Did you know?
American consumer goods giant, Procter & Gamble (P&G) spent $8.1 billion on promotional activities in 2021 alone, thus, winning the title of largest advertiser worldwide.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s online shopping giant, Jumia, reported a $41 million marketing investment in the company’s Sales & Advertising department in H1 2022.
Why this matters:
Both companies have millions of customers spread across different borders, one reason being their efforts in effectively promoting their products through storytelling.
While we have discussed the role of storytelling in building the Nigerian ecosystem, there is still a need to explain the importance of writing a company’s narrative with its own hands.
Public Relations (PR) in Nigeria
A 2020 study of the PR industry in the country revealed that of 196 respondents surveyed, 49% had a client base of less than 10. But why are Nigerian enterprises slow to adopt PR services?
In the recent episode of The Hub, tech journalist Johnstone Kpilaaka discussed the role of storytellers in building the Nigerian ecosystem.
He attributed the poor patronage of PR expertise and effective strategic publicity to ignorance, as well as the fear of accountability.
He said, “the issue is, most of the people building Nigerian companies are technical experts who lack storytelling skills. And while these people are ignorant, they are also not willing to learn because it is their belief that this area is irrelevant.”
Hence, this article brings you 5 good reasons why effective storytelling is needed in every business.
5 reasons every business needs effective storytelling
• Tells your story the right way: It is no news that every business has a story to tell and that these stories help build the image and reputation of businesses.
Kpilaaka said, “There is a large chunk of journalists and content creators, but this is no excuse for a business. This is because communication plays an important role in building your business and shaping the narrative of where you are.
“Everybody needs to tell their own story because people might misinterpret you. If you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it and they may not tell it the way it should be told,” he added.
• Crisis management: From his experience with entrepreneurs and business development in Nigeria, Kpilaaka painted a scenario in which a news publication about a company goes south. He explained that while the general media may not be intentional about boycotting a company, the chances of recovery for when they do is highly dependent on the PR capabilities of the company affected.
He said, “your company needs to have a communication strategy, it’s like having a spokesperson. This person will be able to effectively talk to the press and avoid controversies.”
• Publicity: Referencing Code Plateau as a vivid example of an initiative with effective and efficient PR practices, he explained that good PR translates into improved public image and exposure.
“Right now, it seems like everybody knows about Code Plateau but when the initiative started, the government was not doing very well in other areas and so people initially had a bad perception of it. But because they consistently told the success story of their beneficiaries, other people got interested and are now trying to participate in it. Nobody would have known about it if the team had quietly run their activities without talking about it,” he said.
• Improves your chances of meeting investors: Further using the Code Plateau as a case study, the journalist said, “these active PR operations make it easier for the initiative to access funding because they’ve been able to tell their stories and investors have seen it. If they decide to invest in Northern Nigeria, this should be one of the places they come to.”
In the same vein, building exposure for your company exposes you to lots of opportunities and these opportunities can translate into open doors for more assistance.
• Provides ease of interaction and operation: “Handling the communication and growth of your company simultaneously and single handedly is going to be overwhelming. So my advice for every company that wishes to tell their story is to have a communication strategy and effective PR,” he said.
This way, as a founder or business owner, your attention and presence will not have to be divided. While you focus on growing the company’s output, the communications department works on giving your business a face that the public will remember and want to patronize.
Kpilaaka concluded by strongly emphasizing that no company or business is too small to have a PR department.
“My advice to the public is, communication plays an important role in business operations. Business owners should have someone who will help arrange interviews and remind them of schedules because the little a person does in society is worth talking about and hearing about”, he said.