A few years ago, the agency which was then called FCB Redline, was never in the consideration set when assessing Nigeria’s frontline Public Relations agencies. Whether in the area of visibility, media clout or clientele base, FCB Redline’s rating was low, despite having been around since the early 2000s.
All that, however, changed from late 2012 when the Agency underwent a phase of structural and operational changes. Between then and now, a lot has changed at PR Redline such that today it has almost become the perfect byword for result-oriented Marketing Public Relations in the country. First was the radical re-definition of the agency’s positioning as a full-service Public Relations and Stakeholder management company that offers creative solutions borne out of thorough strategic insights. This was followed by the restructuring of its organizational structure and injection of new professionally tested hands. And the results have been notable.
Today, the agency’s robust relationship with media outlets across Nigeria and beyond has been anchored on integrity and professionalism. The agency’s ability to develop media friendly content is equally one factor that has impacted positively on its rich, timely and impactful media deliverables to Clients. Also, in the area of strategy, PR Redline has shown itself to be versed in the art of birthing cost-effective solutions to help clients achieve their communication objectives.
A proud clientele list that today comprises Ecobank, MoneyGram, Federal Ministry of Finance, Doyin Group, Myer Industry Limited and a few other frontline political brands, among others remains a testament to the vibrancy of PRRedline. In the past two years. Heritage Bank Limited, PZ – Cussons, Osun State Government and Nigeria Our Heritage Project have also trusted the Agency’s creative strategy and deployment know-how.
Equally worthy of note is PRRedline’s strides in Media and Crisis Management. From Ecobank to the Osun State Government, PR Redline has perfected the art of twin-deployment of Issue Management and Information Substitution strategies in its handling of stakeholder engagement and media image repositioning projects as part of the Perception Management assign – ment for its clients.
No doubt, PR Redline has carved a strong niche among the new corps of Integrated Marketing Communications outfits that are making waves in the country today.
Kindly assess the state of PR practice in Nigeria
PR Practice in Nigeria is growing. However, it is facing a lot of threats or attacks from different angles. One critical thing to say is that PR Practitioners need to pull the plug on getting immersed in the euphoria of social media and the bandwagon effect of adopting it as a fad, rather than as a tool. This is dulling the focus on the main objective of PR as a vehicle for adopting below the line tactics in interpreting what a brand stands for and getting both the brand and its publics to have mutual understanding and goodwill. Today, conversation promotion has come to replace perception management and stakeholder interests mapping just as media segmentation has become weak. PR, Marketing PR which is basically about getting the bottom line to appreciate continues to take second place to conversation promotion. Enlivening specific brand DNAs through PR deployment is also getting weaker. Every brand now has to be portrayed as trendy and social media complaint. And more often than not, it is about having a social media presence. But, marketing is more about the bottom line than presence. Being present in the right place(s) at the right time is more preferable. The social media is a reality we have to live with and adapt to; but let PR Practitioners not forget that social media, as the name implies, is a branch of MASS MEDIA and a vehicle for reaching a specific segment of the population. It is a means, not an end in itself. It is definitely not the BE-ALL of PR Practice.
What is the impact of technology on PR practice?
The impact is massive and will continue to increase. However, PR practitioners must see this as an opportunity to begin to devise and deploy socially responsible and more cost-effective solutions to clients’ challenges on and outside IT platforms. Clients are becoming dejected and some of them are adopting the do-it-yourself tactics of deploying IT because they think all PR stands to offer them is social media presence and they can get the IT guys to design their websites, social media pages or even link them to various online communities. Again, the growth of IT is good for the PR Practice but let us not forget that IT, like social media, is just a platform for deploying PR contents.
Compare the standard of PR practice in Nigeria with Europe,
Every society has to learn to design, assess, review and grow its own systems, institutions and platforms. The Nigerian society is not at the same level as those societies you have listed. So, our institutions, standards, etc cannot be expected to be at par with them. We have our peculiarities and they have theirs. One thing is clear, PR practitioners or consultants in Nigeria are doing a good job of offering PR solutions to brands operating in Nigeria and, to the best of my knowledge, I have not heard of any client saying they need to go outside the country to bring in PR experts to manage their PR needs inside the country because Nigerian outfits cannot deliver. And we have a lot of big and multi-national clients operating in Nigeria and consuming PR services. So, to that extent, one could say the level of PR consultancy in the country is not a write-off. Yet, we are not where we could say ‘nothing else to learn or prove’.
What are the challenges facing PR consultants in Nigeria?
PR Consultancy is facing almost the same set of challenges other professions in the country face. Social and physical infrastructure challenges, financial and remuneration challenges as well as man-to-man syndrome challenges, among others.
How is PRRedline different from the pack?
PR Redline (That is our name as we re-branded in 2015) is about adding value to our client’s businesses. We pride ourselves in the fact that our business mantra is to place our clients’ business on our head. We keep our head in check always. Currently, we are working for Ecobank, MoneyGram, Federal Ministry of Finance –Efficiency Unit, CKA Academy and Lagos Badminton Federation. In the past, we have worked for Unilever, PZ Cusson, Wema Bank, Skye Bank, Heritage Bank, Government of State of Osun, NSL, Keystone Bank, Young & Bailey, etc.