In pursuance of an improved Integrated Marketing Communications sector where every stakeholder will be proud of their outcomes, Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) and the Outdoor Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (OAAN) are set to deepen their collaboration for the good of both associations in particular and the IMC space in general.
This much was made known when some Executives of BJAN paid their OAAN counterparts a courtesy visit at its Lagos Secretariat, OAAN House, on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. The visit followed an earlier one made to OAAN President, Emmanuel Ajufo.
Recall that, the brand journalists led by its Chairman Clara Chinwe Okoro had on July 5th, 2022 paid Mr. Ajufo a visit at his Ikeja office to intimate him of the association’s planned activities and to strengthen the relationship between BJAN and stakeholders in the industry, of which OAAN is one.
Speaking during the visit, Clara Chinwe Okoro, BJAN Chairman said the association is committed to working with stakeholders for the good of the industry.
In her words: “We are really committed to working with our stakeholders at this point in time to reposition BJAN as the conduit between most sectoral groups in the IMC sector and the consumers who are the end beneficiaries of their services”.
Continuing she said, “it behoves our stakeholders that we are going to need their support to achieve most of these plans we have set out to achieve in the next few years. I did tell the President at the last meeting that we just only need three major areas of focus as an association to collaborate with OAAN.
“Though the President told us they were willing to support us, he however said he could not take a unilateral decision, that we need to come and speak with the executive council which informed our visit here today and deliberations will be taken and we will be told what to do next.” she noted.
Clara also added that, one of the essence of the plan is to ask for guidance and support and to look at how both associations can work together and also look at “how we can add value to you in return and how also we can achieve results for both organsations going forward”.
In his response, President of OAAN, Emmanuel Ajufo commended the brand journalists for the visit even as he noted that the visit was the first time BJAN would be paying the association, OAAN, as a group.
“In the past it has been through personal contacts with some of your members. So, we thank you for this initiative and for coming to our office. Though, BJAN is not new to us so is collaboration but the angle you are bringing in is new,” Ajufo pointed.
On his part, Oyekan Babatunde, Publicity Secretary, OAAN agreed that collaboration was the way to go.
“Since you have come for collaboration, we can collaborate. At least, we have been doing that for a long time. I do not think that the relationship with BJAN waned at any time though, there was a time we felt we were not getting enough from BJAN.
“Prior to your visit, we have had to deliberate the relationship which OAAN has with BJAN and how we can improve it to get more value. And now that you have come yourself, I think it is a good thing. From the various angles you will be needing support as an exco we will all look at it and look at areas to strengthen the collaboration. Especially as you have given us dates to your programmes it will also help us to plan and look at areas to really be of great support to BJAN,” Babatunde said.
Towing Babatunde’s path, Sola Akinsiku, General Secretary, OAAN, said, “I believe your visit is in recognition of the fact that we manage brands. My President has said it all about collaboration. In all that you have requested, we will look at what is possible and throw our support behind it”.
“The only challenge is in recognition of the fact that OAAN has challenges with respect to government agencies and the fact that most state governments now see outdoor advertising as an alternative to crude oil.
“I think BJAN should help to educate the government and the general public that outdoor cannot replace crude oil. There is the need to be guided. People don’t just wake up one morning and give 48 hours to remove your billboard. I am sure you are aware we have a challenge in one of the states where they woke up one day and gave ultimatum that in seven days we should remove our billboard. I think it is because there are so much lawlessness and I think BJAN should do some enlightenment to let government know its limits when dealing with business entities” he posited.
Speaking on the need to collaborate, Daniel Obi, a member of the BJAN delegate said, collaboration is the key to success.
“They say if you want to go fast you go alone, but if you want to go far you go together. We have come here to seek collaboration so that we can go together in our journey. OAAN has some challenges like the secretary has said, BJAN has some challenges that Clara also pointed out, but with collaboration between OAAN and BJAN we can solve the problems including the concession problem. Therefore, how do we fight that concession problem with the government using the pen and paper which we as brand journalists use.
“To me collaboration is the key to success and if we want to go far let all of us BJAN and OAAN go together to solve our problems,” Obi said.
While assuring OAAN of BJAN’s support in putting out the right information in the public space as it concerns its activities, Akin Adewakun observed that, some of the challenges OAAN is facing presently would not have festered if some things have been done about it.
“We report this industry. I think it is now the association through the present exco is actually opening up to some of its challenges. In the past, even when you hear this kind of news and want to confirm, nobody will be ready to respond and I think it is because of this new beginning that we have seen. The space is becoming more accessible. And I want you to know that we are with you especially as we are stakeholders in this industry we cover” he assured.
Other members of the BJAN delegate were Lukman Ishau, Vice Chairman, Melvin Udosen, Treasurer, Amechi Obiakpu, Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Ojeikere Aikhoje.