Change begins with FG, not me

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Sir: In the public relations sector, you earn good reputation when you deliver what you promised. It is amazing how most people like to tell stories with the intent that others will empathise with them. But they fail to tell the story strategic enough to attract the empathy they seek.

Using the Federal Government as a case in point, the challenge, right from Jonathan’s administration, has always been not leveraging all projects via action-matching drumbeat in the media – the only way to curry empathy and buy-in from Nigerians and the global community. For instance, the Goodluck Jonathan government may not be as awful as it is being described but for non-actionable communication. The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has started toeing the same path. This time, artfully. The government is counting the chickens and even nicknaming them before the eggs are hatched.

If not, how would you explain the reality of launching the campaign, CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME? How exactly do you want to convince someone who lives in Nigeria, right now that he is actually the CHANGE, he seeks? In this ‘newly improved’ hunger? How?

What it simply means is that this beautiful yet unrealistic campaign, called, CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME shall suffer from two things. 1. Timing. 2. Perception.

Apparently, CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME is ill-timed, coming at a time Nigerians are disgruntled. We are hungry. A hungry man in the midst of other worshipers completely lacks the mettle to “jump up and shout Halleluyah.”

Meanwhile, if we drag this to the branding world, the campaign is as wrong-headed as the boomerang is already looming. One of the principles of branding is that Marketing is not a function that can be considered in isolation. No. Branding sells the product to the consumer ahead of Marketing through tested and trusted offering. Yes, it is that expedient, so that when marketing comes calling the consumer, he picks up the call with immediate alacrity, not even knowing he is on his way to brand loyalty.

The FG must then understand that branding is the more efficient and trendy way to sell their CHANGE, not conventional marketing, not CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME.

On this note, the CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME messaging comes across as aloof, arrogant and insensitive on the part of government to the nation’s plights – seems to say: “Nigerians, if you are so desperate about this CHANGE, then, it has to come from you, not me.

The point is: Government, start knitting action together with communication. Publicity is done only when there is something to publicise. Kindly acknowledge that your kind of ‘Change’ has become synonymous with failed promises plus recession and do the needful.

You promised this CHANGE. Fulfill your promise. Please do! Lest, citizens, based on their lived terrible experiences, rebrand your brand, completely.

Queen Eugene, Ikeja, Lagos.



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