederation of the world’s PR and communication associations, institutions and academics in the world, Mr. Justin Green, expressed his delight at the appointment of Mr. Karani terming it a “Gamechanger” in the PR and Communications landscape in Kenya and in Africa.

“With Mr. Karani’s global network and vast experience, Kenya will be at the forefront of leading and shaping Africa’s PR and Communications narrative. He is a fierce, creative, and innovative leader.” He added.

Mr. Green also urged the Kenyan law makers, and the Ministry of ICT to support the enactment of the proposed Institute of Public Relations and Communication Management draft bill when it is tabled in Parliament. He pledged to work with Mr. Karani and PRSK to strengthen the communication industry in Kenya and Africa through innovative solutions.

Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, the President of the Africa Public Relations Association (APRA) also issued a statement that said, “The African Public Relations Association (APRA) is most delighted with the election of Arik Karani as the President of PRSK. His vast knowledge and innovative experience will not only be valuable to Kenya, but indeed the entire African Public Relations fraternity.

We wish him and other elected officials a most successful tenure and look forward to working them in advancing the cause of the profession on the continent.”

The newly elected leaders will be joining other Council members, Patricia Odede (Vice President), Noella Mutanda (Secretary), Tim Kamuzu Banda (Council Member), Jesse Masaai (Council Member) and Paul Oyier (Council Member).

It is expected that the leadership will support the current Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Sylvia Mwichuli, to roll out the certification Programme that will be offered in partnership with KASNEB. This will be the first milestone for the new crop of leadership.