Lagos Nigeria. In its bid to boost capacity of Public Relations practitioners in the country, the Public Relations Consultants’ Association of Nigeria, PRCAN, hosts a new knowledge sharing series known as the PRCAN Monthly Breakfast Meeting where experts from the clients’ side are invited to share current trends with external consultants.
At the maiden edition of the Monthly Breakfast Meeting in Lagos, the Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries, NB, Plc, Mr. Kufre Ekanem, who was the first guest speaker shared insights on what the expectations of typical clients were from their Public Relations consultants.
In his presentation titled, ‘Culture: The Next PR Frontier’, the highly respected Ekanem said PR practitioners must raise the bar of excellence because in today’s highly competitive market, the kind of Public Relations consultants that clients are looking for are those that can develop and implement PR programmes that can help them break cultural barriers.
“In other words, the PR consultant must be able to achieve five things for the clients. These five things are PR that: hints, explains, liaises, permeates and sells. The PR must tell a good story of what the target consumers should expect, and explain clearly, what the brand will do for them. It must also be able to liaise, that is connect with them; break down concerns, issues, obstacles that consumers may have or anticipate and ultimately sell the brand,” he said.
The NB Corporate Affairs Adviser enjoined Public Relations practitioners to explore opportunities in culture as a yet-to-be- tapped sphere of reputation building and management for their clients.
Ekanem said further that there were several reputation building opportunities organizations could derive from culture as a fast emerging trend in marketing communications.
He noted that whether it be a corporate or product brand, a proper understanding of the power of culture or what is generally referred to as ‘local love’, can deliver tremendous marketing success.
‘‘One of the ways culture is defined is, ‘the way we do things here’”, he enthused, while noting that culture reflects on the demographics and psychographics as well as the consumer perception of any given brand. He added that areas where Public Relations consultants can begin to focus on include: corporate culture and employee engagement, social culture and tourism and heritage.
Ekanem cited examples of some brands that have successfully broken through cultural barriers: a beverage drink as a perfect complement to food; the promotion of tooth brushing twice daily as a perfect way to keep healthy gums and dentition by toothpaste brands, and the use of two tablets of analgesics for fast relief from pain by pharmaceutical brands.
While explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Mr. John Ehiguese, President of PRCAN, said the breakfast meeting was in furtherance of the commitment of the association to boost the capacity of Public Relations consultants in Nigeria so that they could better understand the clients’ point of view and thereby manage their expectations better.