FATE OF A PR AGENCY DURING A CRISIS

Within the past 9 months, Nigeria has been rocked by two major crises causing a change in status-quo and leaving only the strong to survive.

One is the Covid-19 pandemic which has gone the longest, and the recent protest for Police reform which has put the government against the youths of the country.

For a PR firm, these events changed how things are normally run. While some agencies are able to stay afloat, many others were not so lucky, resulting in downsizing as a result of the loss of clients.

The calendars of many brands immediately changed, with them pushing back release dates of products, others had to change narrative very quickly to suit the new norm.

Entertainment PR agencies have struggled with curating narrative and deliverables around virtual events due to its many limiting factors.

In the struggle for police reform, virtual platforms which were the major channel for reaching the audience became a warzone. Strategies, language, tone, and approach had to be changed. Any brand messaging that does not address or mention the crisis is either ignored or even mocked for not being sensitive to the current state of things. Brands are then forced to either ensure they address the issues or avoid pushing out content totally. This in itself became a problem.

Brands are continually worried about creating permanent enemies in the government for a temporary outcry. The government also monitored even more closely the brands that decide to support the people.

How to navigate this terrain became a game for only the smart PR agencies.

While many could not hold ground, a few others used new avenues and creative messaging to still meet client deliverables.

PR practice became an extreme sport only for those who boldly wear the cape.

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