1. Briefly tell us about yourself.
Mrs. Mawushie Adotey is my name. I am a Public Relations officer with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and I am stationed at the Tema Port. I joined the erstwhile Customs Excise and Preventive Service (C.E.P.S) in 2003 as an accounts officer after obtaining a certificate in business studies from Accra Polytechnic. I served in that capacity for eight (8) years before moving to the Public Relations Department in 2011. Prior to joining PR, I had graduated from Africa University College of Communication (AUCC) with a Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication in 2014 and continued to Ghana Institute of Journalism for a Master’s degree in Public Relations. I have also participated in a number of short courses which are PR related from Institute of Public Relations, Ghana of which I’m a proud member.
Though I belong to the Public Education, Media Relations and Review (PEMRR) unit in the Communication and Public Affairs Department, I also do a few more functions of the other units such as International Affairs and Protocol duties.
I am very affable and I have a remarkable interpersonal relationship skills and go to all lengths to make a client comfortable and satisfied with the services being rendered.
2. What is a day like for you as a Public Relations practitioner?
The first thing I do is to check my messages especially WhatsApp messages from the Joint Customs Consultative Committee’s (JCCC) platform for any complaints, enquiries or any assistance concerning port clearance processes. That platform houses all the players in port business at the Tema Port i.e. Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), service providers such as our system managers (Ghana Link, Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), Energy Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Freight Forwarders Association, Ghana (FFAG), Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA), Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce, Association of Customs House Agents, Ghana (ACHAG), Customs Brokers Association, Ghana, Terminal Operators, and trade unions.
When I get to the office, I supervise the preparation of newspaper review and press cutting with recommendations to the Sector Commander of the Tema Collection. I then go with the Sector Commander to any meeting he has to honour, or I go on his behalf and prepare a report. I sometimes see to protocol activities if the Tema Sector Command receives a visitor. After all the above is seen to, I get back to my desk to attend to enquiries or complaints if any, I forward such to the appropriate departments or seats for them to be addressed. While doing all of the above, an eagle eye is on the communication ongoing on the JCCC platform.
3. What are some of the most common challenges you encounter on a daily basis? How do you deal with them?
The major is when the Sector Command receives officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry, the top management team of GRA and delegations from the economic committees from the ECOWAS sub-region unannounced or at very short notice. As the Public Relations officer, I am required to quickly draw a program or itinerary for them, write letters to GPHA for access to the port area and station heads at the terminals to hold themselves in readiness as management to meet with the officials and be able to answer their queries.
I deal with such a challenge by getting the contacts of the personal assistants of these officials so in future, I get alerts prior to their setting off to my office and by so doing, I put all communications out in time before they arrive.
4. What are your aspirations for this year as regards your work?
- To plan refresher training programs for officers so as the turnaround time for clients in the port clearance business is shorter.
- To have more public education on electronic media, mainly (Television and Radio) for both existing and potential clients.
- Liaise with ministries and agencies and other key stakeholders to properly structure engagements.