A call has gone to media owners, especially those operating in the digital ecosystem, to reform their business model to ensure sustainability. Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi, CEO, Founder & Chairman of Proshare Nigeria made this call in Lagos.
He urged Corporate and Marketing Communication Professionals working in Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria to reform their focus on core regulatory governance guidelines and aggregate their leverage to deliver on their reputational risk management mandate.
Awoyemi in a presentation at a media parley organized by the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) held at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) auditorium in Lagos noted that Journalists play a pivotal role in sensitizing and shaping public opinion on banking policies, and economic developments.
Speaking on the theme “Reporting the Nigerian Financial Sector in a Dynamic World: What Role for the Journalist?”, Awoyemi stated that journalists must realize that it is a new world and therefore should retool, reskill, and retrain to broaden their understanding, impact and value.
According to him, a journalist’s mind may naturally be sceptical, but that does not mean it should be biased towards bad outcomes. “If the balance of facts suggests that the result of a policy or event is positive, so be it; the journalist is not a hangman but an observer and writer. He or she provides society with a dynamic ‘journal’ of unfolding events,” he said.
Awoyemi emphasized that the role of a financial journalist in a rapidly changing world is to; gather information and gain understanding; develop context and perspective; apply analytical /numerical tools as interpretative aides; engage constructively with stakeholders; and provide unbiased fact-based narratives. “It is an avenue for thorough discussions, establishment of guidelines and the need for a thorough review of policies and processes.”
He further stated that out of all the sectors in the economy, the Nigerian financial service sector is the best example of progress in Nigeria. A leader in innovation, one that has invested most on research, strategic planning and testing new ideas.“The Nigerian banking sector is a recognised global leader for its innovation, high level performance, apex infrastructure system and the best in terms of settlement system”, he said.
He enjoined Journalists that every of their reports should help move the banking system forward and not bring it down. “This is not about telling you what to do or not, but that a balance must be achieved”, he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, ACAMB President, Rasheed Bolarinwa stated that one of the greatest challenges faced as brand custodians working with DMBs in Nigeria was the threat posed by adversarial Bloggers and few media outlets who deliberately go after brands with adverse news that portrays brands in negative light.
The rise of online and social media continues to escalate the spread of negative stories and magnifies customer complaints, further driving negative sentiments about brands. This disturbing trend has been further affirmed by KPMG Customer Satisfaction Survey of 2021, he said.
He stated that ACAMB has considered it necessary to facilitate continuous interactive session with Journalists to facilitate understanding, give feedback and outline expectations from both parties while expansion knowledge of media practitioners while pointing out the implications of negative reporting, fake news for all parties, including the media industry itself.
He opined that the banking industry deserve a better media understanding hinging his call on the fact that, “ a sector that has and continues to be the biggest spender on Nigeria media across all spectrum deserve fair reporting”.
Part of the fallout of the event was the media community committing to working with ACAMB in ensuring healthy working relationship, healthy reporting and promoting a mutually-beneficial working relationship with ACAMB and all Banks. This heralds the beginning of further engagements in the future between ACAMB and the media community, a time has come where ACAMB and the media community are having a handshake indicating that ACAMB views the media as friends and not adversaries.
The Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB), is the umbrella body of all Corporate and Marketing Communications Professionals working in the Nigerian Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
It is a non-profit association committed to promoting excellence in reputation management, financial, and business aspects of Banks. ACAMB came into existence in 1996 as the brain child of the Banks Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) with the aim of combating the then negative perception in the banking industry.
Since its inception in 1996, the association has been able to to foster interaction among Corporate Communications/Public Relations Managers within the banking sub-sector of Nigeria’s financial industry. The Association advises the leadership of the sub-sector on the reputational implications of policies and, implements reputation enhancing programmes on behalf of the industry.