Adman Tasks Government on Communication

One of Nigeria’s frontline admen Charles O’Tudor is calling on the government to reconsider its citizen engagement approaches, with a view to ensuring that only communications and branding experts are contracted to take charge of government’s communications needs, adding that such sensitive jobs should not be given to quarks.

O’ Tudor spoke Thursday at the first edition of the revived PR Clinic, organized by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) at the Elomaz Hotel Lagos, while delivering a paper titled “Branding and Reputation Management”.

The prolific brand expert in his presentation chided government for engaging quarks for their communications jobs instead of seasoned professionals, adding that this failure in judgment is responsible for the disconnect between the Nigerian government and its citizens.

“Government should bring in more of professionals, not professionals on textbooks, real professionals, and government should bring in professionals into the decision making that has to do with practice of PR, Advertising and Branding.”

O’Tudor who is the founder and Principal Consultant, Adstrat BMC in Lagos, spoke against the background of obviously failed attempts by previous governments to change the perception of citizens about government and also the worry by stakeholders in the integrated marketing communications sector that the industry is losing a lot from government’s failure to patronise the registered and seasoned PR and branding professionals.

Over the years, most of government’s communication and branding jobs have been contracted to politicians or civil servants mainly as compensation for political support. According to a recent report from the IMC industry, only 20 percent of IMC businesses is traced to government, despite government being the biggest spender in the economy. This has been a major source of concern for stakeholders.

The Adstrat boss who worked with the Cross River State Government for eight years on the annual Calabar Carnival project also reserved some blames for the practitioners for not being properly positioned to attract government jobs. While pointing out that PR and Advertising profession was still developing in the country, he affirmed that most practitioners have not been able to effectively identify the basic concept of branding which is to define the DNA of the brand.

”They need go back to your basic, as a PR practitioner, go back to your basic, define your brand base and the DNA and then ensure that if you understand your brand, it is very easy to create the outside because what you create on the outside must be in synergy with the inside, so go back to the basis, understand the DNA well, that way it is easier,” he said.


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