Following the increasing impact of social media on the growth enterprises in Nigeria, DANIEL ABEL speaks to Solomon Olanrewaju Sanusi a social media PR, and entertainment consultant, on the role of social media and public relations in the entertainment industry. Excerpts:
What influenced you to choose this career path?
My journey to starting a social media marketing hub is long a one. I started from street marketing; I was the hype man for Corolla, one of the brands I did activation marketing for back then. I would go on the streets of Lagos to market a product, market a new brand, new stores, etc., I was practically a street marketer. What mainly influenced me to choose PR and enter into the digital world was based on the fact that I used to share a thousand fliers within five days to about a week when handling projects, then I thought over it again, I said to myself that a flier is just a design that could be shared over the internet to an audience of a thousand to a million people, which will just be one design, no need to print out multiple fliers of just the same artwork. So I thought of achieving more and advancing my career by entering into an industry that all I need to do is just one artwork and the result continues to multiply itself.
What does it entail to manage a public relations firm in Nigeria?
It’s important to have legal framework in place, you have your registered business, have an account customers market put it in place just like any other regular business would put things in place to get their business going on those are the things it entails and be a part of the association that is the registered body for the organisation which is NIPR which is the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. So,it’s essential to be part of a registered body, be part of the association, don’t just start and run your business in the background without the accredited body knowing and having you in their data base and knowing that you are a member of their associations.
What comes to mind when you tell people that you practices public relations?
What comes to mind when I tell people is that they tend to look at me in a certain way, implying that I go look for a better job. The goal of the PR is to create goodwill for an organisation among its stake Holders, these stakeholders are the clients, customers, employees, community, suppliers or vendors all those people are stakeholders and the goal of the PR is to manage all these people that the organisation is intertwining or dealing with.
What challenges do you face as a public relations agent?
We face the same challenges like every normal business, including government policies and many other things that have to do with things not working right in Nigeria. If there’s one major challenge I would point out it would be the challenge of an industry that is an image maker of the public but does not make his own image in the right sense. what that means is that we that are image makers can package and brand people but our industry has not gotten enough goodwill to be able to stand. I know the foundation of public speaking as envisaged by the founding fathers of the profession has gone beyond bounds but there are still a number of things that need to be done for this profession.
How will you describe the practice of public relations in Nigeria? Is there still room for improvement?
Certainly, PR has advanced from where it used to be. It has gone beyond the press and mainstream. It has gone to another face which is the digital or new media which has a lot to do with social media. It has advanced and has grown in leaps and bounds although a lot still needs to be done as I said previously. However, the industry still needs to promote and market itself. There’s a large room for improvement because without that improvement we would be creating conversations for others and we would be making others a success. I own. Like a doctor who is prescribing drugs for others and they are getting well while the doctors themselves are not using the drugs so I think it is time that we put our heads together and get the industry moving.
What role do you think PR plays in the advancement of the entertainment industry?
PR played an important role in the entertainment industry. PR was there to make sure that the entertainment industry took a turn for the better. PR is part of the reason why artist like Wizkid and Davido, BurnaBoy are flourishing globally. PR is the in-between entity that would bring a person to the public and say “what do you think?” PR is in between criticising a person and making sure they get their craft up and gets their stuff to another level. The other part that we seem not to see is that the industry actually ensures the success of the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry would not have been where it is now if the PR institutions or PR practitioners of Nigeria are not doing the things they are supposed to do.
As we are approaching a very competitive political season, do you think PR can help a candidate and give him/her an advantage over other aspirants?
I certainly know that currently PR is already benchmarking the leaders and those that should be voted for. Though we know the reality of Nigeria, it is important to know that PR can give an aspirant superior edge over an opposition. Also, you might also need to know that politicians are one of the smartest people utilising the PR industry to achieve their mission. So I encourage aspirant who wish to win the position they are vying for to embrace proper PR.
Aside public relations what else do you do?
Aside public relations, I am also into digital marketing. And when it comes to relaxing I love travelling, I am an explorer.