The Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), the professional association charged with the responsibility of regulating public relations consulting in Nigeria, has sworn in re-elected executive members to the steer affairs of the association for the next two years. This was the highpoint of activities at the association’s 2017 Annual General Meeting held in Ikeja on Friday, March 31, 2017.
Executive members who got re-elected to continue the good work are President, John Ehiguese, representing Mediacraft Associates; Vice President, Muyiwa Akintunde of Leap Communications; and Secretary General, Adetola Odusote from CMC Connect Burson-Marsteller. Others re-elected into the leadership of the association include: Publicity Secretary, Israel Opayemi, representing Chain Reactions Nigeria and Treasurer, Mojisola Saka, representing SoulComm; while Tampiri Irimagha-Akemu of Sesema PR is Assistant Secretary General.
Speaking on behalf of the elected executives, Ehiguese thanked members for their confidence and support. He promised to take the professional association to the next level of development.
Making a presentation titled, “Ten Questions about the state of PR Practice in Nigeria”, Ehiguese charged member-agencies on the importance of accurate and reliable data and documentation to the development of public relations practice in Nigeria.
“It is very important for us as public relations consultants to start documenting our research works and case studies. That is the only thing that can stand us out as serious professionals ready to play on the global stage. We execute wonderful public relations campaigns with potentials for winning international public relations awards, but if we don’t document our works as case studies, it becomes difficult to enter them for such awards”.
He added that the world already knew that the Nigerian market had huge potentials, but that we needed to move beyond that narrative, to begin to show what we could do, and what we were doing, as our contribution to the growth of PR globally.
Making a comparison with the public relations industry in some other parts of the world, Ehiguese added: “Public relations practice in many of these countries is not necessarily better than what obtains in Nigeria. The only edge they have over us is that their systems are more organised in terms of infrastructural support, research, documentation and higher ethical threshold.”
Ehiguese further stated that one of the reasons Nigeria never featured in the yearly Holmes Report on the state of the global industry was the near-absence of data to track the growth of the industry. He however pledged that his leadership would re-launch an effort aimed at tracking the growth of the industry in Nigeria by measuring the quantum of public relations businesses done in Nigeria annually through a data-gathering initiative that would involve member-agencies disclosing their fee income from clients and the cost of public relations campaigns done for clients in Nigeria.
Lending his voice to the discussion, Past President of PRCAN and Chairman of C&F Porter Novelli, Nn’emeka Maduegbuna said the public relations industry in Nigeria has a lot of potentials. But he counselled that practitioners must be willing to move along with the evolving trends in digital public relations. “The real practitioners in public relations still have a vital role to play even in the current trends in terms of providing strategic directions for whatever is being done within the digital space,” Maduegbuna added.
Speaking in the same vein, President of the African Public Relations Association (APRA) and CEO of CMC Burson Marsteller, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya enjoined Nigerian public relations practitioners to put their works forward for International awards such as the prestigious SABRE Awards Africa, saying, “this is the first time organisers of the awards are focusing exclusively on rewarding creative public relations campaigns in Nigeria. We are Africa’s largest market, let us go out there and showcase our great works to the world.”