Col. Eric Aggrey-Quashie

Two things happened on May Day – The Multimedia Group, especially the Adom Brands, took the celebration of frontline health workers in the fight against Covid-19 to a different innovative level.

There was a stop press at exactly 8:19 on all of MGL’s platforms where the Group led Ghana into celebrating the workers.

By stop press, I mean everything programming gave way to claps, honking of car horns, stamping of the feet, among other things that signified the nation’s appreciation to all the gallant men and women who are risking their lives every day in this fight.

Indeed, the whole of Ghana joined the MGL group to do this celebration!

But, there was another side to the Adom Brands’ celebration of the day – the decision by the brands’ leaders to get all on-air presenters to dress to represent the professions of the main actors in the fight – medical doctors, police officers, the military, nurses, et al.

Why celebrate Aggrey-Quashie?

Between the day, April 30, and close of May 1 when the decision to do these things was made, I had engaged the military colonel at least five times on the phone.

First was a call I placed to request that he appears on Adom FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem. I was requesting that he joins the team in-studio to celebrate his men.

He declined politely.

The reasons for his decision are not a subject of this discourse – they made sense to me.

During that call, I told him our presenter Captain Smart was going to dress as a military officer just to celebrate his men.

Mind you, this was just information and it ended there.

Subsequently, Captain appeared in his uniform on Adom TV while presenting the programme, The Big Agenda.

As should be expected, calls started flooding Col. Aggrey-Quashie’s phone about whether or not we got the needed permission to use the uniform. I suspect these calls were from his colleagues.

I told him, I believed it was the case that we sought permission and were duly granted; but, I was going to cross-check from my General Manager and revert.

But even before I could revert, I Col. Aggrey-Quashie returned with a call to inform me that he had confirmation from the Army Headquarters that permission was sought and granted.

He then advised that we get Captain to issue a disclaimer of a sort, informing the public that he got the needed permission for the uniform’s use and we did so immediately.

Col. Aggrey-Quashie is a senior brother to me; indeed we became friends when we both attended a PR workshop during my days of PR practice.

Let me explain what these exchanges mean in PR practice:

In the practice of PR, just like journalism, verification and research are key.

In fact, when Colonel called to ask if we sought permission for the use of the uniform, I could simply have given a ‘yes’ answer but no, I didn’t because I needed to verify.

In the reverse situation, Colonel could’ve chosen the easy way out – take to the Ghana Army’s Twitter or Facebook account to lambast Adom 106.3 FM; but, he didn’t.

Colonel Eric Aggrey-Quashie chose the option of verification. He did so, knowing that PR is a relationship-building process and not an event.

The good practitioner that he is probably got the better of him because he knows his job will be incomplete without the media.

Colonel knows that as he always does, a day will come when he will call me for one thing or the other so he will neither ridicule me nor my organisation in public.

Colonel, Eric Aggrey-Quashie, take a bow for your excellence in PR practice.

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