More than 50 per cent of public relations (PR) agencies in Nigeria are said to be reporting revenues of less than N5 million yearly, as a result, agencies must think outside the box to mitigate the current challenges.
The Nigeria Public Relations Report, which was packaged by BlackHouse Media (BHM), a public relations firm, said the report, which is the fourth edition, is dedicated exclusively to chronicling data on trends, perceptions, challenges, and prospects within the dynamic industry.
A cursory look at some of the findings from the report showed that the insights presented are prognostic at the very least, creating a framework for practitioners to successfully manoeuvre these momentous times brought about by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Lead Researcher, Compass Insights, Adun Okupe, “The Nigeria PR Report does not come at a better time than now. The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world, and now more than ever, PR agencies have to prove their worth to their clients, leaving consultancies with unanswered questions as to how to make sure that their businesses are providing the right services, and the 2020 Nigeria PR Report helps to shape thoughts in this direction.”
Speaking on Nigeria PR Report 2020, the Founder and CEO, BHM, Ayeni Adekunle, captured the volatile nature of the year for the PR industry.
“When we planned for the 2020 Nigeria PR Report, we had no idea of how the year would turn out. These are very unique and interesting times, as our choice to have the report focus on sustainable growth has now come into focus with the adverse effects of Coronavirus.
“The importance of the report to the Public Relations industry in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. By modelling well-founded world reports such as the Holmes Report, World Development Report, Relevance Report, the Nigerian PR Report team continues to hope to create a standard global report that can easily be used for referencing details, instances and facts about the industry,” he said.
The report highlights the pedigree of some of the PR agencies in Nigeria, noting that 12 per cent of these agencies have been in operation for five years, 19 per cent of them for more than five years, and less than 10, whilst only nine per cent have been in operation for over 20 years.
In addressing the improvement made to counter gender imbalance and the need for improvement, the report showed that the industry remains male-dominated with a record of 74 per cent, while women constitute just 26 per cent.
Younger agencies under five years old seem to have a higher proportion of men with women comprising only 21 per cent of women PR professionals working in these agencies, while older agencies that have been practicing for 11 to 20 years parade 44 percent of women professionals as their staff.
This situation is not limited to Nigeria. In a report published on the PRWeek in 2019, 64 per cent of public relations professionals surveyed in 37 countries in the first Global Women in PR(GWPR) Annual Index to address issues in gender diversity believe having more women in the boardroom would improve profitability.
About 81 per cent said more should be done to help women get there, while eight in 10 survey respondents believe the biggest barrier to career progression was childcare and caring responsibilities.
Further, most of the PR agencies are within the SME band, with 64 per cent of respondents qualifying by the number of employees as micro-enterprises based on the number of employees as defined by the Small and Medium Enterprises Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
In terms of poor revenue earnings, also corroborated by the new entrants, it is reported that 64 per cent of the new agencies have fewer than 10 employees, 14 per cent are small enterprises with 11 to 20 employees, and 22 per cent with more than 21 employees.
The report listed one of the top five challenges plaguing the sector as attracting and retaining the right talent, with about 70 per cent of the professionals having less than five years of work experience.
Consequently, seasoned professionals and institutions are charged to explore establishing teaching faculty in PR management to equip new graduates seeking career opportunities in PR.