BrandArena: OPINION: Salvaging poor PR handling of Dapo Abiodun

Thursday, 31 August 2023

OPINION: Salvaging poor PR handling of Dapo Abiodun

By Jonathan Olajide 

I don't fancy sharing my view in this political circle because of the ever-present conflicts which usually lead to spunky virtual fisticuffs.

But having seen the viral rebuttals churned out by the press mercenaries of Governor Dapo Abiodun against the background of allegations that DA has habitually starved local councils in Ogun State of their monthly allocations, I'm moved to pass this short comment to enlighten the "data boys" (with due respect) on how to effectively handle any similar occurrence in future.

First, DA's PR and communication handlers have always adopted non-denial denial to react/respond to the affirmation of mediocre performances or graft against the Iperu-born oil magnate turned politician. Ignorantly, their constant tactic of countering allegations from rivals' quarters is manifest in the actual committal of the misdeeds inputted against their boss. Non-denial denial refers to a PR way of rejecting an alleged offence without giving concrete pieces of evidence that such an offence was never committed.

PR thrives on transparency and honesty. What I expect you "data boys" and your senior handlers to do is garnish your denials with verifiable claims of any disbursements that the state government has done to the councils. This can be copies of cheques, bank transfers or cash lodgement in sacks. Your confutation is replete with bad PR, unintelligence and arrogance.

Gone are the days when oratory, flattery and flowery speech were the most important weapons of image-building which is the heart of PR. What I've read so far are just mere well-crafted literary pieces devoid of sound argument but laced with insults of the allegation maker whose name and political leaning I'm not interested in digging out. 

DA junior and senior data boys (with due respect once again) would have shushed the opponents had they published evidence that councils' funds were duly remitted to them. The public would have respected DA more as an honest man. Imagine, no one would have believed Senator Gbenga Daniel when he said he had written the governor to stop paying his pensions if the former had not published the received copy of the letter.

What the DA team are saying is tantamount to: "Believe me I'm lying". Public and/or political communication should never remain what it was in WW2. If you want to win the hearts of the public, tell them the truth. Truth is stronger than fact.

Apparently, poor and careless political PR is deeply rooted in Nigeria because of high illiteracy, poverty and youth unemployment. Any youth with a sound mind knows that governors criminally withhold council money. So, why should DA be painted as a saint?

Jonathan Olajide writes from Isale Egba, Orile-Ifo, Ifo, Ogun State.

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