SDNON Annual Summit: Top Brand Executives, Public Relations Stakeholders, Journalists Meets

Leading PR experts and reputation managers at the 2021 annual summit of Society of Digital Newspaper Owners of Nigeria, SDNON, on Wednesday, December 1, addressed the benefits and challenges associated with the proliferation of media outlets occasioned by digitalization of the media, and its attendant effect on brand reputation.

Participants highlighted the critical role of digital media and innovative approaches to brand reputation management, in a session titled, ‘Corporate Brands, Reputation Management and the Place of Digital Media. The event which was held at Ambience Café, Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, was hosted by Otunba Femi Davies, President of SDNON, while the panelist discussion was moderated by Israel Jaiye Opeyemi, chief consultant and CEO at Chain Reactions.

During his remark, Marketing Mix & Company Nigeria Limited CEO, Akin Adeoya noted that,“The digital era is creating a new type of billionaire. The small entrepreneur who has mastered the art of creating brands with the…world wide web.

From training programs to cosmetic and beauty products to digital publications, travel and hospitality etc. there is no stopping the man and woman of ideas now.

“Corporate and political leaders can now take on big media enterprises without the fear of any backlash because they have grown the capacity to match them muscle for muscle. It’s a game of numbers. Before he was taken down and “muted” Donald Trump had 88.7m people eating from his hands and lapping up every word he wrote on twitter! Today, Elon Musk can turn his nose at any PR agency or the CNN’s of this world. How does a corporate leader with half a dozen multi-billion-dollar brands take both PR and Media for granted? Digital media democratization. At the last count he speaks directly to 62.7m individuals! He runs a better and perhaps more efficient PR machine with his social media handles,” he noted.

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While submitting, Adeoya also noted that traditional media are now endangered species, now playing catch up, in the advent of digital media. He also advised media outlets to create rate cards for editorials, reach out to brands, when they have promotional articles about them, as alternative to loose-end negotiations.

In his own address, Ramon Olanrewaju Nasir, the head, External and Media Relations of Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa, UBA, said,

“Every company, including financial institutions, lives on its reputation. A good reputation will impact the organization’s ROI. There is a need for an organization’s corporate identity, and what it is believed to stand for, to be in sync with the expectations of consumers and what the external stakeholders are. What financial institutions sell is perception.

“If you wake up to negative news about your financial institution, the first thing that comes to mind as a customer is if you want to keep banking with the institution or you want to withdraw your savings with them. In the digital age, the simple information that you put online resonates globally, and that is why reputation management is a fundamental part of PR these days.”

Chairman and Lead Consultant of TPT International, Tokunbo Modupe posited that,

“Digitalization is very good. It gives room for plurality, and proliferation of content creation, however, it also makes content sieving difficult; every single person that can afford a smartphone now is a publisher. Therefore, it makes brands vulnerable to almost everyone that can wean and push an opinion in public space. This is very difficult for crises mitigation.

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“Digitalization is a requisite tool every efficient professional must be acquainted with. With digitization, I can now be in Lagos, and have meetings with clients in Singapore and other parts of the world, Realtime. However, the benefits, so also are the attendant challenges associated with it. It is therefore expedient, to continue to engage stakeholders in the sector for best practices. It is commendable that SDNON decided identify professionals to enable them set standards for best practices in digital media journalism.”

Broadcast Journalist Sulaiman Aledeh in his review, explained how digitalization helped by former employer at Channels TV made news dissemination brief, summarily and instant for social media.

The event was supported by UBA, Access Bank, TPT Int’l, Rite Foods, IDCL, and Ambience Café.

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