PR Agencies Need To Reposition To Survive In Post COVID-19 – Jaiye Opayemi

Isreal Jaiye Opayemi, MD/Chief Strategist, Chain Reactions

The Managing Director and Chief Strategist, Chain Reactions Nigeria, a reputation management firm, Jaiye Opayemi has urged public relations agencies to rethink strategies, remodel their business operations and act as consultants to clients in order to survive in the post COVID-19 era.

“We need to change our business model and position ourselves as consultants, so that people can address us as problem solver when they have challenges,” he said.

Jaiye who is also the President of Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) made this known at the Live Instagram Chat organised by Brand Communicator, Nigeria’s leading brands and marketing communication publication, where he spoke on the topic, “Reputation Management Amid and Beyond COVID-19 Pandemic.” It is noteworthy that the live chat was hosted by Joshua Ajayi, Publisher /Editor-in-Chief.

He also advised PR agencies to reposition their talents as companies will be looking for research analysts not writers.

“As PR firms, we need to beginning to look for consumer neuroscientist, who will analyze the minds of consumers in the time of crisis,” he said.

As regards trends that are disrupting PR practice during the lockdown, he said even in post COVID-19 era, technology deployment will be at the forefront. He explained that it is already playing out in the way clients and agencies now holds their meetings and parleys online.

Also, he said during the lockdown, online engagement increased and brands leveraged on the platform and are now even looking for innovative ways to stay connected with customers.

Similarly, he pointed out that the time of pandemic is the best time for brands to rally around their customers and show that they care, stating “Any brand that fails to stand with consumers at this time, risk the chance to go into oblivion,” adding that  “A lot of people are looking up to brands than government.”

He therefore advocates that perception management agencies should advise their clients to embark on corporate social responsibilities and support their communities.

He pointed out that some practitioners are behind the scene and are supporting some brands at this period by coming up with strategies that will make them stay connected to their target markets.

He explained that a lot of brands are missing out of the benefits in supporting customers at this time as customers will only remember those brands that stood behind them. “They will go for the brands that stood with them when the pandemic is over,” he said.

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