Why government should engage advertising experts for strategic communication
The immediate past President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Mr. Kelechi Nwosu has said that if governments want its communication to make better impact in its engagement with the citizens, then it should secure the service of experts.
Speaking at the 2016 edition of the Annual General Meeting of the association, Nwosu said, “Our request is that the Federal Government and state governments should all employ the services of AAAN agencies because we have built solid brands in this country; we are experts in strategic communication and most importantly the regulating law of APCON is clear that only licensed Agencies should practice advertising in the country.”
It is however of note that from the theme of the recently concluded 2016 edition of its AGM and the unmistakable focus of the welcome remarks by Nwosu, it was clear that the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) had gathered its members in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State to devise strategy that would enhance its relevance and aid its push for vantage space for the engagement of its services and those of its member agencies by government at various levels in the unfolding socio-political environment being created by the Muhammadu Buhari Administration.
While participants at the conference dissected government’s communications mechanism and proffered a way forward on how best to market Nigeria’s beautiful attributes and potential, Nwosu observed that the conference was organised to articulate options and identify strategies for addressing national issues, particularly those that relate to the advertising industry and the Nigerian economy, by suggesting clear ideas on how government can effectively engage the hearts and minds of Nigerians through the services of AAAN and its member agencies.
The dissections as well as the loud and bold proclamations from the conference segment notwithstanding, the greatest and most important message from the AAAN Uyo Convention was the Association’s demonstration of a readiness to reposition for greater effectiveness. This resolve was conveyed in two major decisions reached by members. First was the review of renewable tenure of Executive from one year to two years. This has been described by most members as a strategic move by the Association to ensure that each administration to be put in place henceforth has reasonable time to birth and nurture landmark projects conceived by them, before yielding the stage for another. Today, AAAN has several landmark developmental projects languishing at various stages of non-completion. It has often been argued by members that no meaningful development could be achieved by an Exco whose tenure is just one year or, if renewed, two years, since project design and implementation requires long gestation period.
Given the biting economic and financial environment which has compelled organisations in the country to embark on strategic financial and non-financial re-engineering in order to remain effective, AAAN, going into the Uyo Convention, was expected to pay special attention to the constitution of a new Exco, particularly who emerges as the association’s treasurer, since the post constitutes the totem on which the secretariat and the entire association’s performance rest.
In addition to picking Mr. Kayode Oluwashona, MD, Harmonee Concepts and Mr. Ikechi Odibo, MD, DDB Lagos, as President and Vice President respectively, AAAN did not settle for less quality when its members unanimously voted Mr. Wale Akintunde, the current Chief Operating Officer of Centrespread Advertising, to occupy the position of Treasurer for the next two years.