Use public affairs to mitigate effect of COVID-19 on organisations – Experts


SOME experts have advised corporate organisations to use public affairs personnel to mitigate unexpected developments caused by the negative effects of COVID-19.

They gave the advice during a webinar hosted by Re-Ignite Public Affairs with the theme: Managing the Public Affairs Function Post COVID-19.

The session was moderated by the  Group Managing Director of CMC Connect Limited (Perception Managers), Yomi Badejo-Okusanya.

Speaking at the webinar, Sade Morgan, Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, said that COVID-19 had really challenged a lot of companies to work differently with stakeholders.

“We have seen a lot of changes in the way we work,  Nigeria has gone digital, which in a positive way has brought about a lot of efficiencies.

“This crisis has particularly put corporate affairs at the heart of businesses because we are the ones trying to secure business continuity in different ways.

“We are delivering communication again on various internal engagement platforms to keep organizations motivated,” Morgan said.

Concerning government relations, she said organizations needed to understand that the government could not do it all.

Morgan said that public affairs’ role was to ensure that government had full visibility of what was going on and drive business continuity, thus keeping economic activities going

Also, Olufemi Awoyemi, Chairman, Proshare Nigeria, said that public affairs function was  now the number one priority for any organisation or  practising  firm that was  providing services.

“Public affairs functions cannot be over emphasised because there will always be a board coalition of the private sector which allows organisations to step up to the importance of palliative.

“It is the public affairs sector that birth the private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), he said.

Commmenting, Ade Adefeko, Vice President, Corporate and  Government Relations, Olam Nigeria, said there was need for the private public affairs sector to understand government agencies to be able to design appropriate strategies in engaging them.

Also, Emeka Oparah, Vice President, Communications and  Corporate Social Responsibility, Airtel Nigeria, charged public affairs managers to collaborate and coordinate more during this challenging period to motivate businesses.

“This period shoud teach public affairs personnel to engage, exchange contacts and resources in order to be able to network with the right people.

“We need to understand organisations and people to be able to articulate business issues seamlessly,” he said. (NAN)

– Jun. 12, 2020 @ 13:45 GMT |

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