The Institute of Public Relations Ghana’s 40th anniversary celebrations was launched on Monday, with a call on members to use planned activities to help reduce tension ahead of the General Election this year.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Information, who made the call urged members to bring their expertise to bear in the public discourse and unprofessional public relations practice.

This, he said, is important to ensure that political actors do not destroy the Institute’s task to brand Ghana as a beacon of hope in the West African sub-region.

The year-long celebrations on the theme:”IPR@40:Consolidating the image of Ghana as a peaceful and democratic nation,” would mark the accomplishments of the IPR over the years, acknowledge and appreciate past leaders and founding members and former staff of the secretariat for their pioneering work.

It will also raise local and international awareness of the Institute’s contributions to education and society in general and ensure a broader knowledge and respect for IPR Ghana.

Mr Ablakwa said IPR holds the key to the protection of the Fourth Republic in letting the public know that the practice of public relations is not to bury the truth.

Major Albert Don-Chebe (Rtd), President of the Institute of Public Relations Ghana, said 40 years presents a perfect platform for stock taking and reflection on the past and how to move the PR practice and profession forward.

He said the Institute was aware that certain internal and external undercurrents posed a danger to the country’s peaceful and democratic path.

In this direction, Major Don-Chebe said the Institute would use the year-long celebration to discuss specific sub-themes related to consolidating the image of the country as a peaceful and democratic nation.

The Institute, he said, recognised that responsible communication is the key to consolidating the image and would hold a series of activities on creating professionally responsible spokespersons, the role of PR in democratic governance and explore the relationship between PR and Media.

Besides, there would be sub-regional conference on strategic communications, the launch of books about PR and a PR Excellence Awards and Dinner Ball.

Two other major highlights of the launch was the unveiling of the anniversary logo and the signing of the PR book. GNA

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