Abiola Bonuola: Are Marketing and PR Professionals really powerful?

Communications and marketing

Abiola Bonuola is a Senior PR and Marketing Communications Consultant in Lagos.


Don’t believe all the lies they tell you about PR women or men, we are very powerful. If you’ve ever had the time to delve into the madness portrayed by the fierce Elizabeth Sloane in the movie, Miss Sloane, you will believe me when I tell you that PR people rule the world today and Nigeria is not exempted no matter how poorly rated the country may seem. 

Public relations professionals literally control a lot of things you see in the media today. Whether it is radio, TV, newspapers, social media, online communities and websites and so on, we manage everything, know everything, see everything. We are everywhere, yet our lives are so secret. 

But as Sir John Dalberg-Acton once implied, having absolute power must be well managed or it will corrupt absolutely and that is the responsibility we must carry on our shoulders every day. 

Definitely as professionals, we have the power to connect people from all walks of life. Clients ask us to recommend agencies, managers tell us to bid celebrities for campaigns, celebrities seek our support for brand endorsement deals, agencies rely on us to make them a lot of money and the list goes on.  

A true PR professional must be conscious of the power he or she wields. This is why at all times, a good professional must have a thick skin because we get shut down often by criticism. Scott Signore once stated, “We enjoy much strategic and tactical success when working with clients, we also get shot down presenting ideas for new programs or programmatic approaches”. It’s really an integral part of the job so we cannot afford to react short-sightedly to remarks from the media, clients even our line heads and managers.  

Influencers, celebrities, clients, managers, agencies, the media and so on who continue to give us this power must be very careful with how we are managed. You don’t want to go to an event and insult an already overworked PR girl with your actions or words. The lady could possibly give you a bad review next time she finds herself in the position to recommend you.

A popular celebrity (name withheld) I worked with recently lost her value in the marketing industry just because her manager was rude to a group of PR professionals. The Manager was quite the handful. She made several (not just one) remarks insinuating that PR managers are incompetent and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. ‘Out’, the PR group chanted and the entire industry boycotted the celebrity. Now the said celebrity needs to spend extra money to pay a PR Manager to redeem her image from the industry floor.

Still wondering what happened to those influencers that we no longer remember? 

When next you find a ‘small girl’ with a laptop in front of her, typing away a list of names or working on a plan or budget, respect her because she can make or mar your career with a single word. 

But what do I know? I’m just another ‘small girl’ with big dreams in Lagos.


Meet the Writer

Abiola Bonuola is a Senior PR and Marketing Communications Consultant with over 6 years of experience in media, marketing communications, core PR, Content and Digital marketing, developing strategies, managing projects and campaigns like Betway (2018 – 2019) + Betway BBNaija Campaign 2020, Reckitt Benckiser (Dettol & JIK, 2019 – 2020), Binomo, Viacom Africa (MTV Shuga Naija 2018 & 2019), Leadway PFA and creating content for the world’s biggest brands like MTN Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries (Star & Tiger Beer), Multichoice ( BBNaija 2019), D Banj’s C.R.E.A.M, Coca Cola, Mouka Foam, Enough Is Enough Nigeria and creative agencies as X3M Ideas.

She is currently in love with creative writing, copywriting, project planning and execution, monitoring and evaluation, art and poetry and advocacy for development.

Connect with Abiola on LinkedIn.

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