Marketers , Brand Managers and Brand Communicators do not need tutoring on what Public Relations is all about but for the purpose of focus and the refreshment of minds , I would attempt or should I say re-state a brief definition of Public Relations.
Public Relations can be defined as the profession or practice of creating and maintaining goodwill of an organization’s various publics (customers, employees, investors, suppliers, etc.), usually through publicity and other nonpaid forms of communication. These efforts may also include support of arts, charitable causes, education, sporting events, and other civic engagements that they deem as necessary and fit for promoting the integrity and acceptability of the brand.
From our match box definition, it is obvious that the purpose of Public Relations , Advertisements and Publicity is to maintain a good rapport with your stakeholders at all times.Therefore it is important to be in their good books and share relevant and non injurious marketing communication with them.
While some brand managers believe relationship with stakeholders should be cordial and respectful others simply argue that the momentum , mention and sales drive that a brand could get by putting something controversial in the market place is worth the risk. This school of communication kamikazes say momentum is every thing and brand should be bold to travel and traverse paths unknown because the reward is ‘enticing’
We advice caution and common sense . Its important we understand the sentiments of our audience and stakeholders. It doesn’t make sense to crave unnecessary ‘fatwa’ (fatwa, in Islam, is a formal ruling or interpretation on a point of Islamic law given by a qualified legal scholar Fatwas are usually issued in response to questions from individuals or Islamic courts in social cases, however, a fatwa may call for death.) for a brand that needs blessing and prayers. Just as we do not crave the curses of the mufti and the bishops. The pastors in our midst should be blessing our brands instead of bashing it. Therefore experimental admen in the banking sector should be professional in their conduct.
If you are reader of these pages must know what the discussion above is all about . It is a good thing that the management of the bank has apologized and the Church has forgiven the bank with one customer and many sterling qualities.
By way of conclusion it is important to remind ourselves of the role of the brand manager and his team that they are responsible for adapting a brand strategy for a company’s target market. As the ‘brand guardian’, brand managers and colleagues must maintain brand integrity across all company marketing initiatives and communications and ensure that their activities should be growth focused and not demarketing the organization.
One’s final word to the communication team in any organisation is simple and basic don’t take your concept experimentation too far , consult with stakeholders when you are not too sure and finally APCON is just a click away. Feel free to share your reaction with me at the address below.
Michael Umogun is chartered marketer and the Deputy Registrar , Operations at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) 08023117969 / firstname.lastname@example.org