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Sophia Kudjordji | Ghana | Passion Is Important

Chief Corporate Communications Officer | Communications Strategist or Expert

Senior Public Relations

Who is Sophia Kudjordji?

I am one of nine children of my parents: Alfred Yaw Mensah Kudjordji (Deceased) and Elizabeth Mensah Kudjordji (Retired Police Officer). I was born some five decades ago in Tamale. My formative years were spent from one region to the other depending on where my parents' service was (transfer). I finally did my Ordinary Level education at Mawuli Secondary school and my Advanced Level Education at Okuapemman Secondary School. I also attended the Premier Journalism School in Ghana, the Ghana Institute of Journalism where I obtained a Diploma in Journalism, then to the University of Ghana, Legon for a BA (Hons) in Sociology and Psychology. I hold a Master’s Degree in Development Communication from the Ghana Institute of Journalism, an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability from the University of Cumbria, UK, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK. I started my career as a Journalist with the Ghana News Agency in the Volta Region in 1994, where I rose to the position of a Senior Reporter. While at the GNA, I doubled as a Public Relations Consultant for the DANIDA-sponsored Volta Region Community Water and Sanitation Programme, at the same time serving as the host of “Women’s Corner” and “Youth World” programmes on Volta Star Radio-a community based radio station of GBC, Ghana. I later had the opportunity to join the British High Commission in Accra as a Website Editor in 2000. I started my core corporate communications function at UT Group. By the grace of God I am currently the Chief Corporate Communications Officer for the Jospong Group of Companies where I lead a team of sharp young men and women across the group to develop strategies for integrated marketing communications, media and public relations, reputation management, stakeholder engagement and corporate social responsibility among others.

As a Development Communicator, with over 25 years’ of work experience I have had the opportunity to work as a Corporate Communications person for two of Ghana’s most recognized and awarded institutions - Jospong Group of Companies overseeing over 60 companies, including the largest Waste Management Company in Ghana and West Africa, and the UT Group - a holding company with stakes in six different companies including a Bank (now defunct). I am an accredited member of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) Ghana, a member of the African Public Relations, International Public Relations Association-UK, member of the Climate Change Chapter, member of the Ghana Journalists’ Association and one time a governing Council Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG).

How did you start out in the Corporate Communication career?

I trained as a journalist and worked as a journalist for 8 years with the Ghana News Agency including National Service. While doing the national service, I also had the opportunity to consult for the newly established Volta Region Community Water and Sanitation agency as a Public Relations Consultant. This is where I started Corporate Communications unconsciously. I later had the opportunity to join the British High Commission as a Press and Public Affairs Officer responsible for the website platform. Here also I had a stint with corporate communications especially in the area of stakeholder engagement, as I supported media relations, government relations and police relations.

The real dive into corporate communications started in December 2006, when I had the honour of joining the then Unique Trust Financial Services-(a non Bank financial institution) which then became UT Financial Services and later UT Bank, with the mother company UT Holdings and supporting the other UT businesses like UT Property, UT Logistics, UT Insurance, UT Private Security, UT Nigeria and UT South Africa. Here I served in various capacities such as Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Corporate Affairs and Media Relations Manager and later External Affairs Manager. I worked with the UT Brand for 9 and half years until I had the honor of moving to the Jospong Group in June 2016.

What three lessons would you say your long career serving has taught you?

- Relationships are everything and so is image.

- There is no shame in asking for help.

- Passion is important. You must fall in love with your company in order to be able to sell it.

What are your thoughts on work-life balance?

This is a dicey but critical issue! I believe that the family is important, but career also brings dignity to humanity, so by all means “whatever one's hands find, one must do it” and do it diligently, as the Bible says. I have my own philosophy about this. I believe that every endeavour in life has a price tag. Something must definitely pay the price for the other to be better. So much as we desire to have that ideal work-life balance, I have come to believe that one will be sacrificed for the other. You are either building your family or career. In our part of the world, the weight of the price is made lighter because of our social systems, where one can easily find family and others to support in taking care of the family. An individual cannot get it right all the time. It calls for critical time management and prioritization.

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

Indeed, in my journey in this field of corporate communications, there have been quite a number of challenges, some personal and others organizational and even some that one has no control over. First and foremost, I see challenges as opportunities for learning. Challenges for me have some objectives. That is, to make or break you, to make you bitter or better. Your response or reaction is what will tease out which way you go. My philosophy about challenges has been that “everything that has a beginning has an end”. So no matter how the situation is, there is an end to it. I will however still go ahead to check the cause of the challenge, whether I played any role in bringing it upon myself or it’s an external force. I will then apply the needed knowledge to resolve it. In instances where I don’t have the capacity to deal with it, I ask for help. But before I attempt to deal with it in any way, I will pray about it. I am very unapologetic about my relationship with God. I am a lover of Jesus! He is the beginning and the end of every step I take. His way or no way!

My advice to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

- People matter, so treat everyone with respect.

- Whatever has a beginning has an end. Do not take anyone for granted.

- No one is indispensable, but make yourself irreplaceable.

- When you push people up, you also go up with them.

- In all things, make your stands/stance clear. It doesn’t matter whether it is accepted or not, your stance is your own.

- I am nothing without God!

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