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Power Has Changed Hands In The Media Industry, Online Now King — Isaac Umunna.

Isaac Umunna.

Power has changed hands in the media industry and online – rather than print – is now the king. The online media, therefore, deserve to get a greater chunk of the advertising and publicity spend rather than the token presently being budgeted for the sub-sector.

News Express Publisher Isaac Umunna stated this while speaking at the maiden Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Retreat (CSR-S 2021) in Nigeria.

In his presentation entitled, “Mistakes CSR and Corporate Communication Executives Make and What to Do about Them”, Umunna highlighted what he called seven key errors of judgement and proposed solutions to them.

The first, according to him, “is the failure to realise that the media landscape has changed, and that power has changed hands in the industry, with online now being king.”

The veteran public speaker and journalist noted that, unlike in the past when a single Nigerian newspaper printed hundreds of thousands of copies, the combined printrun of all the newspapers in the country is presently not up to 100,000 copies.

“Thus, print newspapers no longer have the overwhelming presence they used to have. What is more, print newspapers have short lifespan – for dailies, only one day. Besides, your message may be lost in a myriad of pages – hardly seen.

“Contrast that with online, which guarantees immediacy, global spread, heavy traffic, cheaper rate and more exposure,” he said.

Other mistakes identified by him include neglecting supposedly small platforms since one story that goes viral can cause much damage; giving a heavy chunk of the media budget to foreign media, which have limited local relevance; as well as relying largely on news agencies and PR agencies which cannot influence publishers’ choice of stories.

Umunna identified neglecting of friendly publishers and not having an outside media team to serve as corporate eyes and ears as other potentially costly mistakes.

“The wise thing to do is to put the online media at the centre of your advertising and publicity campaigns. Reduce the money you spend on print, foreign media and PR agencies, which deliver little, and spend it on as many local online media platforms as possible. This will achieve far better results,” Umunna advised.

The Retreat, held virtually on Thursday, November 25, 2021, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, had a three-pronged agenda, namely; Review Refocus and Refire.

Organised by News Express in partnership with P3 Media, the event had First Bank Nigeria Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc as sponsors.

Other facilitators included Susie Onwuka, Chief of Planning Research & Statistics, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Nigeria; Mr. Adewole Lawal, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager, Anheuser-Busch InBev Africa; and Nelson Obine, a Business Development & Sustainability Expert. 

CSR-S is designed as an annual event with in-person meetings and leisure activities – in the essence, combining business and pleasure. The organisers hope to revert to the original format next year with the expected containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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