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Is Personal Branding And PR A Neccessity For Political Aspirants?

Posted on: August 6th, 2018 by The Moderator 1 Comment

The Moderator: Welcome to The Octagon Room.

We are a platform of Trellis Group, aimed at cataloguing insightful conversations that can raise the level of thinking around specific subject matters and also kick-start solutions towards the problem of such matters. In the simplest terms kindly introduce yourself and tell us what you do.

Oladipupo (ladispeaks): I am Israel Oladipupo Ogunseye, knows widely as LadiSpeaks. I am the Marketing Manager of Transsnet Financials, a fintech startup in Lagos. I run the first pidgin based blog in Nigeria as well-known as PidginBlog.NG and I have keen interests in Politics.

Promise: My name is Promise Chima, a marketing communications expert and Project manager with one of Nigeria’s best Creative Consultancy agency.

Rhema: I am Tunde Rhema. I help hurting individuals recover, get balanced and live a fulfilling life.  A Behavioral Change Practitioner at SOBCA (Africa’s first certifying academy for Anger Management, Emotional Intelligence. Solution providers for Mental Health First Aid, SOBCA-MHFA.)

Muyiwa: Hello Everyone, my name is Muyiwa Babarinde. Is a Senior Communication Associate at Red Media Africa and I basically help brands to shake tables in the marketplace? I am extremely passionate about Marketing, Technology and Development.

Osaretin: Chief Osaretin. Graphic designer x Brand developer x Managing Partner, Jonathan Cole

Peter: I am Peter Kajovo. I am into Marketing Promotions and events.

Tosin (Olorisupergal): My name is Tosin Ajibade. Founder Olorisupergal brand, Media Entrepreneur, Convener of New Media Conference, Author.

The Moderator: My name is Gabriel BALOGUN I am the Project Manager Facilitation and Training at one of Nigeria’s best creative consultancy. I will be your moderator for this Octagon conversation.

The Moderator: Great Introductions. Glad to e-meet you all. Now that we have fully been introduced, we have got 40 minutes left to discuss.

The Moderator: Branding is an art, a well-calculated game of positioning. In the business of politics, we have learnt that impression is one of the most underlying factors to success.

But in Nigeria where it’s citizens are more interested/drawn to the political party than the political aspirants. Do you think Personal Branding and PR is a Necessity for Political Aspirants?

The floor is open 😃, let’s begin to share our opinions. Anyone can start

Promise: Person branding and PR are terms which will always be included in politics globally and this didn’t start today. The ability to make yourself be seen in a certain way and also push for everyone to see you are likely to win you a position in the heart of your electorate and also the election.

Muyiwa: More than ever before, I feel personal branding and PR is extremely important for political aspirants, especially in a time when Nigerians are actively seeking the alternative to the crop of politicians who have repeatedly failed them.

Granted the two largest political parties wield a lot of influence between them, and for any outsider to gate crash their territory and win elections even under their noses, it is important to understand the need to have a holistic PR/Marketing approach.

A data-driven approach towards engaging the electorate. A personal brand that will gain the trust of Nigerians irrespective of their tribe or religion.

Ultimately, a brand is a promise, a promise which everyone expects to be kept. In today’s evolving world, as the citizens become more interested in politics and as they ask more questions from political aspirants, a personal brand that displays elements of efficiency, effectiveness, vision will be more important than ever before.

Rhema: I’d like to focus on PR.  Political Aspirants can be referred to as people who are institutions, whose fragrance of personality affect others. They are people we believe can identify a gap (Problem and/or a need) and will proffer solutions. It’s essential for aspirants to know how to communicate a process to the general public as well as the stakeholders.  He or she must be spontaneous and speak the language of the people so as to gain their attention.

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): Personal Branding has been known to be a way in which people perceive an individual. Relating this to the Nigerian political landscape, Nigerians largely vote based on perception. Political aspirants or those who seek or desire a political office, it’s important that they carefully manage how people perceive their image and identity.

Rhema: PR goes beyond marketing to the general public that you will make free food available for the people. It goes beyond patronizing people that there will be power supply. The aforementioned are failed, consistent promises that smart people are tired of hearing.

Tosin (Olorisupergal): I feel personal branding is key for every candidate out there. We can’t ignore the fact it is important during campaigns and even in office.

The Moderator: Great responses. What exactly then is Personal Branding and Public Relations (PR)? What’s the difference?

Muyiwa: Personal Branding is the basically the act of creating a certain perception or image of an individual or group to an audience. It is the experience that people have when they encounter you.

Tosin (Olorisupergal): P.B is where individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leveraging it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. Personal Branding also builds self-confidence.

Peter: 👌👍

Muyiwa: I will use the example of a football club. Different teams have their own style of play: Barcelona plays flair-driven, possession & expansive football, a Stoke City for example however employs a more direct approach. Whenever you put on your TV and you see both teams playing, you can decipher which teams they are, due to the experience you expect from their brands.

Promise; P.B is simply a perception marketing strategy for everyone to see in a certain way.

Muyiwa: However, PR is an ongoing strategic communication process which you can use to build, create, improve, protect an individual or organization’s brand.

Tosin (Olorisupergal): I will add to this that in Politics, it is continuous.

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): However, I would like to add that all activities that a political aspirant does to create, shape, manage his or her constituency’s image of him or her can be regarded as Public Relations activities.

Osaretin: Yes, you are right

Osaretin: This is true.

Osaretin: Personal Branding to me is creating and deploying a perception about an individual to people’s subconscious mind. That helps them make a decision about that person. That’s where I fell PR comes in.

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): The importance of these two for a Political aspirant cannot be overly emphasized like I mentioned earlier. Take for an example, a Politician who is from the South Senatorial District in a state. The district has a reputation for producing absolutely reckless leaders. That aspirant is faced with one challenge already which is to correct this perception. Now the activities this aspirant will do to correct this would involve Public Relations activities, for example, visiting markets to relate with the citizens there, feeding the destitute etc.

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): Now this same person at these visits would need to exhume and create a personal brand at these occasions such that when people speak of this person as a brand, they can describe him or her with a word that he or she so desires.

The Moderator: We have seen a large introduction of young candidates since the not too young to run bill… Do they have a chance at winning especially with the right positioning and PR?

Osaretin: Oh yes they sure do.

Tosin (Olorisupergal): No and you know the truth

Osaretin: Why do you say so, ma’am?

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): They may not stand a chance.  I’ve used ‘may’ carefully because I believe that there are stakeholders in every society that you can appeal to with good PR and get them to support your ambitions even though you’re a young candidate.

Promise: It is a 70% and 30% possibility. The system is so flawed and will take a lot of education and sensitization for us to have people (electorate) vote for value. Let the PR and P.B continue and change will come.

Tosin (Olorisupergal): The truth that we are in a corrupt country and we know where all of this will end. It is between corrupt leaders who created parties just for themselves and then move from one party to the other and the same thing happen every 4 years just to stay/remain in power.

I salute those who came out to run and it’s not like I don’t believe in them but let’s be realistic here, are they not the same set of people ruling since Obasanjo’s regime? The new aspirants are trying but until our ‘forefathers’ leave then we will know that there is hope ‘in the near future’.

Rhema: They do have a chance but they can’t WIN if they still use the same approach displayed so far. Several flaws noticed even if they have good intentions. They can communicate better.

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): To start with, people don’t believe in the NTYTR Bill and move and you’d need to convince Nigerians on the need for a new order. In fact, the African believes in the older politicians because we in Africa believe in old people have more wisdom which is a mental block for anyone planning to run as a youth against an older person.

Tosin (Olorisupergal) : A notion that needs to change here. Not all old people can rule and also have wisdom. See where they led us.

Osaretin: Yes.

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): Very true but sadly it’s a societal belief

Muyiwa: My take on this is that we don’t have to see it is a sprint but a marathon. Granted they stand a very slim chance of winning. However, we can all agree that elections all over the world over the past few years have not taken the direction people thought it would go

From Brexit, to Trump, to Macron, we have seen individuals who didn’t seem to be the leading candidate win elections, riding on the anti-establishment wave that has been spreading all over.

Osaretin: True

The Moderator: which do you think is more important for them P.B or PR.

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): PR is more important even though both can be said to be equally important.

Tosin (Olorisupergal): PR is more important.  That is what the world wants to see. Personal Branding now becomes something you need to do over and over again ‘being conscious’ of your new title and all. PR is what the rest of the world wants to see. Why are we forgetting that communication is key in this context?

Promise: P.R gives you mileage while P.B gives you outlook, so P.R is more important.

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): Which is where PR activities come in most especially for young candidates

Osaretin: Both are important.  Branding is a journey. if you wear black shoes today it would say something about you, like it or not.

The Moderator: As subject matter experts what advice can you give them as they may read this.

Muyiwa: For our new aspirants as well, even though victory might not come at the first trial, their participation is extremely important for the growth of the country’s democracy as it takes us closer to the leaders we want.

4 years ago, it would have been almost impossible for anyone to say the incumbent government with all their power and might would lose the election.

However, the electorate sent a very strong message that if you have good branding or PR or rode on the wings of some influential godfather to get into office, and you don’t perform, you will be booted out

Oladipupo (Ladispeaks): Give yourself a positive Personal Brand. Draw up a PR Strategy that helps you connect with the people, position yourself as a plug between the old and the young and defines you as class away from other charlatans who are youths.

Muyiwa: For political aspirants who are looking to throw their hats into the ring. They must have a very strong communication strategy to sell their candidacy to various stakeholders. They must understand the power of data-driven marketing, they have to tie their plans to the pain points that hurt their constituency the most.

Most importantly they have to understand that they are fighting against the establishment. To win, they have to mobilize the English, and Yoruba, and Hausa, and Pidgin and Igbo languages and send it into electoral battle.

They have to tell a story that unites Nigerians, they have to paint a picture of the future they want to create, they have to show passion. True passion (the kind that can’t be faked). And they have to show that they are committed to Nigeria and Nigerians.

Promise: PR and PB is very important, more importantly, the education of the electorate is very important and should be taken seriously this is the only way change can happen.

Rhema:  Let them focus more on reaching out to people. Data collection and utilization is all they need right now. What if one of them speaks on Channels TV immediately after 10:00 pm news for 10 minutes in 7 days. This will cost them a lot but you can’t change a 10 years old Believe in 10 days. So let the young aspirants focus on this and speak less of the old aspirants.

I also think they should know about cultural intelligence. Let them speak the cultural language of the people. Let them understand the norms, values, and communication styles that runs deeply in the people they want to rule.

Engage Influential People in different sectors. Engage musicians who can generate 10Kviews in 20 minutes. Also, reply to some people’s posts on IG and other platforms. Make the public know you are listening to them.

Cultural intelligence does not require you know everything about ALL tribes. It requires that you adapt or respect your host community. More so, automate some responsibilities on your desks.

The Moderator: Wow!!!  Our time is up. This has to be the best conversation I have had on politics in a long time.

Thank you, everyone, for participating fully. Thank you for your time and for sharing valid points. Thank you for adding value.

The Moderator: Thanks Rhema for this loaded advice

Rhema: Thanks Gabriel and everyone. God bless our Nation.

Muyiwa: Thanks Gabriel for hosting us. PS: One final note. They have to build one tribe of Nigerians through their communication.

Promise: Thank you Gabriel for this panel.

Osaretin: You’re most welcome GB

Tosin (Olorisupergal): Thanks Gabriel

The Moderator: Thank you, everyone, once again. I am glad we all had this conversation.

Nollywood: Where are we now ? What’s our future ? (Part 1)

Posted on: February 13th, 2017 by The Moderator 1 Comment

video camera for news tv broadcasting

The Octagon Room: Welcome to the Octagon Room.  Thank you for accepting our invitation. Let’s begin with some introductions before going into discussions. Can everyone let us know who they are, and share a bit about what they do?

Daniel: Hello, my name is Daniel Effiong. I’m a filmmaker & actor.

Baba: Hey everyone, my name is Baba Agba. I am a filmmaker and photographer.

Ijeoma: Hello my name is Ijeoma Aniebo. I’m an actor, TV presenter/producer, writer, model, PR and Brand consultant – All round entertainment busy body.

Soji: I’m Soji Ogunnaike, digital Content Producer and director. Founder and CEO of Rushing Tap.

The Octagon: Thanks everyone. Let’s kick off. Now the world’s second-largest film industry – ahead of Hollywood – in terms of the number of annual film productions (which roughly translates to 40 films per week, at an average cost of $40,000 per project), Nollywood has built itself into a $3Billion industry in just under two decades.  It was a guerrilla film industry from the ground up: there are no studios, no sets, no structure at all in place. Financed by groups of individuals, movies are made as quickly and cheaply as possible, shooting on location on a shoestring budget.

Film maker and past president of ITPAN captures the current situation by saying “Two decades down the line, that pattern has not changed much, yet, there is so much expectation with regard to the economic potential of the industry. The pattern of production and distribution soon became overly driven by desperate moves for marginal profit, without a structured, systematic distribution framework that can be sustained and verified.  Worse still, the major players in the industry have become fairly comfortable with the “success” of the industry; BUT the technology that brought about the breakthrough has moved on and frankly everyone seems to have been largely caught unawares. This in my humble opinion, is the crux of Nollywood’s underdevelopment.”

What in your opinion is the true state of nollywood? What are the key areas that need to progress to get it to truely compete with the leading movie industries?

Baba: I think the new numbers have Bollywood as the biggest and Nollywood second. We actually churn out more films than Hollywood.

Soji: Nollywood to me is a moniker that doesn’t really embody an industry. It seems like another “me too” badge. Let’s try to keep those inflated numbers in our pockets for a bit and focus on the economic health of the industry. Even if we produce more films than Bollywood, has that improved the health of the industry? Every industry can cook up fancy numbers based on a metric to woo investors. So number of films churned out aside, what’s the average ROI per feature film, serial drama or short film?

Ijeoma : Thank you. I was just about to ask where these figures came from.

Baba: The figures at this point are undeniable. The question is what do these figures translate to. And like you rightly point out, the health of the industry? What’s it’s state.

I think we first need to define what is Nollywood before we start comparisons. Is it a film industry, a home video industry or a content industry. As an average and based on when the studies are ($1=N160)

Ijeoma: In my experience, there is no industry. To do that, there must be specialisation and we are either by nature or by circumstance avoiding this progression.

Daniel: I think the model which started up as a home video venture and transformed into a multimillion dollar industry is hardly sustainable. The content consumer culture is changing and Nollywood must adapt with it.

Baba: Exactly. In my view Nollywood is a home video industry posturing as a Film/Cinema industry. And making that transition is where the problem is.

Soji: The consumer behaviour hasn’t changed much in my opinion. The masses still prefer to watch films at home, regardless of whether it’s on VCD, DVD or VOD. The tech just has to suit the consumers situation.

Baba: Consumer taste has tho. And That’s another different chapter.

Soji: More like Lagos consumer’s taste has changed. The highest target demo of the “core” Nollywood consumers is still our mummies and grandmas. Don’t even get it twisted. Hence why Africa Magic Yoruba and Epic are DSTVs highest watched channels. Now let’s get back to the fundamental basics of business. Create a product, identify the niche market and sell at a margin. The more transactions that occur in the industry the healthier the industry gets. Now what’s missing is an effective distribution model where the products get into the hands of the “paying” consumers in a seamless manner.

Ijeoma: The original divide of the country has now seeped into the industry. The cinema crowd, the Asaba movie crowd, the yoruba movie industry and then there is ‘Kaniwood’. A concept which I still don’t understand. Why do they have a different name? Are they a different industry? Calabar is trying to copy that and start their own ‘Caliwoood’. Do they also factor into the numbers for Nollywood?

Baba: Divides are normal. Just as Hollywood and Bollywood are just subjects of the national film/movie spaces in America and India.

Ijeoma: Possibly. But it does it affect them as much as it affects us, in that we haven’t made any true national stars since the Rita/Geneviev/Omotola era?

Daniel: Consumer culture has changed quite a bit from the days of VCDs & DVDs to digital media consumption…Cinemas…the Internet…the industry has grown beyond the shores of Idumota.

Baba: This is why I ask what is Nollywood. Until we define this we are just running around in circles. What is Nollywood? What does it want to be? We’re can it compete?

Soji: For the benefit of this discussion can we replace Nollywood with “the Nigerian motion picture industry” ? So will you say the industry is healthy?

Baba: That is still very vague, motion picture captures everything from tv, home video, digital content to cinema. And those are different industries, all with different consumers.

Soji: Not at all. Hollywood encompasses even TV, Advertising, Production. When we try to identify the market size of Hollywood, we include gear rental, which serves every facet of the industry including web series. When a Hollywood actor represented by the CAA get an endorsement deal by a brand, doesn’t that add to the transactions in Hollywood?

(CONVERSATION CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE – PAGE 2)

Power – A painful, but defining factor for Nigerians Businesses

Posted on: October 3rd, 2016 by The Moderator 2 Comments

Welcome to the Octagon

We appreciate you taking time out to Join this Chat Session which will end in an hour. We have two moderators in the room who will only offer guidance where necessary. Please feel free to openly share your thoughts and experiences.

Let’s begin with some introductions before going into the discussion. Can everyone let us know who they are and share a bit about what they do ? Thank You.

Ade: Good afternoon. My name is Ade Dania. I’m a Director of Plethora Gas and Power ltd. One of the bidders for Ughelli Power station.

Dimeji : Good Afternoon All, My name is Dimeji Adeyinka. I work for Pacific Energy Co Ltd. My company owns Olorunsogo Phase One 336MW and Omotosho Electric Ltd 336MW and currently biding for Omotosho Phase 2 (NIPP) 500MW.

I am the Instrumentation & Control Manager at Olorunsogo Phase I, where I provide technical strategies, processes and services that reduces unexpected downtime, increase manpower efficiency and operation & maintenance cost.

I also volunteer as a lecturer on Gas Turbines and HRSG to NAPTIN trainees with over 200+ students till date.

Dare: I am Dare Aliu, a power Engineer.

Tunji: Tunji Kamson here. I am the Executive Director Sweet Group of Companies  comprising sweet sensation Restaurants, Sweet Farms and Sweet Foods Limited.

Obiora: Hi my name is Obiora Okoye, Project Director at General Electric. and leading the development of a 500MW greenfield IPP in Aba.

The Octagon: The ever increasing demand and meagre supply of energy in Nigeria has been a great challenge to her development. This situation is becoming critical, with increasing population not balanced by an adequate energy development programme. The incessant power generation failure has grossly affected the economy, seriously slowing down development.

Analysts observe that the privatisation of the power sector in Nigeria notwithstanding, the country has yet to provide steady power supply.

They note that steady electricity supply is crucial to industrial development of any country, especially Nigeria that is planning to become one of the best economies in the world by 2020.

Do we think there is any end in sight to the daily blackouts in what should be Africa’s largest economy? Is the current government doing enough to solve this issue? To what extent would steady supply impact mot just small businesses but the Nigerian economy as a whole? What should small businesses in Nigeria do to circumnavigate this challenge?

Ade: In response to your question I would like to give you food for thought. If Nigeria was to start generating 40,000 megawatts tomorrow you may not be aware that the end users would not see up 75% of that? The infrastructure in place to transmit and distribute the power is so dilapidated they cant carry the amount of power Nigeria needs. TCN currently asks the generation companies  at times to limit what they generate as the transmission network cant absorb the load.

Tunji: Steady Power Supply, not surprisingly will positively affect all businesses and the Nigerian economy. Energy Costs constitute a considerably large chunk of most businesses costs especially Retail businesses. Also demand for forex from Generator Importers will reduce with More power supply and this will likely result in less pressure on the Naira.

Obiora: We did an analysis that showed 12.5GW installed, 3.9GW operational, 3.6GW transmitted, 2.9GW billed and 1.9GW collected. So Ade I agree with your analysis most of that additional capacity  is lost. Transmission is often cited as the largest bottleneck but I also think that collections by Discos are very poor – Average default rate is 44%.

Ade: That said even if TCN was to become a reliable conduit of power to the DISCOs you have multiple issues in the power supply value chain. Starting with the fuel source required “Gas”. Then at distribution level you have tariff  issues and collection issues. One is a government issue setting unworkable tariffs. Secondly is that of the people unwilling to pay for power consumed.

Obiora: This is where the liquidity will ultimately come from the support the infrastructure development.

Ade: Obiora, i think the question of collection can be directed to a large consumer of power in this discussion. Tunji, In your various business do you get metered or estimated billing?

Tunji: Its a mix. At some locations we have MD meters. some others, entirely estimated (coded) billing.

Ade: Tunji you’re happy to pay the estimated billing charges?

Tunji: I’m not Happy to Pay estimated billings. As much as I understand from discussion with the distribution companies how current forex rates are affecting their ability to import meters, no business owner wants to receive an estimated bill every month.

Ade:  Tunji your view with regards to estimated billing is far kinder than most people. Most billed in such manner would have used expletives to describe their bills.

Tunji: Oh yes. The estimated bills are ridiculous (insert expletives here).

Ade:  Dimeji can i ask please of your installed capacity what are you actually generating?

Dimeji: Olorunsogo & Omotosho Power Plant phase one has 16 units @ total of 672MW (Iso condition), 626 (op condition). On our best days, We generate 70% of the op condition even with the bottlenecks we can control.

Dimeji: I will contribute from a generations plant point of view.

As at 23rd of sept. We have a total of 83 power generation units in Nigeria with a total installed capacity of about 8017MW with a capability of 7590.5MW but we have only 53 units actually generating 3561.5MW

The bottlenecks hindering full capacity generation are

  1. Grid instability due to dilapidated infrastructure that the govt failed to maintain optimally since 1972
  1. Gas constraints in regards to Quality, volume. This is because the govt failed to do their due diligence during the implementation of thermal power plants. We don’t have enough gas for the thermal plants in Nigeria.
  1. Inherited degraded infrastructure from PHCN. The investors are trying to rehabilitate these units but due to low forex accessibility to purchase capital parts and pay technical partners is a big burden.
  1. Delay in revenue remittance from govt is really affecting the generation investors as most of them took loans to buy and service the plants . Their ROI timeline is being delayed daily. They are forced to use their money to service loans, buy capital parts, pay owner Engr & technical partners salaries.

Dare: To add to Dimeji’s point,

5) we lack adequate technical expertise. We still import most plant high-level technical staff. This is due to the fact that our universities also aren’t any good.

6) Greed and corruption- the amount of monies that have been sunk into these infrastructure could have actually provided us with circa 30,000 MW of generated power and transmission lines that can conduit Circa 40,000MW. But all that money has been diverted since 1999.

7) Lack of knowledge on the part of the government. Every govt that has been sworn in since 1999 only play politics with the issue of power. They never actually allow those who know to handle the affairs autonomously eg the case of Dr Ransome Owan who was politically weeded out though he single handedly started NERC and knew what it took to get us out.

Yes one or two companies accessed a few billions but the impact was never felt because CBN always released the monies when the plans were dead. When you plan a project, it has a period after which it is dead and that’s when CBN usually wants to release funds. Basically if you ask me, I don’t see a way  out in the next decade. And that’s because these NDA folks just took us back another 12years by blowing up the few gas holes we have.

Obiora: Corruption has certainly been a major factor….still is. To what extent is this CBN power intervention fund helping? Has anyone actually benefitted?

Dimeji: I totally agree with Dare. The technical partners ensure that they don’t pass on their knowledge to remain on the market. ManPower training is very important, your staff (Nigerian) are your assets really.

Ade: I disagree. KEPCO have done a fair degree of knowledge transfer at Egbin.

Dare: When you transfer knowledge to 15 people in a country of 160million with over 1m Engineers then you can’t call that fair.

(Continue to the next page)
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