10Mins. With Tampiri Irimagha-Akemu
By Jemi Ekunkunbor
Tampiri Irimagha-Akemu is the Managing Director, Sesema Public Relations, one of the top reputable PR firms in Nigeria. Her career spans nearly two decades in Oil & Gas, Logistics and Non profit Management sectors.
Sesema PR is organising a Corporate Communications Awards, the first of its kind come April 1, to recognise outstanding communications campaigns and the minds behind them.
In this encounter, she talks about the awards and its impact on practitioners.
Why do you feel the need to start a corporate communications awards?
For many years, Corporate Communications was perceived as an evolving profession in this part of the world. However, it is safe to say that Corporate Communications, has achieved a reasonable level of stability in the last few years. The relevant frameworks have been put in place to make Corporate Communications an established profession. The time is right to evaluate how far we have come, and acknowledge the sacrifices that has brought us this far. The awards is supported by International School of Communication and School of Media and Communications, Pan Atlantic University.
How would the awardees emerge?
The awardees were primarily nominated by seasoned Advisory Board members. However, winners will emerge through voting and deliberations by the Advisory Board. The awards is of two major categories; The General and Professional Votes category. For the General votes, voting is open to members of the general public while the Professional Votes category is open to only Communications professionals. For the General Votes category, voting will be done via a secure online survey cloud-based software. This provides real time responses, insights and robust analytics to make data-driven decisions. For the Professional Awards, the awardees will emerge via deliberations of the expert panel as well as nominations from Communications professionals.
A lot of people are weary about awards because of the fear that the selection process may not be transparent. How would you ensure transparency and credibility?
The awardees for the CCAs will emerge from a very secure online voting platforms as well as the inputs of the independent Advisory Board members. The Advisory Board members bring their wealth of experience to bear at the CCAS and they are highly respected as change agents and experts in their various fields. The Advisory Board is highly independent, and voting is very secure in order to take out the possibility of the process and outcome being influenced.
Communications is wide. What areas are you looking to reward?
The Corporate Communications Awards will specifically focus on identifying and awarding outstanding feats in Public Relations and the Media.
What do you think this awards will do for practitioners in the industry?
The Corporate Communications Awards is strategically positioned to serve as an aspirational achievement for Communications Professionals. The CCAs will raise the awareness of practitioners to the need for embracing global best practices in carrying out their roles. The CCAs will trigger a drive for excellence in the industry. Ultimately, this award will lead to an advancement in the practice of Corporate Communications.
What special event do you have planned for the night?
The night is going to be fully packed with special activities. We have the flagship award; PR campaign of the year highlighting campaigns that have improved brand awareness and Corporate Communications Pitch competition awards, identifying young communication graduates. We also have special recognition awards for media platforms that have been supportive to the corporate communications industry. The Alima Atta Excellence award will celebrate former staff of Sesema PR doing consistently well in the corporate communications industry. A special address will be delivered by the Dean, School of Media Communications; Dr. Ikechukwu Obiaya. In addition to the awards, Sesema PR will mark its 15th year anniversary.
What is the impact of social media on the work that you do?
Social media is an integral part of our communication strategy. Social media has a profound influence on how communication messages are created and consumed. Therefore, our work is achieved with a perfect blend of social media/online and offline communication tactics
What is the future of corporate Communications?
Before now, Corporate Communications was not seen as a management function. It was regarded as a dispensable business appendage. However, this trend is gradually shifting; Corporate Communications now has a place at the management table. The future of Corporate Communications is such that it will be an integral part of most management decisions. Consumers and audiences of today are increasingly becoming aware of the availability of several alternatives and Corporate Communications can make the difference between a brand being ignored or patronized. This is where adequate Corporate Communications come in handy.
It is in line with this that Sesema PR has launched this award to recognise and encourage outstanding heroes in the industry. We also have an interactive forum; Corporate Communications Interactive forum organized quarterly to train youths interested in joining the industry, to enable them understand the relevance of corporate communications. Also in works, is our partnership with communication schools to offer trainings to communication practitioners.