Leading perception management firm, CMC Connect limited has attributed the confusion arising from people’s inability to differentiate practitioner’s value offering to the inability of stakeholders to adequately sell themselves.
Group Managing Director of CMC Connect limited, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya disclosed this when executive members of Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) paid him a courtesy visit at Za Ozzer Bridge House, GRA, Ikeja office of CMC Connect Ltd.
The visit was in continuation of the exco’s plan to intimate stakeholders of its programs and to reaffirm its relationship with them.
Okusanya said there is the need for marketing communications practitioners to effectively evaluate the value they offer and sell them effectively.
According to YBO as he is popularly known, “we need to define what we do and so if there is a confusion about what we do it means that, we have not defined ourselves very well”.
“BJAN in itself is suffering from what we in the communications industry is suffering from, and more so, those of us in the public relations sector. We have not been able to effectively sell our value. People do not know exactly what we bring to the table- what we bring to the table is questionable.
“There is a lot of advocacy that has to be done in that area and one of the things I have been talking about for those of you who listens to me during different fora, is affirmative public relations. It means physician heal thyself. If we can advocate for those in other sectors, we must advocate for our own industry, the question is that, what do we bring to the table? How do we measure our value? How do you then decide what to pay us?
“We need to define what we do,and so if there is a confusion about what we do it means that, I have not defined myself enough,” he noted.
He charged journalists who are dabbling into public relations to get adequate training and license to be able to practice, as according to him, because one is a journalist does not make him a professional in the PR practice.
“I have no problem with that, if you want to be a PR practitioner, please get training to be one. I believe that one of the feeder areas for PR professionals is journalism, because one of the skills you must know is writing, content creation, content curation. And you guys do that well- that is your nature and I have no problem with you upgrading your skills to become PR practitioners but please don’t do it if you do not have the training,”.
While appreciating BJAN for the visit and support over time, Okusanya, whose firm, CMC Connect clocked 30 years in operation in March said the company will be unveiling a new set of programs and ideas in the weeks to come that will hinge on People, Business and Technology (PBT).
“The truth of the matter is that, the only reason we are doing it is, we believe that if there is a collective goodness from the industry it will cascade down to us. We are not about trying to build island for ourselves, we collaborate, we partner and sometimes co-operate with our competitors. Sometimes run pitches together.
“My dream is that, more mergers and acquisition will emerge as we go along- if Exxon can join with Mobil to form ExxonMobil, if Elf can join Total to become TotalFina why can’t chain Reactions, CMC Connect and Mediacraft come together and build one bigger entity that we can pitch together? When you talk about KPMG it’s not one person’s name but initials of names. The shout out for me is to help us find what PR is. And what it brings to the table so that we as physicians can heal ourselves,” he posited.
In her speech, Leader of the delegation and BJAN’s chairman, Clara Chinwe Okoro said the new executives have quite ambitious plans and the major one is to restructure the association to become more relevant in the marketing communications space, “It is a very huge industry and as the bridge between the consumers and the stakeholders, it is very relevant that we are always seen to communicate exactly, what the stakeholders want the consumers to know and that is where we come in to say that we need the stakeholders to understand our position in being critical in the scheme of things in the industry and in doing that there is no other way than to pay this courtesy visit and lay out our plans to them.”
Continuing, Clara said: “As the years have evolved, we also realise the need to up our game as industry writers, technology has come into the mix of things and my members and I have come to realise that it can no longer be the old tools we are using to be able to communicate effectively. In that regard we as the new excos know that we need to retool ourselves and learn and we need to collaborate with partners to achieve this and its a whole new mind shift we are aiming at. It might look ambitious a dream- but I know that the world we live in now is open source and your vision if articulated well enough, one will definitely see people who will key into the vision with you,” she affirmed.
Other members of the BJAN delegation were; Lukman Ishau, Vice Chairman, Adedayo Odulaja, Assistant General Secretary, Amechi Obiakpu, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Olufemi Adeyemi, Financial Secretary and Akeem Salau, erstwhile Financial Secretary.
The visit ended with an invitation by CMC Connect Group to BJAN Team for a friendly Football Game.