The 23rd Distinguished Marketing Practitioner Seminar (DMPS) in the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship series took place on 18th May 2021, via Zoom. The session was moderated by Professor Robert E. Hinson, the Head of Department. The Group/ Africa Regional Executive and Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications of Standard Bank, Mrs. Nkiru Olumide-Ojo was the Guest Speaker.
Sharing her insights on the topic, Mrs. Olumide-Ojo indicated that trust is the biggest ask for brands. Referring to a 2020 research publication by Edelman, she revealed that trust is the biggest issue between brands and their customers. She sought to share insights on how corporate communications can actively aid companies in reviewing their management and communication strategies to find improved attitudes and behaviours in line with the ethical revolution of the professional world. Reiterating that trust is the biggest task for brands, she remarked that consumers of brands demand them to be ethical in every aspect of their business. Brands are expected to also take postures on various social and diversity issues as well as listen to the voice of their stakeholders; customers engage with brands they can trust.
The new ethics of corporate communications are guided by the principles of credibility, legitimacy, transparency, honesty and cooperation, Mrs. Olumide-Ojo revealed. These principles translate into questions of trust on the part of an organisation’s customers. “I feel like anyone who is taking a corporate communication’s director/head/leader role should understand that she or he is not just representing himself (or herself); you’re representing all of the profession”. She believes that a corporate communication practitioner should be well-versed in knowledge about the institution they represent, and the industry that the institution operates in. The presentation was interspersed with questions, answers and contributions from participants.
Mrs. Olumide-Ojo also has a passion for social impact initiatives. She is the founder of The Lighthouse Network as well as The Working Girls Community, both of which are social development initiatives aimed at empowering women and preparing them for the professional world of work.
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