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‘This Is Time For Brands To Rejig PR Strategy’- Olusegun McMedal

Olusegun McMedal

By Azeez Disu

Olusegun McMedal, Chairman Lagos Chapter, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has urged brands to rejig their public relations strategy in order to stay relevant especially in this period where the world is battling the outbreak of COVID-19.

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He pointed that every industry is affected including public relations, so he called on brands to deploy new ways to stay relevant. “COVID-19 is affecting every industry. The impact is unprecedented in world history. The human race is endangered. Man is trying to survive the present realities through containment isolation, and social distancing. Consequently, every industry and indeed the PR industry is trying to adapt – or perish. Practitioners are now working remotely – away from their offices,” he explained.

Proffering what brands and PR practitioners can do differently to remain relevant at this time, McMedal said “This is not the time for brands to discontinue their PR efforts but they have to rejig the strategy and approach in a more thoughtful direction.

“There’s a window of opportunity to be relevant. There is one of the times when knowledge or professionalism counts. Almost all the profession has something to say to the virus and the efforts to care for people and bring it under control.

“For PR people, we are working remotely. We can do webinars to educate businesses on how they can manage relationships. This is the time for PR people to identify and position credential experts in medicine, law, finance, HR, supply chain management etc. to help people navigate COVID-19 era.

 He explained further that “Timely dissemination of information is also required at this point to remain relevant. Volunteering to be of service in affected areas and donations to the common purse will surely boost relevance,” he explained.

Similarly, he disclosed that Radio and TV consumption have increased because of people’s new drive to get latest news, pointing that this insight can be valuable to brands in mapping out their PR strategy and create awareness for their brands during the pandemic.

“According to Nielsen, these are good days for radio and TV news talk programs, which are reaching more people than they have in years.

“The increase in the radio and TV consumption is due to people being stuck at home and unable to do their normal activities. Also, people are hungry for the latest news on COVID-19,” he explained.

Taking a look at the future, McMedal pointed that business models will change even long after the end of the pandemic.

“Most definitely, the business model is bound to change for almost all the industry and professions.

“It will even affect real estate. Transportation and supply chain services will be drastically changed. I foresee a new culture of lean offices, lean operations, and outsourcing,” he stated.

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