In a move geared towards enthroning a more harmonious and seamless working relationship, the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks, ACAMB, yesterday, June 30, met with bloggers and social media influencers at the Protea Hotel, G.R.A, Ikeja.
According to the President of the association, Lola Odedina, there was an urgent need to establish a mutually beneficial working relationship bloggers and online publishers. Odedina, who is also, the Head, Communications and External Affairs, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, said, “We discovered that despite the deluge of blogs, there are still those who go about their duties professionally and who we would like to have a relationship with. We are hoping that by so doing, those who believe in sensationalism or gossiping as it were without establishing the truism of their reports would fall into line and be more diligent in their blogging.”
Speaking, Seun Oloketuyi, Publisher of Naijahottestgist, declared that in some instances, bloggers are not to blame as corporate communications and media affairs managers of some bankers do not even have any relationship with the media, saying that it is only when there is a crisis that they start running around. “Your association, ACAMB, in conjunction with banks, needs to train and retrain corporate communications executives and make them accessible to the media. There have been times when I need to confirm the veracity or otherwise of a story and it is impossible to reach anybody in the media department of the concerned bank. Meanwhile, there is also the urgency to be the first to break a news story. So your people’s inaccessibility makes us rush to the press a lot of the time.”
While noting that there is a need to sieve the professionals from the mediocrities among the online media practitioners, Dotun Oladipo, publisher of Eagleonline, advocated a better and mutually beneficial relationship between ACAMB and online publishers in view of the enormity of work they do together. He lamented that banks do not patronize the online media like the traditional media; a situation he said is not favourable given that there are bills to be picked and salaries of staffers to be paid. Oladipo promised that the processes of reining in the excesses of some bloggers are in the works, highlighting the behind-the-scene works of his embryonic online publishers association. Other speakers at the meet-and-greet included Kemi Akinyemi of Elitesng and Femi Davies, Publisher of Metronews, both of who toed the line advocated by their colleagues.
In his submission, Charles Aigbe, Vice President, ACAMB, disclosed that it is virtually impossible to deal with the motley crowd of online practitioners or give adverts to all. He cited the example of some of his friends in the online media business that have not benefitted anything from him but who he says understands his challenges. Aigbe advised that for startup and established news websites, it would not be out of place to write a formal letter of introduction to banks and other corporate organisations, introducing the site and why they should patronize it. “That way, anybody you send a letter would not claim ignorance of your existence and it helps when drawing lists of prospective beneficiaries of adverts,” he said.
Aigbe, who is also Divisional Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, UBA PLC, identified a key priority area to include training and development for online publishers and bloggers as they are wont to do for Capital Market and Financial reporters in the traditional media. He promised that moving forward; the association would endeavor to meet with the online practitioners from time to time while all the highlighted priority areas would be urgently looked into.