In a sit down with Adesua, we get a more comprehensive view of the world of public relations (PR) from her point of view.
She talks about its growth, transformation and challenges in the Abuja market, as well as the global world today especially during and after the pandemic and more importantly, its impact on her specific field of public relations.
Adesua Susan Obhiokhenan is a graduate of mass communication from Benson Idahosa University Benin City. She is also known in the media space as the Creative Director of Shades Media and Events, a Strategic communication and events agency in Abuja Nigeria.
Over the years, Adesua has helped clients to build relations, develop and execute strategies, ideas, products, and services for their target audience using her numerous skills. She started her career in radio and later moved on to gain experience in Journalism, TV Production, Public Relations, Event Production & Planning.
Which is where she got her niche for solving problems by catering to clients needs through public relations. In a direct quote, Adesua says “I believe I continue to push to the apex of my chosen profession as I have worked with different clients across the country and Africa”.
As the world evolves, competition for attention is intense. Technology has made it convenient and over time we have developed effective ways of transmitting messages across the various platforms for different target audiences but most times collating data and keeping up with trends gets cumbersome.
Another challenge with public relations services in the abuja market is that “clients have high expectations with amazing budgets and expect you to perform magic in order to produce their imagined expectations”. Clients expect you to work within a low budget and expect their budget will stretch to the results they imagined. Another challenge that presented itself was the covid-19 pandemic.
When we talk about public relations, we talk about an industry that is good at responding to changing client needs. These changes make companies relevant to their target audience. The pandemic had a huge effect on most companies. Now, most of these companies are trying to survive by repositioning. We all know that PR and media go together. This involves media relations that coordinate interviews between clients and the various reporters for interviews which meant both parties met most times in the studio or other physical locations for interviews.
The pandemic limited in-person interactions. Social media was part of our daily life and society but during the pandemic, we saw it as an important tool which was used to stay connected. Various activities and events such as gatherings, press conferences, conventions or town hall meetings and numerous events are common ways to bring people together to foster different growing communities and raise brand awareness. It also offers new ways to stay involved.
The pandemic saw a new wave of online presence and all of these were done online across different platforms. Creating online communities has helped people get together and feel a little more normal, and online events allow more flexibility with schedules.
Asking how the PR wedding industry in the abuja market has been, Adesua says, with the recent slogan of “Chop Breakfast” ravaging society especially within the Millennials and Gen Z communities, she still gets clients who want to tell the world their story and contribute their quota to changing the narrative.
Having had over 40 couples with different love stories, and different contents to push the narrative she can say it’s an industry that is here to stay. The world is a global village and the world needs love and needs to know about the rich wedding culture in our modern society.
The pandemic saw a high rate of divorces and domestic violence from couples leaving so many sad stories about marriages and bitter tales about love. She has always been that girl who promotes love and has been involved in numerous weddings and events before the pandemic with one of her clients who happens to be an Event Planner in Abuja, they both decided to change the narrative about this.
They started changing the narrative using different online channels to talk about love, weddings and family. Over time, Shades Media has been able to provide PR services for numerous couples and created content, and stories and promoted love and the importance of family in the abuja space and modern-day society as a whole.
Finally, when it comes to PR Adesua says quick fixes by brands, poor storytelling and incorrect audience are some common mistakes she sees agencies/firms make and a way to curb that is having long-term strategies, generate strong relationships and position companies to its right audience.