July 2021: Mediasurgeon's Top 11 Public Relations lessons



This article strictly offers academic insight. It should be used for educational purposes and not viewed as an attack on institutions or individuals. The writer assumes no responsibility for the contrary interpretation of the subject herein.

 This article has a compilation of interesting trends in Public Relations and what some brands were up to in July. It was a fruitful month. For the first time, President Museveni appointed a PR advisor. She is technical in communications, and the communication fraternity expects a lot from her. There has been an increase in corporate Vehicle branding following the second COVID-19 lockdown, which is a step in the right direction. It is now common to find staff branded cars. Message on the designs must go beyond ‘XYZ staff car’

Responsible communication lessons from Kenya’s new Betting communication guidelines.

Kenya’s Betting Control and licensing Board approved advertising guidelines for all gaming operations, with effect from 1st July 2021. The guidelines: ban roadshows; restricts the time adverts can run; the board retains the power to approve all adverts before running, and guidelines allow only electronic billboards. Africa has not been known to comprehensively regulate paid media content, but it is a welcome move if we are to ensure responsible communication that limits negative media effects. Guidelines pose serious challenges for communicators in Kenya’s betting sector especially on return on investment. Media Council of Kenya also announced on 7th July 2021 that it had set up a task force to review betting and related activities in media outlets. Guidelines compressively limit all broadcast, outdoor, and print adverts. Twenty (20) percent of all content in each advert must be on responsible gaming. Betting companies are not allowed to run more than four (4) adverts per hour. Communicators have to get extremely creative to market legally indirectly and directly. It is no longer about absence of an advertising budget, but how to responsibly do it. Uganda needs to borrow a leaf especially with Betting branding for buildings.







Rebrand: URA changes brand identity and purpose.

Brands must grow and continuously improve with time. It should be standard practice to do annual brand audits and refine what guides your operations. If you hire each year, why don’t you change organisation values often? URA recently changed its Mission, Vision, and Core values to support a New URA Culture of enhanced accountability and client-centered service offering URA’s new transformation journey. Values, Mission, and vision must be informed, not just copied from another organisation.URA’s new identity fits well into their operations at 30 years.




Is the New Prime Minister unknowingly damaging OPM’s reputation?


Ugandan media has been awash with a story about Prime Ministers Nabbanja publicly rejecting items she had gone to flag-off for distribution in Kasese. Yes, there were praises on social media, but what next? The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has been in the media for poor quality relief items year-in-year-out. Would it be better that she internally fixes issues before going out? As a leader, she would actually have summoned the distribution team to deliver samples of mosquito nets and blankets a day before she went to Kasese. What was the purpose of rejecting items at a public launch event? Did the PR team actually overlook such a crisis? Since she is news, her overall communication objective should be to protect and rebuild OPM’s image, not to reinforce a tainted past image. Every organisation should embrace internal communications to ensure the efficiency of teams. Dr Miles Munroe put it right: “What you cannot manage, you lose.” Let Hon. Nabbanja embraces internal communications and engagement first.



John Blaq alleged sex tape crisis.


A video allegedly of Musician John Blaq started trending on Twitter. Today, no one is in control of protecting his or her reputation because of revenge porn, manipulating apps, and fake news. Computer generated Voices, screenshots, videos, and text can be edited to look like it belonged to you. What John Blaq Management did right: swiftly issued a statement on the matter and set the record straight. What John Blaq Management did wrong: they made a mistake of dissing and bragging, which should never have been the communication objective of such a serious statement. “….He is not the one and can never be relegated to filming cheap videos in dinghy motels….”Part of the statement read. We need to focus on the major issues when cleaning up reputations.














UGX1000 club fundraiser for child mothers and other successful fundraisers during the Pandemic.


Fundraising for anything is still possible, even during a pandemic. Physical fundraising may not be possible, but online fundraisers can still work. Never say never because of the timing. People can still help. DJ Bush Baby was able to raise UGX 15m and has successfully underwent surgery. A local NGO, The Remnant Generation this month unveiled #1000FacesOfChange asking the Public to contribute as low as UGX1000 donation towards helping young mothers under their care. They are using influencers and celebrities to drive the campaign. Esther Kalenzi is was running #HealthWorkerFundug( 27th June -11th  July 2021) that had already passed the UGX 10m mark in July. The campaign was mobilizing grocery shopping vouchers and related supplies for health care workers. Fundraising is no longer difficult, especially that we now have African grown online crowd funding platforms. Yes, social media is still powerful in fundraising. There will always be online critics for any campaign. Do not fear to ask for help.














UGANDA ROAD FUND gets Executive Director


On 23rd July 2021, The Minister of Finance, Hon. Matia Kasaijja confirmed and appointed Dr. Eng. Andrew Naimanye as Executive Director (ED) of Uganda Road Fund. Dr. Naimanye’s engineering career spans over 20 years on the European and African continents. He has a passion for sustainable infrastructure development, road safety, leadership, mentorship, and road maintenance. He is a UK Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Registered Engineer (REng) in Uganda. Prior to joining Uganda Road Fund, he worked in the United Kingdom for twelve years (12) in several FTSE listed Civil Engineering consultancy firms raising up to Associate Director at Waterman Group. He has served as a Vice-chairperson of the Uganda Road safety committee under the Ministry of works. Uganda Road Fund (URF) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2008 to finance routine and periodic maintenance of public roads in Uganda from mainly road user charges. The Fund became operational in January 2009.
















40Days 40 Fintechs Campaign


40Days 40 Fintechs, an annual campaign by Hipipo that seeks to highlight Fintech potential and advocate for issues. It has been running for two (2) years. The campaign profiles 40 Fintechs every day for 40 days. Stories are then shared online. It is a better communication-planning concept. A story of a Fintech is pushed a day as opposed to sharing all the stories at once since they are doing different things altogether. Sharing these stories online also makes the public want to try out these products. A story telling has a special place in effective communication strategizing.


NewsJacking: Kabushenga Vs Magogo


Twitter woke up to a thread between one of the #40daymentor brains, Robert Kabushenga and FUFA President Moses Magogo. What started as a point of concern by Robert Kabushenga regarding rehiring Micho and past FUFA payment challenges quickly became a thread of personal attacks. If it is safe to pick a news item and run with it to discuss an issue, you are passionate about, why not? Newsjacking is good for personal branding and growing numbers especially online. Robert Kabushenga was right; he got his audience, content, and presentation right. He has no glass wall to fear talking about morality.






A government communication unit employer appears to de-campaign COVID vaccination in a tweet 


Duncan Abigaba’s tweets about the alleged side effects of COVID Vaccination on his manhood got people talking. Communicators should be mindful of what they post to avoid conflicting messages on their current campaigns. Another reminder about the need for NITA to update social media guidelines it developed for all government staff. Every organisation must purpose to design a communication policy that guides every member of staff including Boards members on how they communicate and what to avoid discussing. His tweets obviously affect the uptake of such a vaccine in Uganda. Government can actually personal opinions on on-going campaigns. Staff could be allowed to only post official approved content.


New Vision’s gift to their longest-serving vendor turns heads online


New Vision gifted their longest-serving Vendor with an ordinary bicycle. They even published the story but the public thought he deserved better, especially that he was in his advanced years.


Using Male figures to communicate menstrual hygiene.


Local charities seem to be succeeding in behavioural change communications by using male figures in creating awareness on issues such as teenage pregnancy.


Ivan N Baliboola


Public Relations and Organisational Diagnosis Specialist


[email protected]


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Written by Baliboola N Ivan (0)

Public Relations and Organisational diagnosis specialist

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