The PR industry in Nigeria is gradually getting saturated with the influx of more practitioners which may come off as a good thing but the question is do these guys have the professional expertise to represent a brand? Nike Fagbule, a PR expert with vast experience in the PR world run through some of the basics of becoming a professional PR personnel or setting up a PR agency.
Who is a PR personnel?
A PR personnel is in charge of a talent’s Image, perception and media relations. In practical words, a PR personnel is that one person who cares about a talent’s public image whether in the media or in people’s minds.
What does it take to be professional PR personnel?
Public relations is about managing a client’s reputation, to start with, one need to have a basic knowledge of the client been represented, the media, and the PR industry as a whole especially what it takes to be inducted into the Nigerian PR Institute.
What are the primary duties of PR personnel to a brand/personality?
Without been too academic, the major duty of a PR personnel is to use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation clients; communicating key messages using third parties to select target audience, depending on the intended aim. Third party endorsement could be Newspapers, TV, Social media influencers, Blogs or whichever platforms that serves direct contact to the targeted audience.
Finally but also key is publicity monitoring. Sometimes, things don’t work, monitoring helps retracing back to the drawing board, and that way one can start from the scratch using Research, which could be through focus group sessions or questionnaires
What’s the need of engaging the services of professional PR personnel as to just putting out releases by oneself or manager?
PR goes beyond putting out press releases and being seen, it is about one’s reputation hence the necessity of engaging professional PR services. Some brands/artistes have contacts to the required platforms and might undermine the importance of using a publicist but a public relations expert already knows the potential crisis and is trained to be proactive in dealing with crisis which many of these brands or artistes can’t handle.
What distinguishes a professional PR from just any literate fellow that can construct a few sentences (aside the professional title)?
PR is not about writing press releases, it goes beyond that. It is also creative thinking, thinking up strategies. In whatever field one finds himself/herself, there are more people in that industry and the number of media houses, blogs and social media influencers are limited. Thinking up strategies and plans to enable one’s client stand out is the primary duty of a PR person as oppose to just sending out releases about new ventures.
What are the skills needed in becoming a professional PR personnel?
Good writing skills, being able to work without supervision, and ability to managing PR crisis spontaneously. Other research and evaluation skills can be acquired.
What are the best practices in winning a client over?
Different clients want different things. Understanding a brand and the brand direction would allow for easy pitching. A lot of clients are flattered when you understand what they are going. Having a good track record is also important.
Are there any necessary associations/groups or body to join?
NIPR and PRCAN
Nike Fagbule is the CEO and Head of Business at Zebra Stripes Network , an indigenous PR agency
Culled from Issue 15