PR Week 2024: Airtel’s Femi Adeniran, others discuss PR’s impact on business success

L-R:  Director, Corporate Communications and CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Adeniran;  Head, Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, and Sustainability, Nestle Nigeria, Victoria Uwaduka; Chairman, NPRW Planning Committee, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya; Lead, Public Relations, 9Mobile, Chimeze Amanfo; General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Coscharis Group, Abiona Babarinde; and Group Head, Media Operations, Strategic Communications and Events, Aiteo, Ndiana Matthew; after a panel discussion on the third day of the Nigerian Public Relations Week (NPRW), at June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, on Wednesday 24th, April 2024.

Femi Adeniran, the Director of Corporate Communications and CSR at Airtel Nigeria, joined a panel of distinguished professionals at the Nigeria Public Relations Week in Abeokuta to explore the connection between public relations (PR) and business profitability. Adeniran emphasized the crucial role of PR practitioners in cultivating goodwill as a key corporate investment.

Speaking on the panel titled ‘Brand PR, Corporate Communications, and the Bottom Line’ during the conference’s second day, Adeniran highlighted, “PR practitioners must ensure that organizations recognize goodwill as a necessity that directly influences a business’s value. It serves as a reservoir of value, and it is our responsibility as PR professionals to replenish this reservoir through communication, stakeholder management, and relationship building. Organizations draw from this reservoir to drive their businesses forward.”

The panel, moderated by Victoria Uwadoka, Lead of Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, and Sustainability at Nestle Nigeria, also featured Abiona Babarinde, General Manager of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Coscharis Group, Chineze Amanfo, Lead of Public Relations at 9 Mobile, and Matthew Ndiana-Abasi, Group Head of Media Operations, Strategic Communications, and Events at Aiteo.

The discussion explored the advantages of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and their alignment with a brand’s values. Babarinde noted that while marketing focuses on marketing focuses PR focuses on earning public trust and loyalty.

Adeniran cited Airtel’s commitment to goodwill building through its investment in digital education for public schools. “At Airtel, our core business is connectivity, which naturally extends to a strong focus on digital education. One of our digital education initiatives is our partnership with UNICEF. Airtel Africa has pledged over $50 million to facilitate connectivity and provide digital learning platforms to 920 public schools in Nigeria. We have positively impacted over 600,000 children and aim to expand this to an additional 500 schools by year-end,” he explained.

Adeniran’s insights underscored the importance for organizations to integrate CSR initiatives aligned with their core values, promoting sustainable growth and benefiting communities.

The speakers also discussed key sub-topics to enhance business profitability through strategic PR, including measurement and evaluation, the relationship between PR and marketing, and the effective use of technology.

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