Monday, 17 November 2014


On November 11, 2014, I visited the above bank to make some withdrawals. I had been there at 11am and was told that I couldn’t make the withdrawals because the SYSTEM/SERVER was down. So all other operations were ceased. Most of the cashiers were not behind the counter and the customers, not a large number though, were left stranded in the main banking hall calmly glued to their seats. I needed this money very urgently because I had to travel  the night of that day to attend to an important appointment.
Later I left the banking hall home because I was informed by one of the officials that the system would not be restored until four hours time. One other customer told me she had reported at the bank for some transactions as early as 8:30am and had been told the same story.
When I returned to the bank at around 3pm to verify whether operations have been restored, nothing had changed. The server was still down. This infuriated the customers, to the extend that some of them would murmur, and complain bitterly about the poor services been rendered by the bank. Authorities and officials of the bank were conspicuously silent during this process. As I sat quietly on one of the seats, I told a lady sitting on my right hand side, “authorities here must step out boldly and tell the customers or their clients something rather than sitting down mute on the matter”. I told her authorities here in this bank owe their customers some explanations as to why the system was failing down.  For the purposes of this analysis on PR, these were some of the complains and comments I captured, which came out of the customers when the bank did not resolved whatever challenges confronting them at that point in time;

1.      Today it will be Aluta(chaos, mayhem) here.
2.      Government has taken all our money away for politics and campaign because NIB is a state owned bank or government have some shares in it.
3.      After today, I will close my account
4.      It’s only the state/government owned banks who behave this way, the private banks are well organized. The state banks such as Ghana Commercial Bank(GCB) and Agricultural Development Bank(ADB) are worst culprits.
5.      Ghana Commercial Bank has beaten National Investment Bank to it today.
6.      Won’t they come and explain something to us now?
7.      I have one of Ark FM’s presenter’s mobile number I want to call and inform them about this.
8.      I have brought my money for you to keep that whenever I need it I will come for it. What business have you to tell me your system is down?

When frustration set in, one customer who was provoked stood up furiously and rushed to demand some explanation from one of the officials at his desk. The official only told him “you wait for a while things will be alright”. In all these ordeal, the Bank Manager was seen walking up and down the hall without uttering a word. I spotted him in an instant, checking whether one of the air-conditioners were working. At a point, I wanted to get out of the hall for fear of facing vandalisation that could possibly emanate from some of the customers, some of whose anger had risen to a peak.  
My mind went back to one thing. I told the sister sitting right beside me that, we must be thankful to God the bank is situated in a different environment which is not radical, violent and militant. Else, it could have been another story. Equipment and facilities in the bank's offices could have been vandalised by these seemingly angry customers who were threatening to go on rampage. I wanted to fly out of the banking hall at a point. I felt this was bad customer relations.

I realized the honorable thing was for the officials to have come out to explain issues to the understanding of  the worried and concerned customers. These could have calmed tension rather than keeping mute over very serious matters. Yes, money matters are extremely serious matters. When they thought answers were not forthcoming some of them wanted to react in a rather odd and violent manner which could have spelt disaster for the bank’s image and reputation. I hope the authorities of the bank are taking note. Customers must never be taken for granted.


The Attorney-General's Department has advised the police to drop murder charges against the operators of Eusbett Hotel Limited in Sunyani, Mr. Samuel Owusu Bennett and Mrs. Eunice Bennett and two others, in relation to the death of a former security guard of the Hotel, Nicholas Nuoliebe, for lack of sufficient evidence.
The Proprietor of Eusbett Hotel, Mr. Samuel Owusu Bennett and his Executive Director, Mrs. Eunice Bennett, Adama Issah and Abdulai Nubenur, both security guards of the hotel, were held as suspects in an alleged murder case of a 50-year-old Nuoliebe whose corpse was found floating in the swimming pool at the hotel on Sunday morning, April19 2009.
Nuoliebe was found dead in a pool at the hotel about four months ago. The police found a drinking glass containing a whitish substance believed to be poison on a table close to the pool where Nuoliebe's corpse was found floating. However, post-mortem on the dead body revealed that the deceased was electrocuted.
The police's investigations into the issue of electrocution to ascertain whether the deceased was working on any electrical gadget at the time of his death, revealed that Nuoliebe, who was employed as a room attendant and later moved to security department, had no knowledge about electrical operation and as such was not tasked to perform duties relating to disconnection or connection of electrical gadgets at the hotel. Neither was he working with any electrical gadget at the time of his death, the investigation further revealed. After conducting relevant investigations, the police sent the docket to the A-G's office for a thorough study and advice, The Chronicle gathered.
Pieces of information gathered by The Chronicle indicate that the police, having concluded their relevant investigations, could not find sufficient evidence to sustain a murder charge against the suspects, and had consequently been advised by the A-G's Department not to only drop the murder charges but also close the docket on the case.
“The evidence available is insufficient to sustain a charge of murder against the suspects. Hence drop the charges of murder against the 1st suspect, Adama Issah, 2nd suspect Abdulai Nubenur, 3rd suspect, Samuel Owusu Bennett and 4th suspect, Eunice Bennett. Further to the above we also advice that having completed all the relevant investigations and this docket should formally be closed and treated as such”, the AG advised the police.
When reached, Mr. Bennett noted that though the news was a welcome one, he was disturbed about the damage that the incident, which was widely reported in the media, had caused his hard won reputation.
He disclosed that as part of measures to beef up security in and around the hotel premises, sixteen security cameras had been fitted, especially at very sensitive areas to monitor and record various activities being undertaken at the hotel.

After carefully perusing the newspaper report, it was found out that the main actors in the murder case were Mr Sam Benette(Proprietor) and Mrs Eunice Benette(Executive Director), Adama Isssah and Abdulai Nubenur – held as suspects for the alleged murder of the former security guard. The proprietor and his wife’s name were roped into the case.

Now, lets leave the Proprietor and the wife out , and address substantive issue. We will come to that later. There are a lot of workers in the hotel performing diverse functions. We can’t assume that the two security workers were the only workers present discharging hotel functions and activities at the time the incident happened. No, Never. There must surely be other workers involved and around then when the incident happened. Or were those the only workers in the hotel on that faithful day?. If they are not, the question is why will the Police hold Adama and Abdulai as the only suspects in the case, when the other workers were there and were also culpable? Or could this be ascribed to their region of origin because they both bear names which makes one believe they are natives from Northern GHANA or Northerners to be precise. There must be something more to this. Are the two suspects simply an acquintances or were they in some form of intimate relationship with the deceased? Or is it just because the two suspects happens to find themselves in the same department as the deceased?.  There should definitely be a reason for the Police to hold those as suspects on the case. Find out from Police source for PRP

It was deduced that the victim, Nicholas Nuoliebe, was first appointed as a ROOM ATTENDANT and later sent to the SECURITY DEPARTMENT

It was realized that the deceased was found dead floating in the swimming pool on Sunday morning and the Police found a drinking glass containing a whitish substance believed to be poison on a table close to the pool. The newspaper report did not say whether or not the Police investigation confirmed the whitish substance in the drinking glass was poison. In fact, It didn’t say a word about whether or not that whitish substance was really investigated and later confirmed to be poison. But the BIG QUESTION REMAINS HOW DID THE BODY CAME FLOATING ON THE SURFACE OF THE POOL DEAD. Was the mastermind internally or externally orchestrated? Or could the deceased have electrocuted himself to death and why? All these questions and concerns are not fully explored in the report and in the investigation. The Police were quite lousy in their investigations, I believe. They only managed to say they don’t have sufficient evidence to sustain a charge against the suspects after just doing a lazy work. What else could have been done to find more sufficient evidence during investigations? Does that possibility exist at all? If they did, why wasn’t that fully explored? They could have done more to get to the bottom of the matter.  I am not inferring that the proprietor and the rest of the suspects are guilty of the offence. What I mean is a lot more could have been done about seeking hard evidence for prosecution. Murder is a first degree criminal offence and much could have been done to unravel the mystery surrounding the case, to apprehend culprits and punish them after being tried by a competent law court to serve as deterrent to others. It appears many killings including contract killings have gone on in recent past without the Police having sufficient evidence to find suspects and prosecute them accordingly as the law requires. How long must we wait to let this phenomenon develop in society. How would the families of these deceased feel?.  

A post – mortem report on the deceased indicated that he died from electrocution and the Police tried to establish whether he might have been working on an electrical gadgets, probably doing connections and disconnections but there was no such clue. It rather revealed that the deceased wasn’t an electrician to work as such, so he wasn’t appointed to be working as an electrician in the hotel. Additionally, no clear - cut connection was concretely established between the post mortem report which suggested the man was electrocuted and the whitish substance which was found in the drinking glass. Or were the murderers trying to play a smart one, on would – be – investigators on the case, to possibly drive their mind away from what could stand out later or surface as a leading evidence in the case. Peradventure, this explains why the whitish substance was placed in the glass on the table near the pool, ostensibly to cleverly outwit the investigators so they would never find any link to an evidence or to take their minds far away from what could lead them to a clue or a hard evidence.  

What of looking at it from another angle, from someone abetting to crime and acting externally with an insider(a staff within) to carry out this heinous and diabolic plot? Was that possibility also fully investigated? It appears the Police didn’t do much work on this either. This could remain a possible lead to a hard evidence. Couldn’t it? Enough of what the Police couldn’t do for a hard evidence. I can’t also pretend to know all about their investigation procedure.

From the analyses above, I can say without any sense of doubt that there’s such a mystery surrounding the death. If there's such a mystery surrounding the death, why would someone just point an accusing finger on officials of the hotel? And allow the appropriate authorities do their investigation to unravel that mystery? Instead of concluding that so and so is responsible and ought to be blamed? In order to find leading evidence which could help in finding answers to the question - who killed Nuoliebe?. This makes it very difficult to evolve strategies that directly defines a clear PR policy guideline on how such a criminality could be curtailed. Because one is not sure if the incident was internally, or externally orchestrated. In this regard, the right advice would be to formulate a comprehensive policy which covers and tames all possible causes of such crime in future.

It also brings to mind the need for the principle of LOYALTY and HONESTY among staff. Sharing accurate and timely information regularly among staff will play a critical role in this process. Workers will have to be truthful, honest and loyal to the course and ideals of the organization, and particularly during such trying times. They should be forth-coming with the needed information that aids investigations during such tragic and crucial moments.
You will realize that the lack of honesty and loyalty among the staff were noticed by the proprietor as missing ingredients when the story broke and that is seen in the last paragraph of the newspaper report which said “the proprietor of the three-star hotel entreated his staff to tell whoever might be concerned about anything that would happen in the hotel the truth of the matter to avoid unnecessary speculations and falsehood”. He surely suspects someone in the hotel to know something about the matter but the fellow seems to be hiding certain truth.

Building a team of loyal and honest staff members; answering the critical question of how the story got to the media.

Building and Repairing Damaged Reputation; Communicating through best medium( by releasing news accounts to radio outlets, newspapers/newsletters about the fenced swimming pool. This will go a long way to erase the negative perception people have about the hotel or might have been created from the sad murder story. It will ensure that the right image is redeemed for the organization, while repairing its damaged reputation. Communication should be done without initial reference to Nicholas Nuoliebe’s murder case with pictures showing the fencing on the swimming pool.

Minors or children not permitted/allowed to swim notices pasted on fencing round the pool. Swimming reserved for adults only on Specific hours/period during the day allowed for swimming. This would help minimize risk factors.

Developing a worker/staff check – in/check - out form/sheet to report every activity of worker/s who close from work, go home and then returns again to the hotel to check on any other thing on the same day. This check – in /check - out form will help monitor the movement of individual workers in and around the facility. Such sheet should have important details, the time(ie. check – in and check – out time of any one of the workers), reason/purposes of that person returning to the work place at that particular moment, and the signature of the worker in question as well as the form keeper. This is a carefully thought – out plan which attacks crime in two ways: First, it can help prevent murder as it in a way checks the movement/activities of workers, in a given time, particularly, workers who have closed from work or may be on – leave but decide to sneak into the hotel for one or two things. It may happened that in between the time the worker sneaks – in and the time he leaves, some secret evil, a scheme or a plot could be hatched to carry out a diabolic plan. Secondly, it can assist the Police to seek for hard evidence when a crime occurs or may lead to a possible clue to the murder/mysterious undertakings of criminal dimension. Now whoever, knew something about the case and yet had failed to release timely information to appropriate authorities may think afterwards, that he/she had succeeded in outwitting those investigators and authorities in the organization. For not coming out with vital information when it mattered most or there was no mechanism in place to thoroughly and painstakingly push such a fellow forward to release information which goes to help unravel/unmask the personalities surrounding the mystery murder. For such a person who could have released the information and yet had failed to do that, he/she might say he had won the battle, a free man, still walking around free because he had escaped been roped in a useless case as a suspect or a possible witness. Someone will also be made to ensure that whatever the snap check is about, will be duely followed. The philosophy behind this plan is to check situation where crime could be internally and externally orchestrated in an extreme sense.    
Back to the issue of the proprietor and his wife. How can they be held responsible or blamed for what happened when there's lack of sufficient evidence on the matter to prosecute them?. When it had also not been fully established whether the crime was internally or externally orchestrated or both. How on earth could they be linked if such clues had not been fully established. It's, however, very important to talk about this if the incident really happened in the hotel, as the media reports that it did.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


What could they have done to prevent the crises? (Baby theft saga)- Exploring the issues from a PR perspective.
The Friday, February 14, 2014 edition of the Daily Graphic, reported that about 50 young men and women had stormed the maternity ward (ward A1), of the Komfo Anokye Hospital and had assaulted Nurses and Doctors on duty, demanding the body of a baby believed to have been still born the previous day.
The baby was allegedly still born to Madam Suwaiba Abdul Mumin, on Wednesday February 5th this year. However, the body which was supposed to have been taken to  Mortuary by the Mortuary attendant, was rather picked up by a planner/an orderly who had gone to tidy up the ward that day.
The newspaper reported that, not satisfied with the explanation given by the hospital officials, the youth of the Zongo community stormed the ward chanting slogans such as  “Ye pe yen funu”, meaning  “We want our corpse”.
It further said they beat the medical staff and vandalized tables, chairs and files of patients at the ward to a standstill.
The young men who, according to some of the security personnel of the hospital were well built and hefty, force their way to through the security post at the entrance to the ward and managed to invade the place to accomplish their mission.
The medical staff on duty had to run helter-skelter to save their lives with some of them having to take refuge under some of the beds at the ward.
It took the swift intervention the Rapid Deployment Force (R.D.F) of the Ashanti Regional Police Command t prevent the violence attack from the degenerating further.
When the Daily Graphic  got to the scene, there was heavy Police presence on the premises, with most of them station at the entrance to the Maternity block.
The commander to R.D.F, Superintendent of Police Mr. Cris Klomepah, is reported to have told the Daily Graphic that at 8:30 am they had information on the said attack and quickly mobilized to the scene.
The management  of the hospital has, however, refused to comment on the latest development.
The Chief Executive Officer of KATH, Prof. Ohene Adjei said the priority of Managements was to ensure the safety of the staff and normalize activities, adding, “we will not want to play up the issue on the media”.
According  to Ashanti Regional Police P.R.O, Assistant Supt.  Of Police (A.S.P.) Yusif Tanko, the Police were here to take statement from the Nurses on duty at the same time of the incident.
He said the hospital authorities had assured the Police that they will avail the staff to the Police to take their statements before the end of the week.
The report added  the still born which were supposed to have been sent to the Mortuary by the Mortuary attendant, was rather picked up by the cleaner who had gone to tidy up the ward on that day.
The cleaner, Baba Abeley, claimed, to have picked up the box containing  the body of the baby and two others and taken same to the incinerator for burning.
However, according to Mr. Kwame Frimpong,  Public Relation Officer of KATH, the last time the incinerator burnt was January 31 and February 1, 2014, for which reason the assertion by the cleaner could not be ascertained.
He said the assertion by the cleaner compelled  the hospital authorities to hand him over to the police.
Besides, disposal of bodies “is the work of the Mortuary man not the cleaner”.
He said the normal practice with a neotal death  at the hospital was that the body was usually wrap in plastic bag and labelled with the name of the mother and the baby’s weight and time of death  and kept at the Mortuary  for some time before “they are given mass burial”.
According to Mr. Frimpong, in most of the cases, “80% of the families, do not care about what happens to the bodies.  Once they are told their baby is dead, they don’t asked of the body”. 

Good reputation management in Public Relations is an essentially key principle to ensuring the success of every organization. Whether the organization is successful or not this is crucial with the level of competition witnessed in today’s competitive business environment. Every serious organization manages its corporate  image/reputation effectively through how it relates with both its internal (employees, stakeholders)  and external public s ( customer/consumers).

The Ghanaian Times Newspaper of Wednesday March 26th , 2014 reported that the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hosptal (KATH), Kumasi  in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, Professor Ohene Adjei, has been directed to proceed on leave with immediate effect over the missing still born saga at the Hospital. The Minister of Health, Sherry Ayittey, announced this yesterday in Accra, the capital of Ghana when she briefed the media on preliminary findings and decision on the alleged missing still birth at the Hospital. The findings were taken by the Medical and Dental Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the KATH. The Minister also directed that, the medical Doctor on duty at the time of the incident  as well as the Midwife, whose names are being held for security reasons are to continue to be on indefinite leave until the submission of the final report and recommendation on the matter. 

 From the news account above, it appears due process was not followed by officials of the hospital.  One cannot establish the sort of relationship between employees and management of the hospital. As a result, I cannot be in the best position to raise critical issues confronting the workers of the KATH. Let alone, give an assessment of whether there is lack of motivation, poor remuneration and condition of services, job description, frequency of meetings/interactions with management and staff, welfare issues/ promotion of staffs among other matter labour issues, and the recruitment  of employees. But whatever the case is, the issues has to be looked at holistically as an attempt  is made in analyzing the incident. 

Again, I can’t assume I know all that there is to know about the hospital as far as management practices and procedures are concerned. However, as a PR practitioner, I know one of the major and critical duty of a  PR practitioner is  to ADVISE management about things which are likely to happen and impact positively or damage an organization’s reputations.
In the KATH baby theft saga, if the hospital PRO has done his work well all this problems could have been avoided in the first place. It is always better to prevent the problem than to wait for its occurrence and control it after. 

Prudent, serious, careful and very alert PRO anticipates or envisages some kind of crises or problems to hit or strike his company in future. As a result he tries to put in place measures and mechanisms to deal with such situations whenever they occur in order to safeguard his/her organizations reputation, especially during emergency time. In the case of the KATH, I’m of the strong opinion that this careful consideration wasn’t done. The PRO’s statement captured in the paragraph 16 of the Daily Graphic issue of Friday, February 14, 2014 indicate that “the still born which was supposed to have been sent to the mortuary by the mortuary attendant was rather picked up by the cleaner who had gone to tidy up the ward that day”. Meaning, whatever the case was, someone (ie a cleaner) actually did some picking of a baby on that day.
The report further said the cleaner claimed to have picked up the box containing the body of the baby and two others and sent same to the incinerator for burning. However, according to the PRO, the last time the incinerator was used, was January 31 and February 1, 2014 for which reason the assertion of the cleaner could not be ascertain. 
Now let’s assume the cleaner’s assertion was true. That he negligently did the job of the mortuary attendant, who was not on-hand and present at that material time to take the baby’s body to the mortuary. Could we be justified to say that, there was a clear case of role conflict; between the cleaner and mortuary attendant who are both staff, trying to perform same roles when in fact they are not supposed to? This brings to the fore the issue of job description. What will influence a cleaner (worker) to set aside his job and do his co-worker’s job for him which he had not been instructed to do. If the narration of the PRO is exactly what happen, then the issue of role clarity  seriously needs to be considered under this context. It means the right people doing the  right thing at the right time.
But there must be no room to beg the question. Are dead bodies sent to the morgue or to the incinerator for burning as the cleaner alleged? The Doctor in charge also failed to communicate with his subordinate by drawing whoever was in charge to send the still born to the mortuary. 

According to the Wednesday, March 26, 2014, issue of the Ghanaian Times Newspaper, the Ministry identified procedural lapses on the part of Doctors and Midwifes of the hospital such that there was no certification on the still born by the Doctor. This findings were undertaken by the Medical and Dental Council, the Nursing and Midwife Council and the KATH.
Paragraph 17 of the newspaper report said “the other two still births of Madam Clementina Somme’s and Berniceteria were taken to the mortuary and that of Madam Suwaiba Mumuni’s was shown to her after thumb printing, the baby was wrapped with the mother’s cloth and put in a box which was placed at where still births are kept in transit to the mortuary; the Minister added that, “unfortunately this baby happens to be one of the three babies allegedly picked up by the orderly and deposited off”.
Paragraph 10 of the newspaper report said according to the Minister, dead babies should be transferred to the morgue but in the case of the still born babies, this was not done. Why? There was poor communication or the lack of it. Someone was supposed to draw another person's mind to something in order to act appropriately. Under normal circumstances, the Health Minister noted that stillborn babies were discharged to the mortuary attendant to take records but in that particular instance, there was no evidence showing that the still born was sent to the mortuary.
The Minister noted that, the still born babies should have been handed over to the mortuary attendant and registered but there was no evidence to that effect.
Before paragraph 17, the report said according to the management of the hospital, each of the still births recorded on that faithful day, followed laid down procedure in registration. Unfortunately, the bodies of the three stillbirths could not be accounted for because the orderly on duty that day allegedly took the body to the incinerator.
From the story above, due process was not followed amounting to gross procedural lapses brought about by poor communication. Even if Madam Suwaiba had authenticated document to signify that the baby was dead what about the other two mothers, whom the report suggest had their babies place in the morgue? On what grounds were they approved to be kept in that same morgue of the hospital? It appears there was some kind of laxity in the discharge of specific functions by people in charge or certain officials responsible.          
·       Lack of role clarity/ Conflicting roles among staff of the hospital
·       Poor/Breakdown in communication between doctor and subordinates (nurses, midwives, mortuary attendant) communication not well done to its logical conclusion
·       Staff adherence/ Compliance to job descriptions.

The hospital PRO could have built a major case to defend the hospital’s reputation by mainly planning well in advance to mitigate the effects of the crisis in the organization. What could he have done? He could have design a strategy to defend the image of the hospital by constructing and designing a reliable fact sheet.
It was clear from the report above that the PRO failed to express remorse about the incident on behalf of the hospital management, something which was so very important to do during such critical time. The fact sheet will allow each department of the hospital to report on its activities.
In so doing, the questionnaire designed in the form of fact sheet will help arm the PRO with sufficient information everyday about the activities of each department.
The questionnaire may include such important details as: Name Of Department, Date, Recorded births, Time Of Their Deliveries, Sex of Babies, Record of any StillBorn, Record of Death/s on Delivery,  Time of Death After Delivery, Signature of Doctor Certifying Death, Name/Signature/Thumbprint of Mother Certifying Death, Mortuary Attendant’s Name, Time of Sending Dead Body or StillBorn To Morgue.
The nature of activity in each department will determine the questioning structure set on the questionnaire. It’s the PRO’s duty to check and ask for this fact sheet or questionnaire about the previous day’s activities to keep the PRO updated about the previous day’s activities in each department.
It will be recalled that in the KATH’s case, although a  lot of babies were reported by the news papers to have been born on that day, apart from the three which became subject of controversy after they had gone missing, the PRO did not communicate this fact. Even though there were other babies delivered on that same day whom authorities duly registered, this was not the case with the three babies, including that of Ms. Suwaiba. The PRO’s comment when interviewed by the media meant that only Ms. Suwaiba certified by thumbprinting to create the impression that Ms. Suwaiba was the only woman who delivered on that day. But this was not the case.
The motive behind the fact sheet formula arms the PRO with compelling and sufficient information and evidence to make a strong case to justify the hospital’s reputation.
The fact sheet when in place could also keep officials/personnel of the hospital in check on their individual roles to avoid such needless blunders. This can save their life’s  job.
 Remember this could be you.  Be smart and take right decision to save your organisation and your job by opting for the best PUBLIC RELATION SOLUTIONS. HEED ADVISE AND DON'T BECOME LIKE THE CEO WHO LOST HIS BIG TIME JOB WHEN HE COULD HAVE WELL SAVE IT. THAT WAS INDEED A VERY BAD NEWS.