A quintessential PR man At 60

Isaac Okoroafor, brilliant journalist and consummate  PR man maintains his winning streak at Central Bank of Nigeria where heads the corporate communications section

Isaac Okoroafor has a long history of superlative performance in the newsroom as a newshound and eventually, as an editor. For many years, he bestrode the print media like a colossus and made his mark as a news reporter and media manager. But in all of these, Okoroafor’s success is strongly tied to his good education, team spirit and work ethic, features that distinguish him from other corporate communications expert.

These personal attributes speak directly to the words of Wilson Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who once dropped a note of warning on the tragedy that awaits a man that fails to brace up for a life changing  opportunity. According to the famous statesman, “to every man, there comes a time in his life when he is symbolically tapped on the shoulder  and  offered a   chance to do  a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents alone. What a tragedy if that moment  finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour”.

Isaac Okoroafor, Head, Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN effectively fits into this scenario. Twice, he had been tapped on the shoulder for such a unique opportunity. At Business Day Newspaper, he was picked in a motley crowd of candidates in a keenly contested job interview that brought together, applicants with different media backgrounds. Eventually, Okoroafor carried the day with his outstanding performance which endorsed him for the job.   

Today, this quintessential newspaper and PR man is re-inventing CBN’s Corporate Communications department with his skills. Just as he nurtured the business newspaper to a world class brand, he is also replicating the same feat at the apex bank. Quite expectedly, he is keeping the image and brand unique, untainted, dynamic and mobile. Indeed, he has done creditably well, inspiring others with his deeply ingrained knowledge, skill, professionalism, attitude and depth.      

Okoroafor, naturally is living up to the dictum: ‘knowledge of a problem is key to its solution’ with his familiarity and competence on issues in the corporate world, his versatility, temperament and ability to tackle all professional challenges facing the mandate of the apex bank. He is indeed, a round peg in a round hole. Academically, he has the right knowledge; professionally, being a former editor and thoroughbred journalist, he is well armed with the right skills and contacts. He also possesses the right attitude for anyone destined for the top.        

He is headed for this top, no doubt. His  relevant  academic background remains a major fulcrum that drives his supersonic performance. With deep knowledge of economic fundamentals and strategic choices,     Okoroafor has continued to build a  new and positive  image for the apex bank while strategically repositioning   it for a new height and new realities. But that is not  all. This enviable achievement definitely is not a function of mere luck but a  deliberate process that emanated from his strong and progressive vision for the apex bank.

 Aside these, Okoroafor also stands out in other areas which include but not limited to his awesome personality, his ability  to pay  the price of discipline  and to deal with the hard, pragmatic and brutal facts of image building and repositioning particularly  at the  critical time of economic crises  and recession. Moreover,  his strength of conviction and exemplary drive, sustains the discipline as well as the determination  towards meaningful contribution to the ultimate goal of achieving and sustaining the organization’s vision.

Among his colleagues, Okoroafor is perceived as a man who combines high standards and strong values with consistent discipline and a high sense of empathy. His PR disposition also reflects in his carriage and relationship with other members of staff who encounter him on a daily basis.  A   powerful and  transformative  executive  that  he is, Okoroafor possesses appealing mixture of personal humility and professional outlook which engender the building and retention of an enduring brand. He is ever  busy, organizing people  and resources towards effective and efficient pursuit of  programmed outcomes. He vigorously pursues knowledge, identifying  talents and skills, good work habits,  a clear and compelling vision  and stimulating his staff to high performance standards.

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