Starting off with an interest in Public Relations as a teenager, our Comms Spotlight for the week has built a thriving career in PR and Communications from that interest. Meet Adaoha Njemanze, Principal Consultant at NOVVA Media and Communications. With over a decade of professional experience, Adaoha remains committed to growing her knowledge and skills within the industry. In this interview, she talks to us about the journey so far and shares key highlights from running a communications firm.
What do you do as the Principal Consultant, NOVVA Media and Communications?
As the Principal Consultant at NOVVA, I look for new clients, create strategies for our existing clientele to enhance their value, offer professional advice, and manage my team. In leading NOVVA Media and Communications, my vision has always been purpose-driven and intentional, evident in our work across diverse sectors.
How did you begin your career in Communications, and what are some of the deliberate steps you took to develop yourself?
My journey in communications started uniquely. I had signed up for a different role and instead found myself in the media and communications industry. However, my interest in Public Relations began as a teenager when I was fascinated by how crisis management was handled within the entertainment industry and some of the easy steps that could have been taken. At that time, I didn’t know what it was called, so I spoke to my sixth-form course advisor who introduced me to media studies and possible career prospects.
At that point, I finally switched from wanting to study Law to Communications amidst the disapproval from my family then. I took free courses on platforms like Udemy, Coursera, CIPR and many others to develop myself more. I would watch many tutorials on YouTube from associations like PRSA and others. I also wrote the NIPR examinations and got inducted into the Association. These steps took years, and every day I strive to learn more about our profession to improve my job.
Can you share a major highlight from your career in Communications so far?
There are so many highlights so far that I can’t pinpoint the actual one that is the best for me. Let me list a few:
A significant highlight for NOVVA Media and Communications is working with the American top music distribution giant, TuneCore and its African regional head, who leads in over six African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia. We have managed their communications and implemented various market strategies in these African countries for the past two years.
Another major highlight would be working on the TotalEnergies Startupper of the year challenge in 2022 to select entrepreneurs with the best business ideas. It is incredible the number of talented young minds we have in Nigeria.
We hosted our first-panel session at AfricaNXT 2023 with top industry professionals discussing the future of PR, and BusinessDay recognized NOVVA as one of the top 100 fastest-growing SMEs.
What was your motivation for launching a Communications firm?
I was at a stage where I needed to start making more significant strides professionally. I had worked for other agencies and wanted to build an intentional business. I say intentional because NOVVA Media and Communications had taken many baby steps before we got to this stage of operations. And while I was freelancing, a top business executive pushed and advised me, “what’s the worst that can happen?”. And here I am years later, with over a decade of experience and NOVVA Media and Communications being five years this year.
How do you stay ahead of trends and remain relevant as a Communications professional?
The communications industry constantly evolves, which means staying ahead and adapting to new trends is essential. Our job as communication professionals is to stay updated and always think ahead. I follow the news daily; this helps with our diverse clientele and is a great way to learn. I listen to PR-related podcasts and follow communications professionals who inspire me.
What advice will you give to your younger professional self?
Give it your best. Understand that the Public Relations and Communications industry isn’t just a job. It is a lifestyle. Don’t fear failure, and adopt patience as a top-tier virtue. Finally, get some sleep for a renewed mind daily.