Stakeholders in the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) space including members of the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) in particular and the journalism profession in general have been tasked to have a mind shift should they want to bring about excellence in the marketing communications sector.
This mind shift is expected to raise the bar of excellence and reinvigorate the way stakeholders in the sector engage each other to bring about a more viable sector that players in the industry can be proud of.
President of Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) and Chief Executive Officer of Chain Reactions, Isreal Jaiye Opayemi said this when members of the newly elected executives of Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) paid him a courtesy visit in his Ikeja GRA office on Friday, February 25, 2022.
The delegates led by its newly elected Chairman, Clara Chinwe Okoro had visited the PRCAN boss to intimate him of some of the association’s planned activities especially the World Consumers Rights Day slated for March 15, 2022, in Lagos.
In his reaction Opayemi said, “I am very excited about some of the things I hear you say. I think I am an advocate of some of the things you have said that BJAN must raise the bar of excellence in terms of reportage. I have seen, I know the difference when a PR firm writes a report and give it out to run and when a reporter writes a report from an event and one tries to make sense of that report.”
Continuing the erudite Chief Executive said there was need for us to raise the bar especially when one juxtaposes the report from international publications with what we write locally.
“The same thing I say to BJAN is the same thing I am saying to my colleagues in PR. That the PR firms must raise the bar, the journalists who are reporting the PR firms must raise the bar. Those reporting our clients must raise the bar, and in raising the bar it is not just about the training, it is about the mind shift, first of all.”
To take the bull by the horn, Opayemi said his firm, Chain Reactions, is presently spending a lot of money to bring about disruption in the PR industry.
“We said to ourself, if we want to disrupt the PR sector we ourselves we need to disrupt as a business so we brought in expatriates to look at everything from our websites, to our business models, we are rethinking everything, doing everything because we said to ourself, somebody must be able to remove our logo and name from our website and take another international PR firm remove their name and logo from their website and not know the difference,” he said.
“And, I say this with the greatest respect that Nigerians are not inferior to anybody…. We are not inferior to anyone, whether as journalists or as brand communicators… but the truth is that, we must also challenge ourselves.
“It is about self-respect. I don’t like the way people talk about brand journalists… I don’t even like the way they talk about journalists in general. But, this is my own constituency and so Clara, your leadership must make a difference.
“Self respect and sense of dignity are two things that can change a society…The moment Nigeria can come together and say enough is enough, things will begin to change, It is about the intentionality,” he added.
Speaking earlier, Clara Chinwe Okoro, BJAN’s new boss, said the visit to Opayemi was necessary in his capacity as the president of PRCAN and also as the CEO of Chain Reactions.
“We as you know are members of Brand Journalists Association, a group with over 40 members. We feel our voices is what the consumers take and run with in terms of the perception we shape when we carry our stories.
“For our tenure we are really looking at raising the bar to become much more reflective of what brand reporting globally consists of, and in doing that, we are going to do a lot of training and retraining for our members and a lot of retooling for them to be able to understand what it takes to project news and the people who take the news and how it reflects on clients and in doing that, you will agree with me that we need the partnerships of our stakeholders to be able to let us do that,” she said..
In conclusion, she added that other beat association are not as critical as brand journalists in terms of reporting because the emotion “we pour into brands is what the consumers take”. The visit is amongst those in a series embarked upon by the association to reassure stakeholders that the industry must be of priority in reflecting the quality of work we all put into it as Nigerians and be able to be rated with standard operating practices globally.
Members of Brand Journalists executives who were also present at the visit were Lukman Ishau, Vice Chairman, Adejuwon Osunniyi, General Secretary, Melvin Udosen, Treasurer, Adeyemi Olufemi, Financial Secretary, and Afolabi Idowu, immediate past Chairman. Members who were part of the visit were, Akeem Salau, Fadare Adekanmi, Rhoda Ogunseye.