“The Public Relations (PR) landscape like other professions was badly hit by the Coronavirus pandemic which saw economies crippled and the world at a standstill, leading to rising headline inflation in domestic and global economies, and recession. While the world was still grappling with the ruins of the pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war (ongoing) came baring its fangs, adding another layer of challenges to the already multi-faceted ones left behind by the pandemic. 

“However, the emergence of digital technology and alternative media channels played a vital role in the resuscitation and setting of new realities for Public Relations practice globally.”

The highlighted texts above are excerpts from a launch lecture titled: “The Strategic Place of Digital Platforms and Data in Reinventing  PR Practice in Uncertain Times” delivered by Rasheed Bolarinwa, Head, Corporate Communications, Polaris Bank and President, Association of Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks in Nigeria (ACAMB) on Saturday, January 21, 2023.

Bolarinwa was Guest Speaker at the virtual launching of a book titled: “Handbook of PR Case Studies: Making a Case for Data-Driven Digital PR Practice.” The book was co-written by three Nigerian scholars including; Rasheed Adebiyi , Kamoru Salaudeen and Mutiu Lasisi Iyanda.

Bolarinwa in his lecture stressed on how digital platforms (social media) has become an integral part of modern PR practices and why mastery of the social media space and the necessary tools to navigate it is the fulcrum of digital PR.

“Over the past decade, economic uncertainties and the emergence of digital technology and alternative media channels have equally induced new realities for Public Relations practice globally.

“Digital platforms have also become more fundamental to business growth as they help redefine product development, marketing and overall communication.”

The ACAMB boss also explained how social media has increasingly been used by corporate organisations to break limits in different areas of their enterprises including marketing, brand visibility, communication and promotion, customer relations and community service and community growth.

“The role of technology in PR is more crucial than ever, as digital transformation becomes increasingly fundamental to business growth

“With new technological advances, the PR industry is constantly evolving as Public Relations now predominantly happens in the digital space

“Brands interact with consumers through social media, websites, and mobile apps, hence PR professionals must continue to innovate how best to leverage technology to remain competitive and relevant in the market

“As technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Application Program Interfaces (APIs) are changing how brands connect with their audience, only brands and companies who adopt new technologies and fully embrace digitisation will stay ahead of the curve and meet customers’ demands,” he submitted.

In attendance for the virtual launching of the book were Dr. Emannuel Mogaji, Senior Lecturer of Marketing and Advertising Communications, Greenwich University, London; Dr. Bisi Olawuyi, Lecturer at the Department of Communication and Language Art, University of Ibadan; Dr. Adewale Adeniyi, Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations; Professor Ayo Ojebode, Lecturer, Department of Communication and Language Art, University of Ibadan, among others.

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