First City Monument Bank (FCMB) recently took another bold step to deepen its history of excellence and consolidate its position as one of the foremost financial institutions in Nigeria. The latest milestone came in the form of a new thematic campaign titled, ‘’Feel Confident, Pursue your Aspirations’’. The campaign, which showcases the warm, friendly, approachable, inspiring and energetic brand identity of FCMB and its values as a simple, reliable and helpful Bank, is being communicated in print, television and radio outlets and also on social media, just as it continues to make raves as one of the most outstanding in recent times in the country.
The ‘’Feel Confident, Pursue your Aspirations’’ message tells compelling stories of the lives and business aspirations of diverse Nigerians and how FCMB supports them to bring such dreams and aspirations to reality. It also tells the story of the very diverse base of the customers that FCMB serves, its commitment to creating opportunities, adding more value and enhancing the overall customer experience of its clientele. This is aimed at further connecting with them to sustain their loyalty and patronage indeed, the commercials of the new thematic campaign across media platforms clearly demonstrate the commitment of FCMB and its readiness to help existing and potential customers confidently translate their dreams, aspirations, ideas and business plans into real practical, measurable and successful ones. In addition, the thematic campaign sends a clear message of conviction to all segments of people in the society who have any form of credible personal or corporate business idea, intention or plan, but have not been able to turn them into reality, that FCMB is ready to make them live their dreams. Credence is added by the fact the Bank parades a team of experts in financial management, macro and micro financing, business design, development, growth and sustainability, among others.
Part of the proposition of the campaign goes thus: “You have got plans, let’s make them happen. At FCMB, we share your aspirations. Let us help you fulfil them with our specialised range of banking products and services. You have got an idea, let’s grow a business. Managing a business does not have to be a burden you bear alone. Get SME advisory support today. We power over 300,000 registered businesses with our array of business banking solutions. Take advantage of these solutions designed to support your business”. The over 35 years old financial institution, which was recently awarded the prestigious International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001:2015 certificate for Quality Management System by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, is making this possible through its all-inclusive bucket of flexible products and services, structured to satisfy all banking needs of all segments of the society.
Commenting on the FCMB ‘’Feel Confident, Pursue your Aspirations’’ thematic campaign, the Managing Director of the Bank, Mr. Adam Nuru, said, “it tells the story of the diverse base of the customers that we serve at FCMB. It does not matter where you are, we support you to fulfill your life and business aspirations at FCMB. Our convenient electronic banking platforms and best-in-class relationship management model deliver great experience to our customers as we support them to achieve their great dreams for themselves, their families and their businesses”. He reiterated that, ‘’Nigerians are aspirational and hard-working people. FCMB is the bank for all Nigerians, walking with them as partners to fulfil their life and business aspirations in the true spirit of its brand pay-off line; “FCMB- My Bank and I”. In the same vein, the Group Head, Corporate Affairs of FCMB, Mr. Diran Olojo, explained that, “it is a tactical reaction to our Bank’s periodic brand health checks. This is aimed at regularly feeling the pulse of our stakeholders in our continuous drive to satisfy them and sustainably achieve excellent customer experience, qualities FCMB has come to be associated with, over the years”.
In the same vein, the Managing Director of the Bank said that as one of the few Banks that consistently feature in the top 5 categories, across all segments, in the KPMG annual customer satisfaction survey, analysts are of the opinion the lender is on a stronger pedestal to deliver the very best in products and services. FCMB provides one of the best alternate channels banking services cutting across ATMs, mobile banking, Point-of-Sale (PoS) and internet banking. The Bank is among the first to deliver on-the-spot ATM cards, including Visa card and Mastercard, issuance in Nigeria. Last year, the Bank deployed an additional 5,000 PoS machines nationwide to bring the number to 14,000. It also launched a new Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) mobile app to enhance alternate channels adoption among customers in the business segment. FCMB’s self-service, stress-free and secured solution, (*329# USSD code), has equally continued to delight the public. Through this platform, customers carry-out various financial transactions, using their mobile phones. These include funds transfer, account opening, micro loans and top-up, account balance enquiry, airtime and data purchase, bills payment, among other value-added services, on the go and without any hurdles.
The Bank explained that the *329# mobile banking solution forms part of its core strategy to expand its service channels by promoting and deepening the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless and financial inclusion policies. The development eliminates delays periodically experienced by physically visiting a branch of the Bank or outlet to carry-out transactions. In addition, the initiative will reinforce the lender’s commitment to environmental sustainability, geared towards reducing the quantity of paper and other materials usage in the society of which printing of various banking documents forms a substantial part of the process. A major component of FCMB’s sustainability principle is on agriculture and empowering farmers with a view to increasing their productivity potential as part of its financial intermediation role for national development. This is reflected in the bank’s intervention that has resulted in better access to financial resources by deserving individuals, organisations and companies. It has also led to improved processes, better output and profitability. In the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises space, FCMB has continued to prove its mettle. It has developed number of cutting-edge products and services that have endeared it to Businesses. Some of these offerings include, the e-invoicing platform – a unique solution, designed to help businesses monitor and control their cash management, especially as it affects payments, receivables, reconciliation and other financial transactions, through the internet and other mobile channels among others.
In addition, the Bank offers free banking transactions for a period of three months for new-to-FCMB SME customers. In line with the Bank’s drive to partner with value content from the Fintech space, it has collaborated with Paystack to provide an innovative online collection platform for merchants and other businesses focused on enabling them to provide their customers with a seamless payment experience. Beyond this, FCMB regularly organizes training and other capacity building programmes for SMEs to keep them up to speed with skills that would further grow their businesses, while also providing funding. Without doubt, the new thematic campaign of FCMB and other giant strides being recorded by the Bank, show that it is on a journey to greater heights.
Leading financial services provider, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), has been awarded the prestigious International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001:2015 certificate for Quality Management System. The Bank was presented with the certificate by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), following a comprehensive audit and evaluation exercise conducted by the Organisation. The exercise covered departments and branches of the lender, nationwide. The development is coming on the heels of the renewed strategic focus of FCMB, which has significantly deepened its core values of of Professionalism, Sustainability, Customer Focus and Excellence. Through this process, it was observed the Bank had successfully overhauled and streamlined its processes, procedures and systems to meet best global standards.
The ISO 9001:2015 is the most widely used quality management system globally. It provides a framework that ensures that organizations are able to meet customers’ and other applicable requirements consistently. It consists of policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution that guarantee continuous improvement and operational efficiency in the core business areas of an organization. This helps to mitigate risks, optimise opportunities and the organization is able to deliver better products/ services and sustainable excellent stakeholders experience. The SON audit of FCMB covered key areas including context of the organisation, leadership, planning, support and operation. Others were performance evaluation and improvement. Following this, SON stated in its report that, it discovered that the Bank had put in place and implemented, ‘’good practices, high quality management system awareness and risk/mitigation inbuilt in each process activity’’. It added that the lender also ensured, ‘’adequate evaluation of performance monitoring, measurement, reporting and reviewing against key performance objectives, service provision was under control and customer satisfaction monitored and analysed’’.
In his comment at the certificate presentation ceremony on May 16, 2018 in Lagos, the Managing Director of FCMB, Mr. Adam Nuru, described the laurel as another milestone in the commitment of the Bank to attain excellence in all aspects of operations and service delivery. “The award of ISO 9001:2015 certificate is an endorsement of our ability to consistently demonstrate commitment to continuous improvement in order to match the ever-changing needs of our esteemed customers, and in response to market demands and the global dynamics. We regularly ensure the internal appraisal of the risks and opportunities inherent in our business and thereafter take proactive steps to mitigate the identified risks, while optimising the opportunities for the ultimate benefit of our customers, stakeholders and the country’’, he said.
While expressing appreciation to SON for the award, Mr. Nuru added that, ‘’this is another proof that the focused execution of our strategic plan, systems, processes and procedures are yielding the desired results and recognition. Our goal is to make FCMB the centrepiece of excellence’’. In his speech, the Director General/Chief Executive, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma, commended FCMB for distinguishing itself as an organisation committed to a culture of continuous improvement, professionalism and best practices. According to him, ‘’this achievement is a demonstration of the Bank’s management system’s conformity to internationally acceptable standard requirements with focus on continual improvement’’.
Mr. Aboloma, who was represented by the Director of Standards, SON, Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, added that, ‘’the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System approach now provides FCMB a robust, globally recognised and acceptable solution to address the challenges associated with consistently meeting requirements and addressing future needs and expectations of your customers in an increasingly dynamic banking and business environment. The adoption of the latest version of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System framework reflects your vision to be the leading financial services Group of African origin. This is an indication of focus on customer satisfaction too’’. First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited is a member of FCMB Group Plc, which is one of the leading financial services institutions in Nigeria with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments. Having successfully transformed to a retail and commercial banking-led group, FCMB expects to continue to distinguish itself by delivering exceptional services, while enhancing the growth and achievement of the personal and business aspirations of its customers.
Lagos: April 27, 2018: FCMB Group Plc is on a stronger pedestal and will continue to provide superior performance that would add significant value to stakeholders in a sustainable manner in spite of the challenging macroeconomic and regulatory environments. The financial institution added that its subsidiaries are well positioned to deliver more cutting-edge solutions that would provide the best customer experience in their respective target markets.
The assurance was given at the 5th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of FCMB Group Plc, a holding company comprising eight entities, namely First City Monument Bank Limited, FCMB Capital Markets, CSL Stockbrokers Limited, CSL Trustees Limited, Legacy Pension Managers Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited, First City Asset Management Limited and Credit Direct Limited, held on Friday, April 27, 2018 in Lagos.
Going by its audited accounts for the year ended December 31, 2017, FCMB Group Plc recorded a gross revenue of N169.9 billion and a profit before tax (PBT) of N11.5billion, while profit after tax (PAT) was N9.4billion. In addition, deposits grew to N689.9billion as at the end of December 2017, an increase of 5%, from N657.6billion in the previous year. The Group’s capital adequacy ratio also improved to 16.9% from 16.7%, just as asset base increased to N1.19trillion, compared to N1.17trillion at the end of 2016. Non-interest income as at the end of 2017 was N32billion, while loans and advances stood at N649.8billion.
Presenting the Chairman’s report, Mr. Oladipupo Jadesimi said:
‘’We will continue to shore up the capital of the bank through profit retention in preparation for the growth opportunities that we expect as the economy recovers’’.
The new Chairman of the Board of FCMB Group Plc expressed gratitude to shareholders for their continuous support, adding that:
‘’Although we met with a number of challenges as a Group in 2017, I am pleased to say that we were able to surmount them, thanks to the commitment of all the personnel of our Group companies’’.
Also speaking at the AGM, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said:
‘’In spite of the reduction in headline numbers, Group performance is an improvement over the previous year after adjusting for the significant FX (foreign exchange) revaluation income enjoyed in 2016. The key drivers of the Group’s performance include increase in income from our non-banking activities, lower impairment charges from the bank and its subsidiaries, and improved operating efficiencies through more pervasive use of technology’’.
Mr. Balogun assured that FCMB Group Plc’s successful acquisition of majority (88.2%) stake in Legacy Pension Managers Limited will go a long way to help achieve further diversification of service offerings and consequent earnings within the FCMB Group. He said:
“ We see significant growth opportunities in the Pension management industry in Nigeria as it is yet to achieve maturity and will support and facilitate strategic organic and inorganic growth initiatives that will position Legacy in the top-tier of its industry over the next few years’’.
Concerning the performance of the flagship of the holding institution, First City Monument Bank Limited, the Commercial and Retail Banking member of FCMB Group Plc, the Group Chief Executive told the meeting it:
‘’showed signs of improvement with growth in income levels (after adjusting for exceptional FX revaluation income in 2016), reduction in impairment charges and substantial growth in our UK business and consumer finance business (CDL), after a difficult 2016. Commercial and Retail Banking remains our largest group, contributing 76.2% of profits and 98.5% of total assets’’.
He, in addition stated that the Investment Banking arm:
‘’Exhibited improved performance, from a loss position in 2016 of N84.0million after tax to a profit position of N430.3million after tax in 2017, largely driven by CSL Stockbrokers Limited. Our stockbroking business remains a top-3 player in its sector and participated as the sell-side broker on the largest ever trade on the Nigeria Stock Exchange in December 2017. CSLS Stockbrokers Limited and FCMB Capital Markets Limited jointly accounted for 4.1% of profits’’.
(New York, 20 April 2018) – UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Bola Adesola to serve as a new Vice-Chair of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact. She will co-Vice Chair with Paul Polman
Bola Adesola succeeds the out-going Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact Board, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former Chairman of Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies and of Anglo American plc.
Adesola and Polman previously served on the UN Global Compact Board, and bring significant expertise to the role from their wealth of experience in the private sector, the corporate sustainability space and specifically with the UN Global Compact itself.
Adesola is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd , a role she has held since 2011. She has over 25 years of banking experience, having held various leadership positions in First Bank of Nigeria, Citibank and Kakawa Discount House. Adesola is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Lagos Business School, and she also holds a Law degree from the University of Buckingham.
Adesola and Polman have been long-standing supporters of the UN Global Compact, and were both featured at UN Global Compact events held during the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in 2017.
In her address to the United Nations Private Sector Forum on 18 September, Adesola said,
“I urge the companies present here to look at your businesses, map them to the SDGs, and then see how you can enhance those activities and play to your strengths, because, I think, it’s all about impact, and everything we do counts — whether it’s paper, whether it’s light — they all count.”
The UN Global Compact Board has a vital role to play in shaping the strategy and policy of the initiative, which acts as the United Nations flagship for responsible business action. Designed as a multi-stakeholder body, the Board provides ongoing strategic and policy advice for the initiative. Board members are considered champions who are willing and able to advance the mission of the UN Global Compact to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want. They act in a personal, honorary and unpaid capacity.
Secretary-General António Guterres serves as Chair of the UN Global Compact Board, having assumed the role in conjunction with his appointment as Secretary-General in 2017 following the tenure of Ban Ki-moon. Going forward, he will work closely with Adesola and Polman, along with UN Global Compact CEO & Executive Director Lise Kingo, as they lead the UN Global Compact — the entry point for business within the broader United Nations system and the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.
FCMB Capital Markets Limited, the investment banking subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc, has again demonstrated its advisory and capital raising capability by acting as financial adviser and Lead Issuing House on the successful fundraising and listing of LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited’s N3.15 billion bond on the FMDQ OTC platform. The bond, the first ever by a microfinance bank to raise money in Nigeria’s debt capital market, was priced at 17.75% and has a tenor of 5 years. The Issue was rated A- by Agusto& Co and BBB+ by GCR, which are investment grade ratings.
LAPO is a leading Microfinance Bank in Nigeria which commenced operations in 2010. Its banking activities are targeted at micro, small and medium enterprises, particularly women and micro enterprise owners who it provides loans to build their businesses. FCMB Capital Markets acted as the Lead Issuing House on the transaction. As a financial adviser, FCMB Capital Markets was responsible for, amongst others, developing a robust transaction structure that ensures flexibility for the issuer and comfort for the investors, and assisting to obtain regulatory approvals. FCMB Capital Markets is one of the few financial institutions in the country to consistently demonstrate the ability to structure transactions of this nature, having successfully executed similar complex deals previously.
LAPO Microfinance Bank stated that the proceeds will be used to deepen its business in the country, strengthen its capital base, expand its branchless banking solutions and enter new market segments, including the launch of its agency banking model and the deployment of e-business solutions, among others. Speaking during the bond listing ceremony on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 in Lagos, the Executive Director of FCMB Capital Markets Limited, Mr. Tolu Osinibi, said, ‘’we are excited and grateful at having been given the opportunity by LAPO Microfinance Bank to have played a leading role on this landmark transaction, where FCMB Capital Markets acted as financial adviser and the Lead Issuing House on the first ever bond issuance by a microfinance Institution in Nigeria’s capital markets. The success of this transaction speaks to the institutional strength of LAPO and an affirmation of this strength by institutional investors that have trusted LAPO with the funds they manage. Following from the success of its capital markets debut, we at FCMB Capital Markets expect to see LAPO become a repeat issuer, and we also anticipate that this landmark transaction will open up the capital markets to other microfinance institutions that meet the criteria”.
Also speaking, the CEO of LAPO Microfinance Bank, Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said, ‘’the gap between the demand by micro, small and medium businesses and the little supply is still huge. LAPO Microfinance Bank was only able to deliver loans valued at N135.7 billion in 2017. The capital market remains one of the most viable and affordable options for medium and long term financing for on-lending. We have therefore made a very sound decision. With excellent corporate governance, experienced management, committed staff and extensive footprints across Nigeria, LAPO Microfinance Bank is poised to deliver its core mandate of enhancing financial inclusion. We will continue to enable the under-banked and economically active poor to become active participants in the national economy.’’ FCMB Capital Markets Limited has been involved in several landmark transactions in Nigeria over the past three decades. The firm provides comprehensive advisory services, combining innovative advice and proven execution skills to domestic and multinational clients. Its services include but are not limited to financial advisory, debt and equity capital raising including initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, project and structured finance. It has acted as an adviser and arranger of choice to Nigeria’s leading companies and public institutions.
Also, the decision to list the bond on FMDQ is based on the fact that, as a debt-focused securities exchange, FMDQ has shown strong commitment to facilitate growth and development in the financial market through its platform for the registration, listing, quotation and valuation of bonds. The leadership of the exchange continues to run an efficient, transparent and well-regulated market, which attracts and retains both domestic and foreign investors.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is set to further empower, reward and enhance the experience of its customers through another bumper reward scheme tagged ‘’FCMB Millionaire Promo Season 5’’. This follows the tremendous impact the previous editions of the promo made in the lives of about twenty thousand customers of the Bank who won various gifts, including cars, cash (ranging from N1 million to N5million), refrigerators, phones, decoders, television and power generating sets. In a statement, FCMB explained that the Millionaire Promo Season 5, which runs from March to October 2018,is targeted at all segments of the society, especially existing and potential savings account customers of the Bank. This however, excludes salary and domiciliary account holders. The promo has been designed to provide extra empowerment value to customers of the Bank, reward them for their loyalty over the years, while also encouraging financial inclusion, the establishment of small scale businesses as well as the development of a savings culture.
During the promo, various exciting prizes will be won by qualified customers. While four lucky customers of the Bank will each win the star prize of N2million at the grand finale of the promo scheduled for November this year, 12 others will be rewarded with N1million each at the regional draws that will respectively hold in May, July and September. Other fantastic prizes to be won include 160 units of LED television sets, 160 power generating sets, 640 smart phones, 320 tablets and 800 decoders among other consolatory takeaways. On how to participate in the FCMB Millionaire Promo Season 4, all an existing or a new customer of the Bank needs do is to increase his or her balance by N10,000.00 in any of the eligible savings account and maintain it for 30 days to qualify for the Zonal and Regional electronic selection of winners where the star prize of N1million and other fantastic prizes will be won. Multiple savings of N10,000.00 will increase chances of winning.
To qualify for the grand finale draws, existing and new customers are to increase their balances up to N50,000.00 and maintain it for 30 days. Multiple savings of N50,000.00 will also increase the chances of winning. Speaking about the Millionaire Promo Season 5, FCMB’s Executive Director, Retail Banking, Mr. Olu Akanmu, said, ‘’FCMB promo is very credible. The draws in the coming season will still take place in all the zones of the Bank across Nigeria. Winners will be emerging from every region, spread across cities, towns and neigbourhoods all over the country. The strength of the FCMB franchise is very remarkable across Nigeria. This accounts for the millions of customers who are doing their savings and banking transactions with us, daily using all our channels. We will continue to reward our customers for their patronage. They are the reason why we are in business and we are poised to continue to serve them with excellent customer experience’’.
He urged existing and potential customers of the Bank to take advantage of the huge opportunities the promo offers. The FCMB reward scheme has continued to generate wide appeal across the country since it commenced in 2013. Winners, customers, regulatory bodies and other segments of the society have all commended the Bank for sustaining its empowerment support to the populace. In his testimony, Musa Ele, one of the winners of N2million at the grand finale of the Millionaire Promo Season 4, which ran from March to October 2017, expressed gratitude to the financial institution for being a true partner in progress. He stated, ‘’I am very grateful to FCMB for coming-up with this promo, because without it, I would not have the opportunity to win the N2million. I am very grateful to FCMB and I believe the Bank will continue to help many people’’.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is a member of FCMB Group Plc, which is one of the leading financial service institutions in Nigeria with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments. Having successfully transformed to a retail and commercial banking-led group, the Bank has continued to distinguish itself by delivering exceptional services, while enhancing the growth and achievement of the personal and business aspirations of its customers.
When you think about social media, you think Twitter, YouTube, Facebook – but do you think PR?
Adding PR tactics such as media releases and case studies to the direct relationship building of social media can result in extraordinary results.
Public relations creates a two-way communication between an organization and its audience, or a person and the people they want to influence. Guess what social media does? Exactly the same thing!
So when you combine social media with PR, it’s a collision that catapults your profile, reputation and credibility exponentially.
Why is it so powerful?
With PR, the media’s representation of a story can significantly impact on public opinion about an organization, product or even a person. Editorial has a credibility factor as it is endorsed by the journalist or third party.
However, there is always the risk that you can’t control what the journalist writes so then you consider going straight to the source – via social media.
With social media, you are developing credible relationships with huge numbers of people directly – often they feel that this relationship is one on one.
Using platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you’re cutting out the third party and offering your messages directly. It is a much quicker, more direct route of communication to a very targeted audience who have chosen to engage with your brand on social media.
You can actually become the direct source of news about your company or brand by writing a blog and posting articles or media releases on your website. This can help raise your profile, increase your credibility as an expert in your field and all that fresh, relevant content being posted online certainly doesn’t hurt your SEO efforts!
A foot in both camps
Because of the rapid speed with which a social media misstep can become a PR disaster, you need to have a media radar – you also need to be in the conversation already to manage crisis situations.
Just as there is crisis management within a traditional public relations role, social media can also lead to some negative ‘press’ which is understandable when you have a platform that can become anyone’s soap box. A fear of what people might say about you in the public space is not a reason to avoid using social media.
In reality, people are going to say whatever they want about your company, the difference is whether you are already a part of the conversation with them. This gives you the chance to intercept and implement damage control before the conversations get out of hand.
Where do you start with PR and social media?
You start with your story. Everyone has a story. So think about what stories you have, or your business has to tell. You can use the same stories across both PR as well as social media – you just use different channels.
For a specific story, using PR you might write a media release, but with social media you might write a blog post. It means you are reaching different audiences with the same story.
One technique for developing story ideas is to note which questions are commonly asked by customers and use these ideas to write a trends based article. This article can be pitched to key journalists and bloggers.
You can run a survey or poll about issues relating to your product or services, or piggy back on other surveys. Do you have a personal story that’s inspirational such as how you came to start-up your business or a true rag to riches tale?
Don’t forget to announce new products/services, new contract wins and new store openings. Storytelling is a constant effort. Be strategic and plan out your stories and the mediums you will use to tell them.
Key PR tactics
The most well known PR tactic is a media release, but there are other equally effective ways of telling your stories to your target audiences.
A media pitch is a targeted story idea (or media angle) that you “pitch” to a specific journalist in a publication or TV show that you know relates specifically to their readers or viewers.
Case studies provide an ideal platform to leverage business success and tell your story to the media through your customers.
Speaking engagements are an important aspect of building profile and credibility. They are a cost effective way of reaching large, influential audiences and positioning you or your spokesperson as an expert within your industry.
Contributed articles (what you are reading now!) also positions you as an expert. Write articles on your area of expertise and pitch them to both print and online publications.
Social media channels
While there are hundreds of social media channels, the key ones to consider are blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Foursquare.
Think about how you can place your story in each of the channels – not all will suit every story or audience. Just because your competitor is using Twitter, doesn’t mean you need to.
Think carefully about your audiences, messages, stories and available time to keep them up to date.
Interlinking is the trick
The key to combining PR and social media is interlinking all your social media accounts and cross linking to your PR tactics.
So if you have footage of your product, put it on YouTube and add the link in your media release. It will enhance your story and bring the product to life for the journalist.
When you get media coverage, announce it on Twitter with a link to it (if it’s online). You can also add the coverage (check Copyright first) to your blog. Every time you send a media release, add it as a blog post and then tweet about it (with the link).
Don’t forget to interlink your social media accounts. So link your Twitter to your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. This means every time you tweet, it automatically updates the status in the other channels. When you add a blog post, tweet about it. This saves you time, drives traffic to your various channels, but also means your posts can be read by different audience s.
It is difficult, if not out-rightly impossible to read the story of his life and not be eminently inspired. This is for the simple reason that each chapter of that life leaves sundry lessons. It is all about the impact, visionary commitment to courses, transparent honesty in dealings with others, as well as diligent pursuit of purpose, human limitations notwithstanding. In fact, say it that Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun(CON), the man they call the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, is a lesson to life, and you would be stating the obvious. From the perspective of entrepreneurship, he is a front-liner, visionary leadership, he is there; manager of men and materials, he has a tall reputation; a philanthropist of note the same way he is an outstanding bridge builder.
For example, it was his great entrepreneurial foresight that saw to the birthing of one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, FCMB, at a time of seeming impossibility. An individual seeking and obtaining a banking license was unheard of at the time, but Balogun did not allow popular sentiments to smoulder his tall ambitions. He envisioned, he prayed, but he also undertook shuttle diplomacy when it mattered, cried when the need arose and equally appealed where it was necessary. The point really, is that he has learnt to give to life, whatever is genuinely necessary to achieving the desired results. Born on that auspicious 9th day of March in 1934, Otunba Balogun’s citation is like a scroll out of the hall of fame, gripping and intriguing no matter from which perspective it is told. Yet, it would remain incomplete without a reference to a few number of Nigerians who stood in support of this visionary’s mission to accomplish his ambition. In every interview, comment or discussion the OtunbaTunwase, who is also the AsiwajuOnigbagbo of Ijebuland, Dr Michael Olasubomi Balogun will always appreciate such people, eternally remaining grateful, sheer humility, virtue, rarely found in men of such exceptional worth.
At 84 therefore, Otunba Balogun is a portrait of very many treasured virtues. He epitomises principled living, genuine love, detribalisation, and the eloquent apostolic dictum that one good turn deserves another. His bridge-building antecedents are well known, and has lent tremendously to the quest for inter-ethnic cohesion in the country yet, Otunba Balogun’s life-story shows that nothing could be impossible to anyone who believes and that there is light on the lips of a nine-year toddler, when frustrations came over obtaining needed resources from then existing banks, it had taken a seemingly innocuous rebuke from his nine year old to awaken his faith. The boy had innocently observed whether his father could not establish his own bank, if the one he had worked for denied him what ordinarily, should be his. That was the kick he needed to jumpstart a bank of his own. Today that modest idea has grown to a mighty oak, sheltering hundreds of thousands of people, covering the interests, needs and care for millions of people, offering direct employment and making available to them, resources to multiply their incomes and keep families running. Ever so grateful to God for what his life has become, Otunba Balogun is humbled by the realization that he is neither the biggest nor the smartest, yet, swims in a rich measure of divine grace. This is the reason behind his unwavering philanthropic gestures. He cites his ascendancy to the stool of Asiwaju of Ijebu as example, affirming that this was given even when his mother was the Iyasuna of Muslims in Ijebu. According to him, “it is God who has been doing this that I was also made the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians So, it is in appreciation of what God has done for me and so I have thrown myself into the service of the people. I am always joyous to do good and to have people around me. And the good Lord has always been faithful to me”.
Having been accepted across philosophical, political and religious divides, he has thus far operated as a bridge builder of sorts, deploying resources as regularly as required. In fact, in the area of development of the town, he has played a sterling role, falling back on his being picked by the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Ijebu land and requested to rally round others to develop his people and the community.
A few years ago, he transferred the OtunbaTunwase Paediatric centre to the University of Ibadan, a project in which he had sunk billions of naira. That handover was on the auspices of his 80th birthday. On the spiritual plane, he is not just satisfied with the tag of Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians but is thrilled by initiatives that advance the course of Christianity. Part of this are the Annual Christmas Carols in December and Prayer sessions and Thanksgiving Services in January in his country home of which he is a convener. Reflecting on the prayer sessions recently, he observed: “The tradition I met when I took over from the first Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians was that annually Christians and even Muslims would kick-start the new year by going to offer prayers in the house of the Awujale and after that they would come to the house of the Asiwaju. The significance is to give an opportunity for the Asiwaju to join everybody in thanking the Almighty God for what He has done for all of us in the year before and asking him to continue to guard and take care of us for the new year. I think that its significance is not just for Christians but for all people. The Yorubas say if you give thanks for the favour done in the past that you will receive more favours”. These sessions have grown in popularity with attendant extensive positive impact. In fact, his reference to God is so well known around the town that it has become the tradition of local musicians to start playing the tune “Nipa ifeOlugbalakiyosinkankan”, (which means by the love of the Saviour, there shall be no evil) anytime and anywhere he makes his appearance. For the Baba Oba of Ijebu-Ife, it is the good Lord that has been protecting and guarding His people and it is only natural to sing back in appreciation.
“I genuinely worship my God. In every home of mine, I have a chapel and on my birthday, I go there first to thank God for mercy received and to pray for further mercy. The secret of it is that I throw myself into the hands of God trusting that He will do the best for me”, he says. Otunba Balogun may not be so much swayed by the tag of a politician as he appreciates the appellation of philanthropist. He is a living proof that it is in giving that one secures the channel of receiving. And that for Nigeria to remain, there has to be prayers.
“The first thing I will say to Nigerians is to be conscientious in praying and having faith that having prayed, the good Lord will answer our prayers. There is a lot that Nigerians expect from the country but my prayer is that the good Lord will guard everybody including our government, so that everybody will do the right thing. Between friends, family and universally, we should put God first and seek His face and everything else will be right”, he admonishes.
A holder of the 1959 LLB Honours, of the London School of Economics (LSE), he was called to the English Bar in December 1959. He was trained as a Parliamentary Counsel by the Government of Western Region of Nigeria at Whitehall and the British Parliament in London, and started his Civil Service career in February 1961 in the Ministry of Justice, Ibadan. He was later transferred to the Federal Ministry of Justice as the Assistant Parliamentary Counsel of the Federation, where he remained until July 1966.For nine years, between 1966 and 1975, he was the first Principal Counsel and Company Secretary to the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB). During this period, he received extensive training at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), otherwise known as the World Bank, and its private sector affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) both in Washington DC. He also received extensive training from leading stockbrokers, investment banks and merchant banks in London and New York.
There were other outstanding moves within, but OtunbaBalogun was seconded to Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers), as an Executive Director following its establishment. During this time, he represented Icon on the Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and he distinguished himself in the handling of many capital issues on the Exchange. He resigned in December 1977 to set up his own company, City Securities Limited, which became the first institution in Nigeria to combine Issuing House and Stockbroking businesses under one roof. In less than two years of the establishment of City Securities Limited, he was cited as “a most distinguished and leading Baron of the Nigerian Capital Market”.
The Asalu-Oba of Ijebu-Imushin, Otunba Balogun in 1979, single-handedly set-up the first wholly Nigerian owned merchant bank, known as First City Merchant Bank Limited. Under his leadership as Chairman and Chief Executive, First City Merchant Bank Limited (FCMB) in its first twenty years of existence, experienced unprecedented steady and un-interrupted growth, earned national and international recognition as a market leader in investment banking and capital market services.
Otunba Balogun was the first in Nigeria as at 1987 to endow a Professorial Chair in a University, this at the University of Ibadan. He has equally donated to several altruistic causes in a number of institutions such as the Olabisi Onabanjo University (formerly Ogun State University), Yaba College of Technology, African Leadership Forum, etc.
Otunba Balogun took over, reconstructed, refurbished and perpetually endowed the maintenance of The Children’s Emergency Unit in the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan which has now been named after him, the “OTUNBA TUNWASE CHILDREN’S EMERGENCY UNIT”. He has donated to the Ijebu-Ode General Hospital a newly built and fully equipped air-conditioned 40-bed Children’s Centre, made provision for the perpetual maintenance of the Children’s Centre, and actively provided financial assistance to various local institutions, individuals and other charitable organisations.
To date, he has awarded over 300 scholarships to many Nigerians at secondary and tertiary levels; established an umbrella organization known as “OtunbaTunwase Foundation” to cater for all his philanthropic endeavours and services to the community. Under this Foundation, and on his 60th birthday, he commenced the construction of a special gift to the nation – the “OTUNBA TUNWASE NATIONAL PAEDIATRIC CENTRE.” Otunba is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management, a holder of the Degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) University of Ibadan and a Merit Award holder of several organisations. In terms of traditional titles, he is the Baba Oba of Ijebu Ife and the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians amongst others.
In November 2000, he was conferred with the National Honour of “Commander of the Order of the Niger” by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Otunba Balogun as an author, a prolific writer and a distinguished opinion leader was also at one time a member of the National Presidential Advisory Committee on the Recovery of the Nigerian economy.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, the Nigerian Institute of Management, and the Chartered Institute of Bankers, a Former Deputy President now Life Vice President of the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce, Council Member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman, Primrose Investments Limited; Chairman, Bluechip Holdings Limited; Chairman, Swiftdrill (Nigeria) Limited, Chairman, Primrose Properties Investments Limited and Director of a number of other companies.