PR practitioners tasked on reputation management

Experts, in the nation’s public relations sector, have insisted on the need for practitioners to properly manage their reputations, to enable them successfully communicate their various messages value to the Nigerian public.

Speaking at the third edition of the Stakeholders’ Conference of the Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of the C&F Porter Novelli, Mr Nnemeka Maduegbuna, stated that it had become imperative for PR practitioners in the country to first earn a reputation before thinking of developing an appropriate communication that would attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country.

Maduegbuna stated that Nigeria was fast losing its attractions as an investment destination, due to its inability to break government monopoly and engage in country marketing.

“It is so bad that we are no longer among the top five FDI destinations in Africa. It shows we are not really engaging in country marketing and creating the right environment that would attract investors,” he argued.

Speaking on the need for government to engage marketing communication experts in to manage its communications, the Chief Executive Officer of CMC Connect, Mr Yomi Badejo, attributed the inability of some of those government communications to resonate with the public to non-involvement of professionals in the process.

The CMC Connect boss, who is also the president of the Africa Public Relations Association (APRA), cited the refusal of the government to constitute a council for the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), more than one year after the last council was dissolved, as an attestation to the fact that the industry was not getting the type of attention if deserved.

Explaining the rationale behind this year’s theme, ‘Communication, Reputation and Sustainable Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria,’ the Chairman, Lagos Chapter, NIPR, Mr Segun McMedal, explained that the conference was premised on the understanding that the state of economic development represents a function of the level of investments both from the public and private sectors.

“The present state of the economy has necessitated the need for diversification and increased foreign direct investment; hence, the need to situate government policy thrust to interpret and accentuate strategic direction to boost business confidence and profitability,” he stated.