Red Gecko PR: Dynamism Meets Professionalism
By Jeremiah Agada
Red Gecko is a full service Public Relations and Strategic Communications Company that parades skilled and experienced professionals in Nigeria. The agency is also an indigenous company with global knowledge, concept and skills that makes it a one-stop contemporary Public Relations, Perception Management and Strategic Communications consulting firm.
The agency belongs to the larger Verdant Zeal Group, a 360 degrees group marshalled by one of the industry finest professionals, Dr. Tunji Olugbodi. Over time, the group has evolved to a multinational, multi-contextual and multi product-based consultancy agency with core arms in other areas like digital marketing, creative advertising, production, media planning, buying and strategy, events and activations and development communications.
An agency with a name like Red Gecko elicits curiosity from all and sundry. There must be a strategic rationale behind the name. That rationale is not far-fetched if one takes a good look at the gecko. The gecko has the uncanny ability to go where other creatures dare not with its almost magical tail and feet that gives it the ability to skit any surface. Its ability to also adapt to varying changes and degree in temperature also stands it out among other animals.
Red Gecko PR has replicated the traits of the gecko in the ever dynamic, fast and constantly changing Public Relations landscape in Nigeria, helping its clientele place their brands in assigned positions in their respective industries.
At the helms of the agency’s affairs sits Cornelius Onuoha as its Managing Director. Onuoha is a thoroughbred professional in the PR industry with close to a decade cache of experience under his belt. For him, the agency’s priority has always been about the clients and their brands.
“For us at Red Gecko, it is all about clients and clients’ satisfaction. It is ultimately about making your client shine and making your client raise up his head in pride, shoulders high wherever niche or market their brands play in whether it is in the public or private sector because that is what tells how successful we are.
“When you flip through newspapers and look at advert copies, at the end of the day, the advertising company that own creative copies sign off on it so you know that the concept is coming from a particular agency. You don’t get to see that when it comes to PR initiatives and concepts. Ultimately, it is all about your client and about the brand. Ultimately for us, it is about our clients’ satisfaction and that has been what has been keeping us through the years,” he said.
The agency has been able to record huge successes with its clients’ brands because of the understanding and building a successful business requires the unique, individual knowledge of every client; thus the provision of custom-made solutions that successfully mirror the client’s unique needs.
The agency sees itself as the extension of its clients business. Onuoha puts it more succinctly: “When we work with our clients, we do not see ourselves as outsiders. We absorb ourselves into our client’s business such that we are not just carrying that perception of agency-client mentality but partners in the building of that brand.
“A check on our clientele reveals that most of the brands are leaders in their various industries.”
Committed to helping brands speak and get connected with its audience, measure its pulse and use the feedback in building the brand, the agency has executed and is still executing some level of works for brands and organisation in almost all sectors of the Nigerian industry ranging from banking, insurance, FCMG aviation and health.
Some of the companies the agency had worked and or still work for on either fixed retainer fee, project basis or one-off agreement include: GTBank, AXA Mansard, BUA Group, Meristem Securities, Grand Oak, Save The Children International, Ecobank, Mainstreet Bank, Unilever, Pan African Airline, Avaizon Consulting, Bristow Helicopters, NESG, Wema Bank, LG Mobile among others.
Red Gecko PR is propelled by the vision to build the reputation of a world-class strategic communication firm providing relevant and innovative brands’ perception and communication needs. The agency is also powered by the mission to consistently decipher, create and effectively deploy the best tools to building an impressive and enduring public perception for brands before their target audience.
Over the past few years, the agency has built these visions, missions and beliefs into its operations and has established core competence in several areas and diversified its PR offerings. In reputation management, the agency has competence in Crisis Management, Issues and Reputation Management, Stakeholders Relations and Engagements as well as Integration of Corporate Identity Collateral.
An instance the agency managed a dire crisis situation was an unfortunate Helicopter crash that occurred awhile back. The agency was able to effectively manage the situation and projected the image of its client positively in conjunction with its group.
Also in Corporate and brand management, the agency has competence in Editorial Management (House Journal & Custom Publishing), Media Relations, Brand Activation, Sponsorship Advice & Evaluation, Exhibitions and Conferences.
In media services, the agency provides Media Database Management, Media Relationship & Engagement, Media Monitoring and Analysis, Editorial Profiling and Media Training.
In other PR areas like financial PR and Perception audit, the agency has competence in Insight into Institutional Investors’ Perceptions and Valuation, Retail Investor Communications, Financial Calendar Management, Media and other Stakeholder Perception Audits and Media Content Measurement.
For a relatively young PR company, the agency has proved that it does not just practice CSR for its clients but that it is equally aware of its responsibility for its publics as a socially responsible agency. That is why over the years, the agency has through the Verdant Zeal Group executed some CSR initiatives without charge for several non-governmental organisations.
“The group company has what you call the ‘Good Cheer’ initiative. It is the CSR initiative of the Verdant Zeal group. Under this initiative, we have got different non-governmental organisations that we provide support services for. Some of these organisations are Atanda-OluSchool for the Physically Challenged, Children Development Centre, Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria, Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria, Save Our Needy-an organisation that cater for the under – privileged including orphans, widows, single mothers, Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind (FNSB) and many others.
“These are bodies that we have adopted for our CSR. We adopted them as a group. Each subsidiary within the group has services that it provides for these bodies and part of those who benefited more from our end is the FNSB. We have been privilege to work with them.”
To keep up with its gecko – like dynamism and to be in tune with the evolving PR landscape, the agency makes training and retraining of its team a top priority. The trainings are in two phases. These includes, the in-house training by the agency and Verdant Zeal Group training for all its staff members.
“We understand and appreciate the importance of training and retraining because there are new things coming up every time and the industry is always evolving. People fresh from the classroom also join us with their classroom experience. The classroom experience and the real world experience are an entire distinct and different ball game. You cannot close the door to fresh entrants if the profession must grow and keep growing.
“What we do at Redgecko is to ensure that each member of our team attends at least two trainings within a year. So, it could be local or international.
We have also come to understand that so much knowledge and expertise also exists within the agency that we can explore: To increase the frequency of training, we are currently talking with an institute which runs online trainings: so that our staff don’t have to go and sit somewhere to learn rather a schedule is sent and a timeline is set within which they are mandated to cover up the schedule of that training, write their questions, research and their recommendations and also run their tests on that platform. Certification is also done online in that manner.