Northern PR Stars: The Iconic Figures
By *Maryam Na-Allah Umar-Baba
In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, Public Relations (PR) has emerged as a formidable force, shaping narratives and influencing public opinion. As the business landscape continues to evolve, the Northern region of Nigeria has also witnessed an impressive rise in its PR industry, with a wave of talented professionals making their mark on the communication landscape within and outside the country.
The North has also produced iconic PR figures who contribute to defining contemporary issues in the public relations industry. They are highly organized communications professionals with over two decades of industry experience. With well-established relationships across the global PR industry, they symbolize professionalism and excellence.
Spokesperson’s Digest, a sister publication of PRNigeria introduces Northern PR Stars in a series with different categories to acknowledge the contributions of PR Practitioners from that region. Three personalities are shortlisted for each category.
The Spokesperson’s Digest, therefore, presents the following three personalities it regards as Iconic PR figures from Northern Nigeria.
Kabir Dangogo: The Financial PR Guru
A highly organized communications professional, Mallam Kabir Dangogo, remains an indomitable PR guru even after almost a decade in retirement. He can be regarded as a veteran in Financial Public Relations for his contributions in the banking sector and expertise in strategic communication.
Born on February 21, 1949, Mallam Kabiru Dangogo schooled and bagged different academic degrees from both Ohio University, Athens, United States in 1981, and University of Leicester, United Kingdom (UK) in 1987.
He was the Managing Editor of New Nigerian Newspaper between 1988 and 1989. He was once a Senior Lecturer at the Kaduna Polytechnic (KADPOLY) in the late 80s; and then became the Press Adviser, for the United States Information Service in 1990.
After 32 years of working for various corporate organizations, Mallam Kabir Dangogo voluntarily retired at Union Bank on June 26, 2005, as the Assistant General Manager (AGM) Corporate Affairs.
He is a member of several professional bodies across the globe. In 1981, he was elected a Fellow of the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS), New York. He was the founding President of the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB), between 1986 and 1988.
In 1996, he received the NIPR President’s Award for Excellence in Public Relations; and became a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in 2000; and a Fellow of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) in 2005. He also received the Lagos State Chapter of the ‘NIPR Award for Excellence’ in Public Relations in 2005, among others.
The NIPR Fellow was also a one-time Secretary-General of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), from 2002 to 2006, while also being the Chairman, Nigeria Chapter of the International Public Relations Associations (IPRA) between 2002 and 2006.
Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo: The NIPR Leader
Mallam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo is the current President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). His significant contribution is in conceptualizing and implementing the ideals of the Institute, making it not only one of the best PR associations in the continent but also across the globe. His initiatives in conducting a series of capacity-building programmes and advocacy campaigns on ethical standards have attracted more interest in PR and the growth of the NIPR membership.
Born on August 1, 1965, Sirajo is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. He also holds a Masters in Conflict Resolution.
Career-wise, he started with The Pen Newspaper in Kano and moved to the New Nigerian Newspapers in Kaduna in the early ’90s. In 1993, he was invited by the then Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Dabo Mohammed Lere, to join his government, reorganize and head the Media and Public Relations Unit.
From 1993 to 2007, he served seven successive governors of the state in various capacities, including Press Secretary, Director of Press and Public Relations, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Special Adviser on Media and Public Relations to the Governor, and Director General of Media and Publicity. He holds the record as the longest-serving Public Relations Adviser to the Government of Kaduna State and the second longest-serving in the country.
After leaving government services in 2007, he founded and became the CEO of Abmax Media & Communications Ltd, a Media and Public Relations Consulting firm. From 2009 to 2018, he served as a member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), where he eventually became the Vice President in 2013. It was in 2018 that he was elected as President and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Institute. He is also a Fellow of NIPR.
Mohammed Idris Malagi: The Media Entrepreneur
A man of remarkable talent and foresight with an exceptional ability to identify opportunities and a gift for communication, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi has achieved extraordinary success as a publisher, skilled PR expert and brand builder.
The founder and chairperson of Bifocal Group and Blueprint Newspaper, Idris Malagi was born in Malagi, a community in Gbako Local Government Area of Niger State on May 2, 1966. He is a man of remarkable talent and foresight.
Armed with a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees in English Language from Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, and Bayero University, Kano, respectively, Idris founded Bifocal Communications Limited in 1993.
Idris’s company served as a lead consultant for renowned institutions such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, and Transcorp Limited, among others.
Idris also dedicated himself to enhancing the practice of public relations, particularly in northern Nigeria. He actively participated in the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and played a pivotal role in expanding its reach.
He was elected chairman of the NIPR, Kaduna chapter, for two consecutive terms. Additionally, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN).
In 2004, Idris ventured into publishing with the launch of The Market Magazine, the first business and economy magazine in northern Nigeria, which quickly gained prominence by providing high-quality editorial content, focused on business and the economy.
Building upon his success in the publishing industry, Idris founded Blueprint Newspaper in 2011. With a team of experienced media practitioners and passionate young reporters, the newspaper raised the bar for investigative journalism. His media conglomerate includes Blueprint Newspapers, The Market Magazine, WE FM106.3, and Blueprint Television.
*Maryam Na-Allah Umar-Baba, a Staff Writer with the Spokesperson’s Digest is an alumnus of Leeds Beckett University obtaining a Bsc in Media Communication Culture and Master’s Degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communication… Email: [email protected]