Friday, 18 July 2014


It would be recalled that on 1st July, Ghana’s Republic Day, a social society group by name Concerned Ghanaians for Responsible Governance, CGRG embarked on a demonstration which was dubbed ‘occupy flagstaff house’. The leadership of the group presented a petition to President John Dramani Mahama expressing their disappointment about the country's economic woes. This crop of the Ghanaian citizenry is agitated about the economic hardship that has descended on heavily on Ghana like an 'unannounced' rain.
Ghanaians are unceasingly singing the chorus of fuel price upsurge, the verses of hikes in utility tariffs, the refrain of the ever increasing prices of commodities. The trumpet of government’s seemingly inaction is being blown on high octave. The hiplife tunes of the ‘falling Ghana cedi’ are being played on sustain on the economic piano by the Ghanaian. The strings of the economic guitar are plugged to sound the highlife tunes of gross corruption by all and sundry. CGRG therefore harmonised all these ‘tunes’ into the sorrowful album of economic hardship under the record label #occupyflagstaffhouse.
The demonstration dubbed “Occupy Flagstaff House” had the thrust of re-echoing the economic tribulations the Ghanaian has constantly sang on repeat and instigating government to take action to alleviate the suffering of the people. Anyone who  envisaged that #occupyflagstaffhouse demonstration was going to be a ‘one night stand’ like most demonstrations in the country will have to revise his/her script and rewrite it. This is premised on the fact that CGRG has rebranded and intensified its campaign with the introduction of #RedFriday campaign which expects members of CGRG and Ghanaians suffering the economic hardship to wear red coloured attires or clothes every Friday. This initiative has the thrust of propelling government to find solution to our malnourished economy. This is not far fetched because Ghanaians sleep each night hoping and praying to wake up to witness the tragic crucifixion and death of our economic woes and watch the triumphant resurrection and entry of a booming economy adorned with a bright sparkling cloak of low cost of living.
I have no iota of reservation at all with the #RedFriday campaign neither that of #occupyflagstaffhouse demonstration but I would like us to ponder over these questions about the #ReadFriday campaign that started last Friday, 11th July, 2014.
In your red attire did you arrive at work early or on time? Or did you arrive late heaping a mountainous blame on the monster called traffic jam? If traffic jam was a living being he/she certainly would have arraigned a lot of Ghanaians before court for false accusations.
In your red attire agitating for responsible governance, did you pretend to be working only when your boss was around and relapsed into that lackadaisical demeanour when he/she left?
In your red attire, did you close work earlier than the designated time when there were several duties you had to perform?
In your red attire, were you playing ‘Temple Run’ or any other game on your smart device when you had a pile of work to execute?
In your red attire, did you intentionally stick to one task in order to avoid doing other tasks, when you could actually finish that task in a jiffy?
In your red attire, did you mind to carefully use and maintain the materials, vehicles and equipment at your work place? Or did you stick to the antiquated theories of 'It’s for the government’, ‘It’s not my property?’
There are many more similar questions that can be asked because each of us knows what activities we engage in and out of our work places that are not acceptable.
I am not in any way expressing an iota of reservation about the actions of CGRG or the agitations of Ghanaians, but I will like everyone to ponder over how in our little way(s) we contribute to the situation in which we find ourselves. Come to think of it some of us might have engaged in one or more of the above these activities or done so on any other day when we were supposed to be working. It will really be hypocritical and ironical if we put on red clothes or attire campaigning for responsible governance when we do not exhibit that we are responsible. We must learn to do things right, then we can have all the audacity to agitate for the right thing to be done. It’s another ‘Red Friday’ (and many more to follow I guess) and as you put on your red attire ponder over these questions and put on a ‘#RedAttitude.’

Friday, 11 July 2014


I first heard of the sad incident from a friend who learnt of it via

facebook and whatsapp. Premised on the fact that he had information about the incident via social media, I was skeptical about the information. He showed me pictures he had received on both social media platforms which indicated that Castro together with his female friend Janet Bandu had drowned and body was washed ashore and in some versions retrieved from the sea. He showed me a couple of online media websites on his phone that had also reported the issue. That was on a Sunday. The following day, Monday, at work I did some skimming and scanning of some news websites. They reported different versions of the incident. The commonality was that most of them had pronounced Castro dead. I consciously monitored the traditional media and most of them seem to have picked up the issue from social media. 

I was however impressed with the way some television stations notably TV3, GTV & Joy News carried the matter. I was also impressed with the way the traditional media veered off the path of sensationalism which social media and some online newspapers were impetuously paving, though the traditional media seemingly picked the story from social media.

On the flip side, subjecting this matter to critical thinking, it is evident that most social media users do not take cognisance of the fact that such issues are delicate and need to be treated with tact and prudence. This is so because comments or statements made directly affect the family and relatives of the victim. Irrespective of the fact that there are no laws guiding the sanctity of the content of messages people post on social media platforms, it is high time users of social media users made conscious efforts to respect the sensitivity of people whose relatives find themselves in such situations instead of engaging in the senseless marathon of trying to break the ‘news’ first. The consciousness of sanctity of the messages we post on social media needs to be awakened in social media users lest we ‘kill’ and ‘bury’ people even before they die. It is also imperative that social media users imbibe the spirit of consciousness as to what to conclude and what not to. It is important that social media users are circumspect about the information they share on the social media platform. A few days after the incident, I am tempted to believe that Ghana is made up too many sanguine people. This is premised on the fact that the issue had already been trivialised using cartoon images and satiric jokes. Ghanaians need to decipher what issue to trivialise and what not to. Quite apart, as Ghanaians where is our cultural value of respect for the dead or anyone purported to have visited the ancestors? From the comments I see on social media, we seem to have lost it. Has technology made us lose our cultural consciousness?

Equally, online newspapers should revisit their journalistic ethics. Invariably they have become an indispensible source of information. Their relevance has been consolidated with the advent of smart phones and devices; hence news is readily available to anyone who has in his/ her possession a smart device or access to internet. Thus one doesn’t necessarily need to have a newspaper or sit before a television before having access to news. Coupled with the fact that most of them have attained considerable credibility, some consumers of media might swallow the information they receive hook, line and sinker. Therefore premised on the fact that these on-line newspapers have somehow become a trustworthy source of news, it is prudent that they eschew sensationalism and display impeccable professionalism. They also need to verify the information they obtain before publishing. If at the time of publishing the veracity of information obtained cannot vouched for it needs to be stated explicitly or better still not published at all. 

In conclusion, all and sundry should constantly and consciously grasp the fact that the social and online media have not only become  sources of socializing, entertaining ourselves and doing business, but have also become sources of obtaining information which most likely some would regard as credible. Hence we need to watch carefully and critically what we post and share on these platforms. Enough pain has been caused the families of Castro and Janet Bandu by our polemical comments and satiric jokes. It is time we put these comments and jokes on hold and pray and hope that Castro and his friend would be found miraculously alive somewhere.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Life is real time


Photo Credit: D. Louis
















Life doth not happenth in mean time

Neither doth it in fantasy

Nor in imagination 

Or hallucinatory

Yea, it  doth happenth

And it doth so in real time


So escapeth thy world of idealism

And liveth in realism

For life is zilch but real time

D. Louis

June, 2014 




Photo credit: D. Louis







Monday, 23 September 2013



The spirit of this essay is to do a diagnosis of the subject matter, integrated marketing communications (IMC). This essay will do a prognosis of what integrated marketing communications is, and subsequently a foray shall be made into the constituents of the subject matter.

What is Integrated Marketing Communication? .
Marketing communication is an integral part of the marketing programme for most companies and organisations. Though marketing communication is just a tip of marketing, it is worth recognizing that much of marketing involves communication activities. Once they have developed products and services, organizations must communicate the value and benefits of the offerings to both current and potential customers in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer. Therefore IMC is employed as a machinery to deliver a consistent message to its buyers. In order to understand what IMC is, it is apt to appreciate the individual words that make up this phrase.

Integration: A combination of parts or objects that work together well. (Microsoft Encarta Dictionary 2009)

Marketing: It is a set of activities whereby business and other organisation create transfers of value (exchange) between themselves and their customers (Advertising Promotion, Terrence .A. Shimp, 2000)
Another school of thought defines marketing as, the activity, set of institutions delivering and exchanging offering that have value for customers, clients, partners or society at large. Value is the customer’s perception of all the benefits of a product or service weighted against all the cost acquiring or consuming it (Advertising and Promotion, G. Belch & M. Belch, 2006, page 9). It is worth noting that these two schools of thought crystallise at a point – marketing aims at exchange of value.

Communication: The process of receiving and sending messages and it occurs whenever we express ourselves in a manner that is clearly understood. (Communication Matters, McCutchen, Schaffer, Wycoff, 1994)
Having elucidated the words integration, marketing and communication, we now take a critical look at integrated marketing communication (IMC). IMC involves the coordination of various promotional elements and other marketing activities that communicate with a firm’s customers. (Advertising and Promotion, G. Belch & M. Belch, 2006)

IMC is a concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines –general advertising, direct response, sales promotion,and public relations – and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact (Caywood, Schultz, and Wang, 1991b: 2-3).
In other words IMC focuses on marshalling all forms of promotion such as advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, publicity, sponsorship marketing and point of sale for effective communication. Thus it goes beyond the use of traditional media in marketing.  The advent of the new media has augmented IMC. However for the purpose of this essay we shall concentrate on the above mentioned forms of the IMC.



Advertising is defined as any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services through the mass media and with an identifiable sponsor (as evidenced in the above adverts). It can either be text, picture or motion advert. Advertising is mostly employed in the promotion mix because it has the advantage of reaching out to countless people at the same and has the tendency of relatively having the same effect on its audience if well communicated. It informs, educates and persuades customers to purchase  new brands of a product and reminds customers to keep the brand fresh in their mind.

Sales Promotion

Sales promotion is generally defined as the marketing activities that provide extra value or incentives to the sales force, distributers or the ultimate consumer and can stimulate immediate sales. (Advertising and Promotion, G. Belch & M. Belch, 2006) It can either be consumer oriented (e.g. couponing, sampling, premiums and rebates) or trade oriented targeting wholesalers, distributors and retailers. (E.g. price deals, sales contest and trade shows) Sales promotion usually temporally changes the perceived value or price of the product or service. A crystal example of sales promotion in Ghana is ‘buy one get one free’ promotions run by enterprises such ‘Shoprite’ and ‘Melcom’.


Publicity shares similar characteristics with advertising. But unlike advertising it is usually not paid for and not run under any identifiable sponsor. It assumes the form of news or editorial comments about the company’s product or activities. Companies or organisations attempt to get media coverage for their activities because the media considers the information news worthy. For instance, media coverage on co-operate social responsibility activities of a company doubles as an opportunity for that company to market itself. It is one affordable form of marketing.

Sponsorship Marketing
Have you ever taken time off to cogitate over the reason(s) why Coca-Cola and Guinness Companies would sponsored events such as the 2010 world cup? They were engaged in sponsorship marketing. The world cup provided a large flat form for them to disseminate information about their products to a lot of people. Sponsorship marketing is the practice of promoting the interests of a company and its brands or one of its brands with a specific event which comes with a large based audience and would project the company in lime-light. The failure or success of the event sponsored can either dent or accentuate the reputation of the sponsor. That notwithstanding it is one effective means of marketing.

Personal Selling
It is a form of person to person communication whereby sales people inform, educate and persuade prospective buyers to purchase a company’s product or services. It offers high customer attention; the sales person is able to customise the message to meet the customer’s specific interests; it also grants the company the opportunity to get immediate feedback from customers on goods and services and subsequently it leads to a long term relationship between the company and customer. However it is a relatively costly form of marketing because it only communicates with one or a few people at a time.

Point of Purchase Communication

This engulfs displays, posters, signs and a variety of other materials that are designed to influence buying decisions at the point of purchase. Such messages usually carry a voice of urgency to propel customers to purchase those goods or services.


It is worth recognising that all the above mentioned forms are not mutually exclusive of each other and cannot stand alone in performing the task of marketing. They have to be interlaced for effective marketing to be done.

·         Terence .A. Shimp: Advertising Promotion (5th ed.) 2000
·         G. Belch & M. Belch: Advertising and Promotion (8th ed.)
·          McCutchen, Schaffer, Wycoff: Communication Matters (1994)