A foremost women body in Nigeria, Al-Mu’minaat Believing Women) Organisation has formed a collaboration with media Organisations to ensure issues concerning women folks enjoy media prominence.
This is with a view to pushing such issues to the front burner of national discourse via adequate reportage and proper analyses of women affairs.
Speaking at a media seminar organised by the Professionals, an organ of Al Mu’minaat, a senior correspondent at The Nation newspaper, Tajudeen Adebanjo urged women to be more involved in non Governmental Organisations and human right activities to achieve their aims.
“You must carve a niche for yourselves and become a points of reference whenever issues of public concerns regarding women and in fact, general populace are brought to the broadcast medium for discuss.
“I also urge you (women) to brace up to fight your cause by making use of social media strength to present your grievances on issues by simply commenting on Facebook, Twitter handle or even the WhatsApp. It is high time you stopped expecting men to fight your cause for you.”
Adebanjo cited the issue of Firdaus Amasa as an infringement on the human rights of women but which did not enjoy women’s massive support because of religious bigotry and sectionalism.
“It could happen to your younger ones or your daughter’s who want to read Law in Nigeria in the future. So, why don’t you be passionate and speak up for these rights,” he said.
The Coordinator of The Professionals, Alhaja Jelilat Abdul-Hamid noted that the entire life of Prophet Muhammad and his relationship with people was characterised by effective personal and public relations and his use of media was unrivalled.
“The rise of Islam came through conveying the message via the contemporary medium available. The life and times of the our Prophet portrays how the people of Makkah were invited to Islam by moral and pious conducts of the Prophet and his rightly guided followers. The melodious and inspiring recitation of the Qur’an also changed the hearts of even the fiercest opponents as many mediums were used to make the non-believers aware of the truth of the divine message. The Prophet (SAW) also sent men on horseback to the rulers and kings of the neighbouring lands with scripts declaring his prophethood and inviting them to Islam”
Alhaja Abdul-Hamid cited the dexterity in the speech of a young companion, Musa’b bn Umayr who convinced the heart of Usayd bn Khudayr that originally came with a sword to kill him. She buttressed her point with a quotation from the research paper of Muhammad Kirat of Qatar University:
“Public Relations in Islam is conceived as a vehicle of creating a healthy environment and atmosphere for both the individual and the organisation to set up and establish the Islamic Ummah which should be characterised by harmony,mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual interests, governed by Islamic principles and values. The final objective is to reinforce social solidarity and a strong community in terms of faith and welfare.”
The Coordinator who remarked that Prophet Muhammad set a standard in Public Relations and the effective use of the media stressed that until Muslims follow the prophetic footsteps in his best PR ever known and cultivate the habit of effective media management, it would be difficult for them to achieve their Daw’ah objectives.
In his address, a seasoned journalist an a prominent writer, Elder Yinka Salaam called on women organisations to invest in the media to push their cause and pursue their cases to achieve their goals.
He said it was high time they corrected the erroneous belief that investing in the Media and Public Relations is a waste or an unworthy venture.
Potentials to mobilise
Elder Salaam said the Media or Public Relations may not give immediate cash, but, it has the potentials to mobilise and win the people’s hearts and their wealth eventually.
Salaam said the power and influence of the Media is incontestible which reveals the respect that powerful leaders have for the media.
“It is in recognition of power of the media that real politicians, big corporations and organizations, profitable or charitable, invest heavily in the media and will continue to, even when they run at loss,
“What better wealth can an organisation possess than the human resources? It is the same reason government, politicians and multinational companies invest heavily in the media and the same reason enjoy better media coverage and media mention today. We are all living witnesses that it really pays off for them,”” he stated.
The guest speaker appealed to the leaders of the various organizations, especially religious groups like Al Mu’minaat to take a paradigm shift from traditional preachings on morality and begin to give priority to less expensive but useful public or social services as: traffic control, portholes filling, clearing of highway bushes to allow road users see ahead, clearly, drainage clearing, facilitation/donation of wells or boreholes, construction of directional signposts, running extra-mural classes/adult literacy cum Quranic centres, regular visitation to hospitals, prison yards, and orphanage homes, media tour among others.
“These will win for you, good and favourable public image, as you will directly touch lives of the people. Meanwhile, your identity must be well displayed while rendering these services, and necessary safety measures must not be taken for granted,” he said.
He advised the women group to erect billboards and giant signposts displaying the names of their organizations in conspicuous places while making announcements about their beneficial activities by sponsoring radio, television and cable networks.
Maintaining favourable media relationship
Elder Salaam maintained that the most effective way to engage media professionals is to regard them as human beings and establish direct contact with them.
“Maintaining and deepening media relationship and cultivation of friendly relationship. Being there for them in times of need or hour of need – rejoice and identify with them during naming ceremony; birthday; burial; graduation etc. give branded T-shirt, stickers, handkerchief – . Curry media favour: this is done by also taking interest in the activities of media organisation/associations as well as personal development and welfare of journalists.
While speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Rawshield PR called for effective communication and public relations as a key to successful Daw’ah.
He advised the women group to set up a Public Relations Committee, rather than just a Publicity Committee, saying there is a difference between the two.
He explained that the publicity committee is just an organ of the public relations committee which houses other organs such as online, production and so on:
Abubakar stressed that no institution, country and establishment that wants to achieve its goal in this information age can afford to joke with its public image. “They spend huge money on this,” he said.
He urged them to form the habit of issuing official press releases addressing national issues as they affect Islam their objectives.
“This should also involve media engagements on Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram and embarking on media tours. In the same vein, appearance on radio or TV discussions, establishment of teevee and radio stations, as well as newspapers, having a social media committee for twitter, IG, Facebook are all necessities for religious, social and women organisations,” he said.