Saturday, 9th December 2023

At PR Day, experts call for preservation, innovation

By Tobi Awodipe and Sunday Aikulola
18 July 2023   |   4:04 am
To celebrate a successful hosting of this year’s World PR Day 2023, industry professionals and thought leaders converged on Lagos last weekend to discuss contributions of Nigeria’s PR ecosystem as well as chart a way forward.

MD, Guardian Newspaper, Martins Oloja, keynote speaker, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya and convener and managing partner, GLG Communications, Omawumi Ogbe at the grand finale of the world PR Day 2023 in partnership with The Guardian Newspaper, held in Lagos recently

To celebrate a successful hosting of this year’s World PR Day 2023, industry professionals and thought leaders converged on Lagos last weekend to discuss contributions of Nigeria’s PR ecosystem as well as chart a way forward.

Organised by GLG Communications, in partnership with The Guardian Newspapers, the event also unveiled this year’s honourees of the PR Power List published exclusively by The Guardian.

The Power List, a comprehensive compilation of 50 exceptional PR and communication professionals, who have made significant contributions to the industry, showcased both returning honourees from previous years and new entrants who distinguished themselves last year.

Speaking on the relationship between journalism and public relations, Managing Director, The Guardian Newspapers, Martins Oloja, stressed that they should not be confused for each other, as they were not the same thing.

According to him, “journalism is exposing things that people want to keep hidden, and getting a journalist to run PR would be difficult, as they have not been trained in that regard. I say it categorically again that Information ministries are no longer needed in this day and age, what we need now is communications ministry.”

At the fireside chat, founder, Black at Cannes, Peter Ukhurebor, who spoke on Culture and the influence it has on communications, said stereotypes are everywhere and it’s something black creators deal with wherever we go.

“We’re using the media to try and correct these stereotypes by creating effective communication through PR and advert campaigns to tell people that what they perceive or think may be wrong. We want to ensure that more black creators have opportunities. What Africa needs is access we are already very creative; we just need more people in the room to understand our campaigns and what we’re trying to do.”

On changes he’s looking for next year, he said he simply wants more access. His words: “I want to see more African presence at the global stage, at Cannes and Davos. We can strive to provide the access but we need people to step into the spaces that we create. We want more black jurors and black creators from every single part of the world and we aim to see more results by next year. We must be careful to retain our authenticity. Global storytelling is we telling our stories to remind us of who we really are.”

In her address, event convener, Omawumi Ogbe, described the reception as an opportunity for stakeholders and thought leaders to push the boundaries of public relations and set the agenda for the Nigerian PR industry going forward.

Keynote speaker, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, in his address, emphasised the crucial role of public relations and how it can be harnessed to drive positive change and success. Highlighting that the industry is struggling with many challenges, he said they are competing with journalists, influencers, media managers and so on for a piece of the pie. “The value and relevance of PR has been grossly understated and watered down and now, most people think media relations is the start and end of PR.”

He advised industry players to remain consistent and continue innovating.

Other guests in attendance included Dr. Reuben Abati, Lanre Olusola, Nkiru Olumide-Ojo, Nkechi Ali-Balogun and Charles O’Tudor, among others.

Explaining the rationale behind the list, Ogbe emphasised the importance of recognising PR practitioners and elevating the profession in Nigeria.

She acknowledged that they often work tirelessly behind the scenes, making magic happen for clients, often forgetting to honour themselves.

The Changemakers category honoured Comfort Obi-Nwankwo, Tomilayo Aluko, Ijeoma Balogun, Victoria Uwadoka, Bola Balogun, Elizabeth Osho, Ayeni Adekunle,
Bukola Sawyerr Izeogu, Mabel Adeteye, Oluwasola Obagbemi and Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade.

Media Impact award went to the publisher of Marketing Edge, John Ajayi, while Community Impact award went to Adedoyin Jaiyesimi, Peter Ukhurebor, Eniola Harrison and Tolulope Olorundero.

Yomi Badejo-Okusanya and Charles O’Tudor were celebrated as icons of the industry.