Following the release of the second edition of the Nigeria PR Report, President, African Public Relations Association (APRA) and Group Chief Executive, CMC Connect, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya has stated that the future of Public Relations will be catalyzed by technology in order to further promote specialization and provide solutions to communication challenges in the public and private sectors.
He made this known in the foreword of the report produced by Nigerian PR firm, BHM.
The report read in part “As Public Relations in Nigeria continues to witness significant changes; the challenge of the practitioner is how to evolve with it. Many have fallen along the way due to their inability to adapt. The summary of ‘rolling with the times’ lies in understanding the dynamics that drive the very change in itself.
“That understanding can never be achieved without deep insights into our various stakeholders. For a profession whose key objective is to manage stakeholders’ perception and expectations, we do a poor job when it comes to ourselves. More often than not, as professionals, we are caught napping when these changes occur.
“Truth be told, these changes in most instances were not abrupt. There were clear indications of their arrival of which we failed to take cognizance. This has no doubt affected the profession in its entire ramification – from the bouquet of services we offer to its quality, personnel and even the remuneration we attract or fail to attract.
“If we continue like this, we risk Public Relations going extinct. It will be replaced by a more dynamic concept of the profession built on the ashes of the existing, but totally different in positioning, execution, result and reward.
“I predict that the future of Public Relations lies in specialization, collaboration and product differentiation. These will be catalyzed by technology in a world where consumer wants are rapidly changing and we are constantly adapting. The last piece of the jigsaw puzzle is creativity. Public Relations can and will take the lead in creatively providing solutions to the communication challenges of both the public and private sectors.
“However, we can never attain these lofty heights if we shy away from comprehensively and collectively subjecting Public Relations practice in Nigeria to critical analysis. It is pertinent that we as practitioners, rally round any effort aimed at analyzing this practice. Anything else will amount to ‘repeating the same thing but expecting different results’.
“For this reason, I, without any hesitation whatsoever, lend myself to the pioneering effort of Ayeni Adekunle and his team in crafting these reports. To those who fault the report, citing flaws and lapses, I counter by saying ‘at least this ship has left the harbour’. It can only get better.”