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SMC brief

SMC PAN-AFRICAN UNIVERSITY

January 2013 January 2013

An In house publication of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University

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be like person; e be like person!” Baba exclaimed excitedly after my sister and I, kids at the time, had played a trick on him with a stuffed figure we had made. Baba, as we affectionately called him, was a security guard, rather advanced in age, who was employed by my father. I rather doubt, looking back now, that Baba would have been able to render much of a defence if any unfavourable character had come calling. But he was a dear fellow, and he was really like one of the family. Our ties with Baba were so close that when he chose to retire, feeling the strain of age, he did so without previous notice. He chose to disappear silently from our lives because he probably did not know how to say goodbye. I guess he thought we would insist, out of affection, that he stayed on. In this, Baba played a dirty one on us by depriving us of the opportunity to send him off with our good wishes and our gratitude for his loyal service. He deprived us of a chance to be, not just like persons, but to demonstrate an aspect of our humanity: concern for others. Unlike the stuffed unfeeling figure that we tricked Baba with, the human person is capable of going beyond self in order to empathise with others. As a social being, this is a necessary quality. The ordinary functioning of society requires this concern for the well-being of others. Imagine the chaos that would arise if we all chose to do things our own way, in complete disregard of others. Such selfish, unsociable behaviour would end in our being less than human. Concern for others requires sacrifices but such voluntary sacrifice is a mark of our humanity. Ikechukwu Obiaya newsletter@smc.edu.ng

Mr. Peter Bamkole speaking at the SMC 2013 staff retreat.

SMC: Strategising for 2013

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he 2013 annual retreat for faculty and staff of the School of Media and Communication has taken place. The one-day retreat, which took place in Bon Voyage Hotel, in Victoria Island, had as its theme, 'Building the Team: Living the Vision.' The SMC Dean, Prof. Emevwo Biakolo, went down history lane in his presentation that was titled 'SMC Journey: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.' Prof. Biakolo traced the growth of the School from its beginnings as the Centre for Media and Communication and highlighted the various issues and challenges that have arisen over the years. He noted that funding remains an issue of concern and observed that the School would have to make concerted efforts to get corporate sponsorships, as was done in the beginning, to support the certificate programmes. The Dean went on to encourage the different departments of the School to put in their best in the new year so as to meet the targets of the School. Speaking about the planned undergraduate programme, Prof. Biakolo stated that the management of the School was in the process of developing a strategic plan which

would cover the first four years of the programme. He also spoke about the Ph.D. programme that is being developed by the School, but he stressed that priority attention was being given to the undergraduate programme. The central presentation for the retreat was given by Mr. Peter Bamkole, the director of the Enterprise Development Centre, and it was titled, 'Crafting the Team Vision.' Mr. Bamkole, who emphasised the importance of team work in any organisation, stressed the need for those who form part of the SMC team to work with commitment and a clear sense of the vision and values of the School. He went on to provide essential guidelines to facilitate the coordinated work of team members. Prior to the retreat, a two-day workshop for members of faculty had taken place. The workshop featured, among others, sessions on ‘Research and Development: an Overview,’ ‘Conducting and Supervising Research,’ and ‘Teaching Methods and Classroom Management.’ The sessions were handled, respectively, by Dr. Tunji Adegbesan, Dr. Victor Ayedun-Aluma and Dr. Ngozi Okpara


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"MSR was a Slam Dunk Experience!�

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was motivated to join the Certificate in Market and Social Research course (MSR) by my desire for personal development in the areas of social media, research and marketing communication. My eleven years of experience in sales and marketing, involving new brand introduction, market research and management as well as accounts management, had made me aware of the importance of market and social research. However, I needed a course like the MSR to show me how best to carry out and utilise such research with regards to my career development. The MSR is a programme run by the School of Media and Communication in partnership with GfK Verein, the foundation arm of the global market research giant, GfK. The programme is designed to provide the analytical, strategic and leadership expertise needed in today's business and political world. Given my position on uncompromising ethics and transparent communications based on businessfocused value propositions that leverage competitive advantage via top quality service, it was the boost I needed to move my professional practice to the next level. The value that lies with market and social research is the power that comes with knowing the current state of mind of the targeted audience on the issues of interest. With such knowledge, strategies can be developed, refined, implemented and measured with confidence, and communication

activities made more effective as a result. The MSR course thus provided an opportunity to develop a framework of theoretical and applied knowledge of best practice research. I have to call my MSR experience a slam dunk. I was made to feel at home by the staff and lecturers of the SMC, most especially the SMC Dean himself, Prof. Emevwo Biakolo. While discussing ethics and morals, Prof. Biakolo made us understand the importance of the topic for the course and how it could impact positively on our lives and careers. He also emphasised that it could help one maintain best practice. During the programme, the GfK Verein team came in from Germany and discussed statistics, retail, and consumer panels with us. They also helped us to understand how they use their collected data and the profit that accrues to their clients as a result of the quality research carried out through GfK.

After six long months of intense training, it was time for the internship. Unilever came calling for students in the programme. I applied for one of the offered positions and wrote the mandated test, which I passed. I was accepted and, during the internship, I worked directly with the Unilever Director for Customer Marketing, Mr Kalpesh. It was a wonderful experience. In all, the benefits of the MSR are enormous, but what stands out above everything else is the knowledge that someone, finally, is doing something about the quality of data gathering and usage in Nigeria. Expertise is being built to meet the growing need in the country for data-driven businesses and social processes. Chukwunonso Inoma belongs to the pioneer class of the Certificate in Market and Social Research course.

Internal Branding Seminar for Managers

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two-day seminar on internal branding for selected executives of the Honeywell Group Plc has taken place. The seminar, which held on the 18th and 19th of January, 2013, was attended by section heads from the human resources, sales, marketing, and logistics, among others. During the seminar, the participants received presentations on Personal Identity and Productivity;

Building Personal Branding through Personality Trait System and Brand Positioning; Corporate Culture and Employee Alignment, Ethics, Values and Etiquette as internal Branding Tools for Optimal Corporate Performance; Organizational Energy and Branding; as well as Corporate Branding and Corporate Visual Identity. At the end of the event, the participants expressed their deep satisfaction at what they termed the outstanding delivery of the SMC facilitators. They thanked the school for the quality reception they had received and expressed deep gratitude to their organisation for choosing to send them for such a much needed seminar. – Nse-Abasi Ndiokho


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SMC Hosts NYSC Members

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he School of Media and Communication (SMC) has held a self-development programme for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Eti-Osa 1 Local Government Area of Lagos State. The programme was tagged ‘Preparing yourself for the Future: Life skills to Enhance Employment Chances’ and was organised through the Admissions Office of the SMC. Over 50 NYSC members attended the programme, which held at the School's campus in Victoria Island, Lagos.

The NYSC members were taken through sessions such as 'Building Confidence during Interviews,' by Mr. Richard Ikiebe, 'Language and Self Presentation,' by Dr. Ike Obiaya and 'Using Digital Tools for Effective Presentation,' by Mr. Ken Esere. The Corps members expressed their appreciation for the activity, which they said they found enriching. Similar activities have been lined up for other divisions of serving Corps members.

SMC Update Marian Ikems (M.Sc. FT5) has got married to Emmanuel JaittoJeffrey. The wedding took place in Lagos, on the 22nd of December, 2012. This followed the traditional wedding, which had taken place earlier. We wish the couple a very happy and fruitful married life.

Emmanuel Odoemelam and Kehinde Olagbenjo (SRD) have jointly written a book, The Land is Green for Entrepreneurs. The book, which is aimed at p r o m o t i n g entrepreneurship, presents the rudiments for beginning and growing one's own business. The launching of the book will hold in March 2013.

The New Media Industry in Nigeria: Culture, Content and Context Continued from page 4

disagreements and misunderstandings between provider and client. Market structures: The new media sector is currently experiencing some level of instability as a result of the novelty of the industry and the technologies on which the companies depend. This has given rise to an unstructured market environment whereby new media businesses operate

without standard price structures and quality assurance procedures and guidelines that should determine how they serve their clients. Product-based market: Operating in a market that lays more emphasis on products than on services also presents a key challenge for companies in the new media industry. This product-oriented mentality has the effect of

straightjacketing media producers and co nver t in g t h em into g lo r if ied manufacturers since it leaves them with little room to charge for the quality services rendered. To be concluded. Patrick Enaholo is a faculty member of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University.


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Research Notes: The New Media Industry in Nigeria: Culture, Content and Context

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ew media in Nigeria is gradually maturing. According to the 2012 report on digital media in Nigeria by the Open Society Forum, the country has a relatively high internet penetration rate. Between 2006 and 2009, the country underwent a 16.1% growth in internet penetration, according to International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and it currently accounts for 32.2% of internet users in Africa – the highest on the continent. The country has also recorded one of the fastest growths in the world: 2,418,679 users in 2005; 10 million users in 2008; 44 million users in 2011. Thus, Nigeria is currently the country with the ninth largest pool of Internet users globally and the tenth largest for number of mobile phones, with 2% of the global Internet population being made up of Nigerians. However, this growth has been catalyzed by urbanization (which is also growing as dramatically as the country's population) and is driven mostly by the expansion of mobile platforms. Recent figures suggest that there are over 50 mobile phones per 100 Nigerians, and mobile phone usage has increased by over four hundred percent since its arrival in 2001 (NCC, 2011). Overview The most popular uses of the internet in Nigeria are search (36 percent), email (36 percent) and social networking (16 percent). According to Alexa, Facebook is the most popular website in Nigeria. By April 2012, Nigeria had 4.13 million Facebook users, ranking it 38th in the world. Other popular social media sites are Youtube and Twitter (ranked fifth and seventh respectively among the most visited websites in Nigeria). There are also some very popular indigenous sites such as Nairaland, a forum where Nigerians interact on various issues including news, romance, politics, and entertainment. Similarly, blogs are growing in popularity as a communication channel and source of news. According to recent data, there were at least 885 Nigerian blogs in July 2011. Among the most visited blogs by N i ge r i a n s a re L i n d a i ke j i . co m , Bellanaija.com and YNaija. Use of social networking sites by

traditional media is on the increase. Newspapers such as Vanguard, Punch, Daily Trust and Guardian have revamped their websites to accommodate more social media features. They have incorporated posts and 'tweets' and created avenues for reader interactivity, comments, and discussions. The website of Next Newspapers, 234Next.com, was ranked among the top 5 most visited sites in Nigeria before it closed its operations. Traditional businesses in Nigeria are also gradually engaging with social media networks in order to connect with customers. Their use of Facebook and other platforms has mainly consisted of offers, event announcements, product promotion, broadcasts, customer feedback, and so on. New internet-based businesses are also emerging with compelling business models, strong management teams and loyal users. Some of the most popular ones include Jobberman, a job search portal, Dealdey, a group-buying service, and Iroko Partners, a company that uses social media to deliver entertainment. Organizations in the financial sector are also taking advantage of the surge of mobile devices in the country to provide services that run on mobile platforms. Content producers and developers are building mobile applications that give Nigerian users access to news and information through internet- and television-enabled smart phones and portable devices such as tablets (although these gadgets still have very low usage in Nigeria). Besides content sites, some animation and games are also providing a high level of interactivity as well as entertainment for Nigerians on these platforms. Challenges The difficulties that the new media industry faces in Nigeria may be categorized into three levels. At the macro level are the challenges of infrastructure and technology; at the micro level can be found the problems of client engagement; and at the organisational level are the issues that involve internal company structures. Each level along with its specific issues is discussed below. Macro Level Challenges to the industry at this

level include those factors that inhibit its growth as a result of the deficiencies of the wider economic environment. They include: Infrastructure and institutions: One of the major issues for the new media sector in Nigeria is the absence of reliable infrastructure to ensure a regular supply of electrical power, and regulatory institutions that can facilitate the process of doing business in Nigeria as well as ensure the competitiveness of the economic environment. While the latter may improve because of ongoing reforms especially in the financial sector, the problem of electricity has persisted for a long time. Although changes are also currently underway in the power sector, new media companies continue to groan under the weight of inefficient and erratic electricity supply. Technology: As new media is driven by technology (notably the internet), it is paramount that the basic physical structures are put in place. However, internet access has remained gravely erratic in spite of the relative proliferation of internet service providers (mostly in urban areas) and the challenge of last-mile connectivity remains, which has ensured that internet access is still by way of low bandwidths. Micro Level This level refers to those challenges experienced between new media producers and the market. They include: Adoption of technology: In spite of the impressive statistical figures on the growing internet usage in Nigeria, the adoption of technology is generally slow. There remains a certain reluctance to migrate to new technologies from the traditional ones. Even when this migration does not necessarily imply abandoning traditional forms, Nigerians are often not easily compelled to make the shift. Part of the reason for this apparent disinclination may not be unrelated to the poor quality of service delivery often experienced by early adopters as a result of the nonproficiency of providers of those technologies. Client relationship: A direct consequence of the slow rate of technology adoption among Nigerians are the challenges that arise from a lack of appreciation of the benefits and processes of new media. These factors prevent clients of new media service providers from grasping the scope and scale of the offering and often lead to Continued on page 3

SMC Brief - January 2013  

The monthly newsletter of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University, Lagos, Nigeria