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    Friday, December 11, 2020

    ‘Public Relations is Losing Its Shine and Efficacy’- Nn’emeka Maduegbuna

    Nn’emeka Maduegbuna, Chairman of C&F Porter Novelli, a trusted business adviser focusing on strategic communications, has said that the ‘tried-and-tested’ public relations is losing its shine and efficacy.

    Maduegbuna made this statement on Friday during his induction into the BrandCom Hall of Fame, for his contribution to the growth of the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) industry, at the 2020 edition of the BrandCom Awards, which took place at D’Podium International Event Centre, Lagos.  

    He stated that the public relations operating environment is moving away from traditional media, figureheads and brands, towards a plethora of decentralised and entangled 'actors’. He noted that the public relations practice model is under challenge, even as value has migrated to Channel Management, Digital and Activation.

    The C&F Porter Novelli Chairman added that the role of the Public Relations practitioner is under scrutiny because of disintermediation. According to him, the Public Relations industry needs to move away from the generalist approach to survive.

    “The logical way to go, is to become communities of specialists organised in a manner to address the dramatic changes in the communications industry,” he reiterated.

    Maduegbuna mentioned that the challenges facing the industry is further exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  “First are the massive disruptions. These  have come  in the form of business or income losses – budget cuts  staff lay-offs, salary cuts,  remote  working  and the attendant virtual nature of communication. Complicating this is the impact of COVID-19   on consumer behavior, preferences, and priorities.

    “There is talk about a Next Normal rather than a New Normal as is generally perceived. Whilst the latter assumes that it would be a new way of managing old challenges, the former is premised on the thinking that something entirely different is in the offing.  It is thus imperative that we rigorously examine the current situation towards appreciating what will unfold,” he said.

    In his opeining remarks, the Publisher/Chief Executive Officer of brand Communicator magazine, Joshua Ajayi said that despite the challenges caused by COVID-19 and its negative impacts on businesses across the world this year, “some brands, agencies and individuals were outstanding within their space with their innovative solutions, campaigns and consumer engagements.”


    He added that in line with its mantra for this year’s edition of the awards, ‘Prestige, Integrity and Credibility’, the awardees of the event which is in its second edition, were painstakingly assessed by a panel of assessors.

    Nn’emeka Maduegbuna brings over three decades of experience in strategic communications planning, corporate positioning and reputation management, as well as extensive practice in the areas of issues and crisis management and litigation communications.

    Recognised as one of the leading Public Relations practitioners in the West African sub-region, he continues to lead consulting teams on complex communications programmes, covering such sectors as energy, oil & gas, financial services, telecommunications, technology, pharmaceuticals, and fast moving consumer goods to mention a few.

    Prior to co-founding C&F Porter Novelli, he was a senior functionary of the Nigerian Government’s privatisation agency: Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, later Bureau of Public Enterprises, where he established and managed the Corporate Communications & Marketing functions for many years.

    Before embarking on a career in Public Relations at Union Securities Limited, an investment holding company, Maduegbuna worked for the Nigerian Television Authority Network News (NTA News) as a reporter, producer, documentary filmmaker, and anchor person. He was the first Business Correspondent of the Network 

    Maduegbuna is a Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR); Member, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). He was a Former President, Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN); Former Council Member, International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and Former Member, Board of Management, International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO).

    Maduegbuna has clinched numerous awards including the recent Life Time Achievement Award, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).

    BrandCom Awards is an annual event organized by Brand Communicator, a top IMC industry based publication, to honour  and recognise outstanding individuals, brands and agencies in the marketing and communications industry in Nigeria.


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