Public Relations Advice

Public Relations Advice: How to Survive In Any Environment

Public Relations Advice

OpenLife Nigeria reproduces an advisory note by Emeka Oparah on how to survive in any environment and make the best of it.

Oparah, who is the Vice President, Corporate Communications & CSR, Airtel Africa, is a storyteller, sustainability enthusiast, crisis management expert, multi-lateral partnership manager and digital education champion as well as being a humanist.

The piece titled “There’s a place for culture in the workplace,” is reproduced below, unedited

For people with high emotional intelligence, culture is vital for survival in any environment including the workplace.

As a Public Relations Professional, I always advice my expatriate friends and colleagues to try going local sometimes-clothing, food, drinks, music etc.

To be clear, I practice what I preach. I make it a habit to drink the local beer and eat the local food of every country I travel to-so long as they contain nothing abhorrent to my tricky digestive system. Hehehe!

In some cultures, all the people need to see is you dressed in their local attire or eating their local food, drinking their local drinks or playing their local music.

Back in my day during my National Service in the then Ondo State of Nigeria (western part of the country predominantly Yoruba), I was everyone’s darling just because I made some local clothes and ate their local food.

In my house, I played and danced Yoruba music even if I didn’t know a word of their lyrics. The benefits were incalculable and I am at liberty here not to disclose.

So, if you are wondering why your colleague or friend seems to be caring better than you in that foreign country, check again.

It might well be that he or she has taken the principle of cultural immersion a bit more seriously. He “living” a GLOCAL life-like a local without sacrificing his or her international status.

The real icing on the cake is language. If you are able to speak the local language(s), you are a winner, in fact a champ!

I must warn that some cultures do no quite like foreigners dressing like them. So, look before you leap.

Public Relations Advice
Emeka Oparah Vice President, Corporate Communications & CSR, Airtel Africa

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