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HomeExecutive BriefTinubu’s Presidency and Needs for Communications Strategy

Tinubu’s Presidency and Needs for Communications Strategy

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PR perfect pitch
PR perfect pitch with Eniola Mayowa

Communication can be complex, especially when addressing a diverse audience with varied levels of assimilation and understanding. However, the principle guiding effective communication hasn’t changed; rather, it has become more dynamic to meet the needs of ever-evolving human environments.

It is necessary to reiterate that communication will always win regardless of the composition of the audience if executed purposefully with the right mix and the audience at its heart. When communication is rightly applied, it can gain understanding, support, empathy, and endearment for a cause, an organization, a government, or a nation.

It is on this note that I thought to X-ray how the immediate past government used communication and the lesson for the emerging government if it desires to do things differently, although the last few days have yet to show the breadth of fresh air in the communication space. It is, however, our desire that they get it right and win with the people.

For many, the errors of the immediate past didn’t go unnoticed, particularly among communication professionals. The political dispensation under the leadership of former President Mohammadu Buhari witnessed many communication gaffes and reputation mishaps, to the point that many of us in the business of reputation management grieved at the abysmal public and political communication of the government.

It was a government that did a lot more than communicate with the people. It was a government whose officials would rather talk down on the people than talk to or speak with them. It was a government whose actions placed a huge doubt on its credibility and whose reputation capital was low!

The immediate past witnessed many instances where fake news and deceptive information were traced to government officials and agencies of government who showed low capacity and took a strategic position on issues that were misleading in the public space.

Communication was poorly managed! The political era leading to a change of government didn’t offer respite in the manner of communication. It was indeed an era of combativeness and aggression on the part of political appointees and government officials, many of whom had little or no regard, as shown in the manner of their messaging, utterances, and dissemination of information.

Now that elections are over, many are looking forward to a new government that will deliver on expectations. Let me say emphatically here that the manner of communication with the people and conscious effort at building and maintaining reputation capital for this government will strongly impact the perception it will hold with Nigerians.

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The first 100 days are critical to eradicating all doubts about the baggage from the campaign era and setting the record straight for positive perception if it will mean something to this government.

It will be a huge capital investment if the government is deliberate about winning with the people, particularly for a government that was rejected by the majority of voters at the election. While deep connection and a robust relationship with the media as an opinion influencer is good, a genuine connection with the people through transparency, public trust, and goodwill is desirable.

This government will do well to establish a culture of transparency by sharing accurate, precise, and timely information. Government decisions, actions, and policies are open and transparent enough for people to make informed judgments. Fake news and misinformation should not be traced to government officials and agencies.

What is the vision of this government? There is no better time than now to begin to highlight the vision in the actions, decisions, and policies of the government. It would be a delight to have a government that actively listens to the suggestions, feedback, and concerns of the people. The voice of the people must not only be heard but heard effectively in policy formulation and social engagement.

It is no secret that a good number of the youth population resented the emergence of this government; it will be a breath of fresh air indeed for the leadership to be deliberate in the engagement of this segment through communication. Leveraging social media platforms to disseminate information, engage with youths, and address their queries and concerns is highly recommended.

While credible individuals, opinion leaders, and respected individuals will help this government win in the communication space, it is pertinent to reiterate that propagandists should be dealt with from afar. Governance is different from politics! What propaganda can achieve with politics will fail at governance. It will only be a matter of time before people know the difference, and whatever goodwill gains will take flight!

Lastly, winning with communication demands intentionality in the effort, time, sincerity, and consistency. Continuous assessment of efforts is key, which means that this government will need the services of communication professionals to do the work.

And more importantly, deep connection with various constituencies and critical stakeholders, transparency as a non-negotiable, active and effective listening, and constant highlights of the vision of government, among others, will help this government be different.

  • Mayowa, COO of StepCraft Nigeria Ltd and Fellow of NIPR is a reputation and marketing communication strategist
  • (omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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