Ugandan Parliament shocks on poor media relations
Parliament drowned in negative publicity after issuing a hostile media relations letter. The Clerk to Parliament on March 9, 2015 sent out a letter to newsrooms, ordering the replacement of all journalists who had covered Parliament for five years and more. The letter was sketchy on the justification for the act.
Parliament team took long to end the crisis. Withdrawing the letter alone was not enough since suspicion and dishonesty was not dealt with. The act was condemned by some MPs, the general public, and the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association.
No wonder Parliament authorities yielded to pressure and reversed the decision. Parliament Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah should be credited for managing the crisis.
Organisations should learn to support, build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with journalists. Media can break or build an organisation. Journalists are reputation management angels. Journalists expect a love and hate treatment but an organisation must ensure a strictly love relationship with the media.
UCC fines MTN Uganda for breach of directive
MTN Uganda was in media for wrong reasons in March. The Uganda communications commission slapped MTN Uganda with a Shs5billion fine for alleged breach of the commission’s directives.
Crest foam fire accident kills
Fire gutted Crest foam factory and left six workers dead. This huge PR crisis dominated headlines. Crises happen all the time but this raised questions on occupational health and safety record of the company. A Minister and police have since picked interest.
Local musician Stecia Mayanja’s controversial wedding
A day before her wedding, close family members announced that it was called off. The wedding went on as earlier planned sparking controversies. This alleged PR stunt reaped benefits, as her wedding became a topic of discussion. She apologized and her husband declared his political ambitions during the wedding reception.
Uchumi supermarket food section closed by KCCA
KCCA closed food section of Uchumi supermarket over poor hygiene. The food section at Garden city was closed on Friday March 14,2015 .This followed an inspection by KCCA public health team at time Kampala is battling a typhoid outbreak.
Muzaata remarks on “Ettoffaali” anger many.
Sheik Nuuhu Muzaata attracted public outcry after criticizing the Buganda government fundraising project known as “Ettoffaali” in the past. The Sheik also attacked people who contribute to the “Ettoffaali” project yet they have other personal problems to deal with.
Muzaata’s statements come off as insult and a boycott call towards “Ettoffaali” project which makes it a PR crisis. This crisis went viral online under the hash tag #Muzaata. Sheik Muzaata could have done better.
His main mistake was being insensitive and trading insults. Local celebrities, politicians, public, and religious leaders have condemned Sheik Muzaata over his act.
The backlash shows that he needs to hire a PR specialist to manage this crisis and future communication projects successfully. Sheik Muzaata should start treating himself as a brand.
Sheik failed to understand the Psychology of the topic he was talking about. Preparation of public messages must be done in consultation with communication technicians to ensure content is acceptable and effective.
The crisis teaches us on how to say what is politically correct and what is not right. A public apology or clarity on his remarks could calm waters. A PR Specialist will help him with media coaching, reputation damage assessing, and developing effective PR strategies.
PR and organisational diagnosis specialist
This article strictly offers academic insight meant to create awareness about crisis PR management in Uganda. Therefore, it should be used for educational purposes and not viewed as an attack on institutions or individuals. The writer assumes no responsibility for contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.