Effective Communication Strong Tool Between Government, Public – Nwosu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Effective Communication Strong Tool Between Government, Public – Nwosu

Posted: Sep 30, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Stories by Olamide Bakare,

Lagos

The President of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN, Mr. Kelechi Nwosu, has urged government to improve on the level of communication between it and the members of the public as this will create a robust understanding on most of its activities. Speaking on a number of issues affecting the marketing communication industry, Nwosu said there is the need for government to formulate a clear cut policy on communication, stressing that doing so would assist it in giving the administration the needed prism through which it can be assessed. Asked to assess the administration of Buhari since it came on board, Kelechi noted that it was too early to do so as there was no policy direction upon which such judgment can be made.

He said, “There has been no clear communication policy yet, so I would say that it is too early to assess. As a communicator, I will advise, however, that government needs to communicate a lot more to ensure that there is better understanding and affinity between the public and the FG.”

Commenting on the reconstitution of the APCON board, which was earlier dissolved by the government, Nwosu said it was high time for government to begin to see the professional body as regulatory, stressing that until this is allowed to happen, the body may not fulfil its mandates. He, however, warned government to avoid taking action which contravenes the law on the appointment of board members as failure to abide by requirement of the law would be resisted by stakeholders.

He said, “Our hope and prayer is that the reconstitution will follow the requirements stated in the enabling law and that only qualified, driven and competent (APCON) fellows, where required, should be appointed to the Council. We also think that it is time to start treating APCON like the regulatory council that it is and not a parastatal.”

Asked to speak on how the industry can collaborate with government to achieve the twin objectives of growth and job creations, Nwosu gave some suggestions that include appointment of experienced professionals in the ministry of information, public advocacy, as well as engagement of professional in the activities of government.

He said, “I believe this industry has what it takes to rise and reduce employment problem in the country. As a matter of suggestion, I would think that government appoints an experienced practitioner of marketing communication as Minister of Information. By so doing, it would help to drive the communication policy of government effectively. Apart from that, I believe the above will set the stage for resonant public advocacy interventions that should make government realise its public information goals. In addition, it is our hope that with the above, only qualified and APCON licensed Agencies will be allowed to work for Governments (local, state and federal) leading to an explosion of revenue for the Agencies with a positive consequence of job creation.”

While speaking on the APCON reform, which suggest 25% stake by foreign agencies in local agencies, Nwosu said the action was taken in good faith as it was well debated upon by members and gazzetted. He therefore challenged those who held dissenting view to rather look inward by asking questions on the dearth of creativity in the industry.

He said, “For me, I think such position does not enjoy the support of the majority of stakeholders since the above issue is the law. The law states that foreign agencies cannot take more than 25% stake in Agencies that operate advertising (locally).  But we need to remember that this regulation and indeed the whole body of reforms were debated and agreed upon so many years with stakeholders before it was “gazzetted”. So, I think this rather new minority opinion about level playing field is not a view supported by the majority of the industry players. I do believe that current law provides the opportunity for talent and creativity to thrive. What I think we should  be asking is why is creativity not growing as much as we want it to: is it because  we are not courageous to explore new frontiers? (Client and Agency alike?) or is it because the  market space is shallow (few brands in each category) or is it because the economy is not thriving and therefore has limited space for talent to come into the industry? Or is it because advertising now holds reduced attraction for hot new talent?”