Isa Gusa, Special Adviser on Strategy and Public Relations to the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, obtained a Masters, MA, in Media and Public Relations with the highest grade of Distinction from the University of Leicester in the UK.
He did this by working remotely with his colleagues, coordinating his own office with daily input on publicity materials, working with and mentoring dozens of social media associates and bloggers, and liaising with over a hundred journalists while studying at the University of Leicester. .
The University of Leicester has a 100 year history and is one of the UK‘s most respected academic institutions where only extreme compromises result in students graduating with the highest grades after every module assessment is put through simultaneous double grading by different teachers whose different grades must be reasonably matched at each grade level before grades are approved by academic boards.
The graduation ceremony was held on Wednesday from noon to night at the famous De Montfort Hall on the university’s campus in the city of Leicester. The graduation was held in person for the first time since the pandemic.
Mr. Gusau also has on-campus course certificates in Leadership and Persuasive Communication from the Division of Continuing Education at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States; in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education in Cambridge, UK; in Brand Reputation, Media Relations and Political Campaigns and Communication at Thompson Reuters in New York, United States.
He also had different times, he took intensive online certification courses organized by Harvard University on Communication Strategies and Crisis Communication.
He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, UK; the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations; the Public Relations and Communications Association, PRCA, UK; the International Association of Public Relations, UK and the African Association of Public Relations.
Mr. Gusau had attended various conferences, summits, and bilateral meetings in 18 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa for government media relations, professional networking, training, and reporting.
He had visited, at different times, 16 states in the United States for similar purposes.
Gusau cites 461 textbooks, journals in essays, theses in Leicester
During his one-year program at the University of Leicester, Mr. Gusau‘s secondary literature resources showed that in the course of writing academic essays and dissertations, he cited a combined number of 461 peer-reviewed books and journals on a wide range of topics, especially in relation to strategic communication (including risk and crisis communication), terrorist propaganda, ethical persuasion and propaganda, emotional intelligence, critical writing, print, television and online journalism, political communication, communication for development, media relations, branding and advertising, media audience research, social media scientific research methods, new media, social media, public relations in reconciliation and peace building, lobbying and public affairs, among other areas.
Gusau pioneering research area
In his master’s thesis, Mr. Gusau investigated the identities of parliamentary lobbyists in the Nigerian National Assembly and discussed the implications for public relations and democratic governance.
In the course of the investigation, which was graded ‘A’ after different levels of evaluation, Mr. Gusau discreetly interviewed senators and members of the House of Representatives from all six of Nigeria’s geopolitical zones, who served in the 8 .ª National Assembly from 2015 to 2019 being the case study
Mr. Gusau also interviewed public relations professionals in both the public and private sectors, from the six geopolitical zones before applying investigative methods to arrive at significant findings.
Lecturers from the University of Leicester described the research as groundbreaking for academic PR research and for practitioners in Nigeria and by extension in Africa, given Nigeria’s leading role on the continent.
With the completion of the Master of Media and Public Relations, Mr. Zulum’s media strategist may have become the first government spokesperson in Nigeria to combine undergraduate and postgraduate degrees with a specialization in Public Relations, which deals professionally with the media relations.
While most former and serving spokespersons in and out of government are graduates in mass communication and other areas, some have graduate degrees specializing in public relations.
Except in the United Kingdom, the United States, and other developed countries, Nigerian universities do not offer specialized degree programs in public relations unless they are postgraduate programs in fewer than five universities.
The NUC‘s plan to unbundle mass communication as is done in developed countries is expected to create space for universities to offer bachelor’s programs in PR to allow students to start majoring at that level.
Mr. Gusau also practiced as a journalist for years before moving into public relations.
At the Daily Trust, Mr. Gusau was the first to win the Chairman of the Board Star Award and the Cash Award for Integrity in the Journalists category.
He also received the editor-in-chief’s letter of commendation and a cash reward for his integrity.
MacSystemFont, -apple-system, ‘Segoe UI’, Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, ‘Open Sans’, ‘Helvetica Neue’, sans-serif”>He had received a number of accolades from the Director General and the Director of Operations for the prudence, transparency, responsibility and productive management of the regional offices in the Niger Delta and North East Nigeria.
MacSystemFont, -apple-system, ‘Segoe UI’, Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, ‘Open Sans’, ‘Helvetica Neue’, sans-serif”>He also received performance-based incentives and accelerated promotions.
Mr. Gusau resigned from the Daily Trust in March 2012, the same week he was promoted to the rank of Deputy Editor, to venture into public relations activities following his appointment by Governor Kashim Shettima as Special Adviser on Media and Advertising.
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