With over 10 years of innovation and outstanding contributions to the Public Relations and Communications space within the mining and petroleum sectors, the Corporate Communications Manager of Vivo Energy Ghana, Mrs Shirley Tony Kum has been crowned the PR Discovery of the Year 2016 at the prestigious National Public Relations and Communications Excellence Awards by the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) Ghana, in Accra.
The PR Discovery Category seeks to recognise PR professionals who have demonstrated ability, capacity and showed tremendous professional development, as well as having been recognised and respected by their peers.
Commenting on the award, Shirley expressed her appreciation to the Institute for its continuous desire to reward excellence and in ultimately crowning her as the winner in that category.
“I am most grateful to the management and staff of Vivo Energy Ghana, as well as my family, for their continuous support and contributions towards my growth in the profession and the industry in general. It’s indeed a humbling experience to be counted worthy of this prestigious award by the IPR.” she said.
Commenting on the profession, Shirley said the PR profession is evolving, becoming more complex, more demanding and more strategic, and requires that practitioners act boldly, be more creative and compete more aggressively because Communications and Public Relations have become an essential part of any organisations’ strategic planning process. PR professionals need to position themselves strategically within their organisations and industry as a whole.
Prior to her current role at Vivo Energy Ghana, Shirley was part of a team that pioneered the establishment of the corporate communications function of Newmont Golden Ridge Limited and later rose through the ranks to a higher position within the Communication department where she received numerous awards including the spot employee recognition award from the President of Newmont Mining Corporation in Denver.
At Vivo Energy Ghana Shirley essentially built the Ghanaian leg of the Communications function, putting the basics of a solid communications plan in place to position the company and its brand as one of the leaders in the Oil Marketing Industry.
With her deep understanding and appreciation of sustainability, she introduced a myriad of strategic community investment programmes which included the award winning “Junior Road Care” – a road safety campaign set up to educate school children on road safety; “Clean a Space, Save a Life” – a community development initiative aimed at ensuring a cleaner environment in the James Town enclave; and “CyClean” – an industry-first recycling programme aimed at instilling good environmental behaviours and a recycling mind-set in school children.
All these people-centered initiatives led to the winning of the most coveted industry, company and professional awards including the most recent CSR project of the year at the UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards; Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility (Downstream Petroleum) at the Ghana Oil and Gas Awards (2014, 2015, 2017); Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year 2016 at COPEC; and the Best Community Relations Programme of the Year 2016 at the IPR Awards in Accra. Within Vivo Energy, Shirley also received a special recognition award and won the Vivo Energy Reputation Builders Award in 2017.
Shirley holds a Masters in Communications, Media and Public Relations from the University of Leicester in the UK and a host of other professional certificates in management and communications. She is an alumna of the Ghana Institute of Journalism and a member of the Institute of Public Relations, Ghana.
Report by Seth Nana Poku