COVID 19: Opportunity to reset, rebrand, refocus —Experts

DESPITE the telling effects of COVID 19 on businesses and economies around the globe, professionals in the country believe the pandemic, however, presents the opportunity for the country to reset her economy, rebrand her products and refocus on other areas of growth.

They argued that though the public health crisis had continued to take its toll on personal and corporate economies, it however presents an opportunity for circumspection for stakeholders in the country.

The Founder/Chief Executive Officer, 7Gongs Brand and Media, Henry Omafodezi, in a paper titled, ‘COVID 19 And The State of PR: Personal Experience’ argued that, despite its debilitating effects on businesses, one of the opportunities presented by the pandemic remains its likelihood of  reinforcing the importance of Public Relations practice.

While admitting that the public health crisis might have its attendant effects on marketing budgets, company’s revenues and others, he however observed that the pandemic had also enhanced the increasing popularity of the practice as a management function.

“I have read comments from some industry pundits, suggesting that the crisis will have a debilitating effect on the practice. Their argument is that when marketing budgets shrink, PR is usually among the first to go. So with the current job cuts and revenue decline, many organisations will re-evaluate their need for PR.

“I admit that while I understand the basis of this viewpoint, my experience couldn’t be farther from that. Pre-COVID 19, we were witnessing the increasing ascendancy of PR as a management function. I believe that the current atmosphere has reinforced the relevancy of the practice in that role.

“Almost all my clients have had to re-evaluate and reposition their businesses in line with the times. Without exception, they have all needed strategic communication plans to get stakeholders’ buy-in, without fuelling further instability in the already tense atmosphere,” he stated.

Omafodezi argued that the practice becomes relevant more than ever before since it is expected to provide a ‘PR-centric’ solution to the challenges and tension, the public crisis must have wrought on the industry.

Chief Executive Officer of Wealthgate Advisor, Mr. Adebiyi Adesuyi believes the pandemic presents stakeholders, especially the federal government the opportunity to reset the economy, diversify it and rebrand some of the nation’s products.

Adesuyi argued that the time had come for the nation’s manufacturers to begin to rebrand their products, add value to such products, in order to make them acceptable in the global market.

According to him, if well packaged, such products could be major sources of foreign exchange earnings for the country.

Citing the example of Madagascar, said to have discovered anti –COVID 19 drugs, lately, the Wealthgate Advisor’s boss argued that the country must be ready to toe such lines if she hoped to get her economy out of the woods.

“I believe the pandemic provides us the opportunity to look inwards. It is an opportunity for our manufacturers to begin to add value to their products and also improve on their packaging to make them acceptable in the global market. If they are able to get that right, it would go a long way in boosting our foreign exchange earnings and complement our earnings on oil,” he stated.



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