Most of the ground work is done by the PR team but most at times accolades are accorded to other people. Today we bring to you what exactly the role of a PR is.
What are you going to tell someone who has no clue what Public Relations is all about ?
According to the PRSA(public Relations society of America) – PR is a strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.
Public relations is any activity you do that helps you create and cultivate relationships with all your stakeholders.
PR rests on three fundamentals – Building, (crafting your unique brand story) Enhancing, (articles, media relations), (Protecting a brand(brand reputation management)
What are some of the growing trends in the public relations industry?
Today we see a lot of technology and specifically AI integrated in day-to-day PR. AI is increasingly used to design data driven PR campaigns and also to predict trends and foresee possible crisis situations. Data and technology have become indispensable in the practice of PR.
Which are your favorite social media platforms and what do you like about them?
Each social media platform comes in handy for various purposes. My favorite platform at anytime is the one where my target for the moment is 😅
However personally, i have thing for Twitter. It is a challenging platform in that it’s primary content form is words. Despite the increasing use of visuals on the platform it always comes down to words and a limited number at that. So to generate and drive conversations on Twitter … is always an exciting challenge for me.
Have you ever had to handle a social media crisis? How did you go about it?
Yes i have. The key to effectively managing a social media crisis is first and foremost to have clearly defined social media guidelines. This reduces the risk of an actual crisis.
In case of an actual crisis though the first step is to halt all pre-planned posts and then listen keenly. Do not be in a rush to argue or defend yourself. Acknowledge the issue and inform the public that an official statement would follow.
Keep this response short and to the point. No need for lengthy narratives. Make sure your spokesperson or organization or you yourself have agreed on what your response or position is and stick to it.
Do all you can to ensure you don’t go into a back and forth on the issue. Depending on the gravity of the situation you can then agree on further action. But remember, keep your response brief and ensure all team members are on the same page. Conflicting responses to a crisis from team members only makes it worse.
What skills do you bring to the table to help communicate a client’s message?
As a PR person there are so many skills you need to be able to tell your client’s story to the right people at the right time. The list is endless.
However one very important skill is listening to your client. And yes listening is a skill. Your entire plan would depend on how well you can listen and understand your client and his/her goals.
It is also important to possess high level analytical skills. To able to properly design and execute a campaign you need to properly analyze and dissect the pre and post campaign data.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of appointing a PR consultant??
Who are the current members of your team and what are their respective roles?
ImageNation PR has 3 Founders/ Partners. Santher Mbacham, Velveeta Viban and myself.
Santher is the Managing Director, Velveeta is Operations Officer and I am Accounts Manager.
We also have Katyanna Gwangwaa who is our Social Media Coordinator, Jossman Belle for Media Relations and Fobang Mbacham our Finance Manager
What’s most interesting your PR work?
What I find most interesting about PR work is the story telling. Taking a clients story and framing it and sharing it.
I also find the data very interesting. You would be amazed how much insight is hidden in the simplest data.
There’s an increase in the number of PRs we have around especially in the entertainment scene. In your opinion are they defending the flag or dragging the career into the mud ?
I think the increase in the number of PR professionals is a great asset to our corporate and entertainment business sectors. It shows that our community is understanding the importance of PR.
To be honest though, i think we have more of personal brand managers than PR practitioners. PR doesn’t translate to, ensuring your client wears good clothes , takes sophisticated pictures but, it entails, telling their stories and helping them connect with their audience. For example, if a fan can chat with their idol, on twitter, the connection is stronger… barriers are broken and he feels like a friend. Brand loyalty is ensured. It is for this reason, Nigerian entertainers succeed.
I think as PR professionals we should always remain conscious of the power in the stories we craft for our clients. These stories together tell the story of an entire nation and thus we should do all in our power to make them beautiful and authentic.
To someone who looks up to you as a PR, what have you to tell him/her?
As PR people most of the time the work you do would not be as glamorous and loud as everyone thinks. People will doubt you; even your clients. Stay focused. Use your data! Keep your stories authentic and trust your instincts.
Mafue Forchu in the above interview takes time to explain the position of the PR in the business circle. She vividly brings out the importance of that position. Hope you did learn something from it.