An Assessment Of The Role Of Mass Media In Rebranding Nigeria (A Case Study Of NTA)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

An Assessment Of The Role Of Mass Media In Rebranding Nigeria (A Case Study Of NTA)


Abstract


Good People Great Nation”. The actual intention of the Nigeria government was to create a good image for the country both home and abroad. An assessment of the project through this paper showed Nigeria as a bad product that is difficult to market. Therefore, the paper chiefly used good leadership, Nigeria brand icons and good public service as a rebranding mechanism for mass media   and advertising exercise.

The work relied on mete-analysis method to carry out the research while it used persuasion theory to explain the rationale behind rebranding Nigeria. The paper argued that the ray of hope for Nigeria’s government in the Heart of Africa campaign project to re-brand the country has been dashed due to the neglect of the political, social, and economic stability cum non-involvement of public relations and advertising experts in the rebranding project.

But it quickly observed that when properly applied, effective mass media  and advertising strategies cum conducive political, social, economic environment as it can be found anywhere in the world, the re-branding exercise will be fruitful. It recommended that, the government should imbibe the tenet of mass media   which asserts 95% action and 5% talking among other things.

This research appraises the image crisis in Nigeria and the effort of successive governments, starting from the period of independence to the present dispensation, towards cleaning up of the wrong perception of the country. The study observes that, among other efforts at achieving successful rebranding, tourism is a veritable tool. Thus, some tourism resources in Nigeria were analyzed so as to show how useful they are in the Nigerian rebranding project.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Approval Page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents

Chapter One:

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance Of The Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Limitations of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms And Concepts

Chapter Two:

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Theoretical Literature Review
  • 2.2 Research Literature
  • 2.3 Summary Of Literature Review

Chapter Three:

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of study
  • 3.3 Sample size
  • 3.4 Sample Procedure
  • 3.5 Sources Of Data
  • 3.6 Instruments Of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Validity Of Instruments
  • 3.8 Administration Of Instruments
  • 3.9 Method Of Data Analysis

Chapter Four:

4.0 Data Presentation And Analysis

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Data Presentation
  • 4.3 Discussion Of Findings

Chapter Five:

5.0 Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


Introduction

The term, ‘branding” or rebranding is a pretty common word in business circles the world over. This is not strange since there is an increasing mass production of goods while services are taking different shapes on daily basis. Notwithstanding, it won’t be a surprise if one who is not involved in advertising, mass media  or mass media find its meaning a bit hazy. One person may claim that a company’s logo is its brand while another insists that the real brand is the slogan. Still, others may assert that branding is about communicating the company’s mission or image. All these are components of a brand, but they do not capture the whole package, not even by a long shot. In reality, a brand is much more than a single image or string of words. ‘

A brand is not tangible. A successful brand lives in the minds and hearts of the prospective audience, likewise the bad brand. A brand must provide what the public think of the product or service despite almost anything can be branded. Manufactured goods, a service, a location (country) even a person. For instance, Elvis, Paris Hilton, Amsterdam, Las Vegas, IPOD and Roles; are all established brands. The most successful brands hold a power positive position within our psyche (The Punch, P. 36).

The focus of this paper is on place branding, then what is place branding? A place branding can be defined as the process whereby a town, region, country (Nigeria) actively seeks to create a unique and competitive identity for itself, with the aim of positioning it in formally and externally as a good destination for trade, tourism and investments.

In this regards, countries such as India, UK, USA, South Africa, China, Wales, Spain and Ireland have succeeded in attracting businesses and tourists to their countries as a result of well managed branding

Program supported by fairly stable political, social and economic environments. Examples of these branding are; Making a case for the application of branding principles in the market of places, Peter van Ham, as cited in Ferguson’s (2001) article “Brand – name Government’’ says a state just like a company requires a strong brand. Therefore to rise above the cluttered political landscape, a state must be able to define and promote its vision. This requires politicians and bureaucrats to understanding how identity is developed, promoted and maintained. Therefore, the services of mass media   and advertising executives are imperative here.

History Of Rebranding In Nigeria

In plain layman’s language, to rebrand, reposition or repair simply put, means to change consumer’s perception about a product or brand and attract positive affectation or affinity to it for the benefit of all stakeholders, particularly the promoters of the brand. Therefore, whatever we mass media  professionals may call it, rebranding, repositioning or repairing, it must connotes only one thing to the man on the street- a change from negative to positive perception. Branding is all about perception and that is what differentiates a good brand from the rest of the pack in the category. Probably unknown to most Nigerians, the brand Nigeria project has been an ongoing project since after the Nigerian civil war, the missing link has been a big idea that is driven by a consistent strategy. If I may remind us, at the end of the 30 month interline war, General Yakubu Gowon in what seemed like a masterstroke to heal the scaring wounds of the war, initiated a sort of rebranding programme.

To weld the country back from the brink, Gowon introduced the three Rs namely: Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. He also declared that there was no victor or vanquished at the end of the war. To implement this campaign, Gowon pledged to remain in power till 1976 before handing over to a civilian regime after a democratically conducted election. Gowon was lucky. His regime coincided with the beginning of the oil boom era in Nigeria, thus he was able to spend money to prosecute the three Rs agenda. Gowon embarked on several capital projects especially roads, bridges, estates and edifices befitting a country like Nigeria.

On the diplomatic and international plain with its new found fame and fortune, Nigeria played the big brother role for the less endowed African countries and the country was respected for it. But like most African leaders of that era, Gowon soon lost focus when he imbibed the ‘sit tight syndrome’. The moment Gowon said 1976 was no longer realistic for a democratic handing over, the brand equity of his regime and the country began to ebb. After Gowon came General Murtala Ramat Mohammed (late).

Murtala along with his team came on board with vision and patriotic fervour. With zero tolerance to corruption in both public and private sectors, Murtala vowed to take the Nigerian brand to the apogee of glory and respectability both nationally and internationally. Transcending beyond Nigeria, Murtala made Africa the centre piece of his political agenda internationally. Within a short time that the regime lasted, Nigeria as a brand scored a diplomatic bull’s eye playing prominent role on the continental platform in the independence struggle of countries like Zimbabwe, Angola and even South Africa. But the Murtala regime was short-lived.

The man died!, Perhaps one of the most ambitious and most expensive rebranding efforts ever embarked upon in Nigeria was initiated by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida in 1987. Tagged, MAMSER, Mass Movement for Self Reliance Social Justice and Economic Recovery, it was introduced as part of the transition programme of the regime. With the sole aim of giving Nigerians and Nigeria a new beginning, MAMSER had on board eminent Nigerians who have excelled in their various areas of calling in both private and public lives.

Till date MAMSER remains the longest internal rebranding effort ever embarked upon by any government in Nigeria. Ironically, despite its laudable objectives and high calibre personnel, MAMSER ended up a colossal failure. But why did MAMSER fail? Historians and students of political history contended that lack of sincerity and transparency on the part of the leadership was responsible for MAMSER’s failure.

The failure could be best illustrated by the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election that almost tore Nigeria apart. However, before MAMSER was WAI. WAI which means War Against Indiscipline was launched by the General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and the late General Tunde Idiagbon when the regime came on board in 1983. WAI, another rebranding effort was aimed at giving Nigerians a new lease of life. WAI espoused discipline in both public and private lives and Nigerians were fast adapting to some aspects of it before the regime was overthrown.


1.1 Background Of The Study

An image can be described as the impression, feeling or opinion, which somebody has, about an organization. In this case the impression or feeling or opinion, which other countries has about Nigeria. Over the years the image of Nigeria grows worst rather than bad. Nigeria has been branded thieves, 419ers and other all sorts.

This has incidence a lot of problems on our international relations. Submit a green passport and be subjected to the most stringent and most thorough check at foreign airports, seaports and other international boarders. What a bastardized image. Nigerians have been denied Visa entry to international engagements. Recently, highly placed Nigerians where denied Visas into France for the Film Festival, to mention but a few.

However, the opinion that all Nigerians are thieves, 419ers, Fraudsters, could be proved wrong, by carefully adopting the procedures of rebranding Nigeria through Mass media  . At this juncture, the media among others is a focal point for Mass media   and branding building, according to Osunbiyi (2001). “The world is in crisis, Political Crisis, economic crisis, identity crisis; the media and Political societies. Nowadays nobody dare to deny the effects of the media in the behaviour of individuals both in developed and developing countries. In our continent, the Media are said to poses power.”

One of the most common misconceptions about branding is that it is something one chooses to do as it were a project, one could start and finish. But branding, the process, through which a cohesive enduring, impressive of a business, in this case Nigeria is formed in the minds of our audience (external public). Branding never ends, it is ongoing in every interaction. Hence, the need of this paper presentation is to reveal the powerful role of Mass media   in rebranding Nigeria, to rejuvenate Nigeria Bastardized image, among others, encourage investment and partnership that will aggravate developmental growth in both human resource and infrastructure facilities, all to make Nigeria a country to reckon with in the committee of Nations.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The image of Nigeria as a nation has been negative over the years. In this era of growth in technology and globalization, international relation is a great asset to a nation. When people from a country are being branded thieves, fraudsters and dis-honest, a big barer is created between the country and other parts of the world, and development is reduced.

The rise in internet fraud, corruption and tribal killing in Nigeria is alarming. Recently, the country was branded a terrorist nation by the United States. All these issues coupled with the in-ability of the mass media to effectively readdress these issues and re-brand the nation are of great concern to patriotic Nigerians who are being affected every day.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main objective of the study are to:

  1. Critically assess the role of Television program in rebranding Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study are:
  2. To appraise the effectiveness of NTA ’s Mass media geared toward re-branding Nigeria.
  3. To assess the role of these Mass media in re-branding Nigeria.
  4. To recommend more Mass media that can effectively contribute to the re-branding cause to NTA Abuja.

1.4 Research Questions

In-order to achieve the above stated research objectives, the following research questions will be used as guide for the study:

  1. How effective are the re-branding programs of NTA?
  2. What are the roles of these Mass media   in re-branding Nigeria?
  3. What better Mass media   can be introduced to re-brand Nigeria?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The study will enlighten public officials on how the re-branding campaign can be effectively carried out. With the reviving trend of Globalization and the breaking down of international barrier of trade, competition for consumers and inward investment; Countries especially Nigeria need to be repositioned to meet this challenge, and hence encourage internal acceptance for economic trade partnership and investment opportunities.

This study will further illustrate how using Mass media   that markets the great potentials of Nigeria and her people as part of a mass media  mix to create the desired image around the brand (Nigeria) can be implemented and made possible. And how other stakeholders such as her public, International Communities, business partners can partner without a second thought.


1.6  Scope Of The Study

The study will focus on the assessment of television programs in the re-branding of Nigeria, using NTA Abuja as a case study. All findings from the study may not reflect the true and bias view of other Mass media   in Nigeria as the researcher could not cover a wider area.


1.7 Limitations Of The Study

However, there cannot be thorough research without fund. Thus, the lack of funds poses as a limitation to this work; also, time factor is included because the issue of combining lecture with research is not an easy task.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

NTA:

Nigeria Television Authority

Image:

An image can be described as the impression, feeling or opinion, which somebody has, about an organization.

Rebranding:

Rebranding is a mass media  strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, and competitors.

TV:

Television. Television program also called television show is a segment of content intended for broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary of Findings

Nigeria’s good brand depends largely upon a total different mindset of political operators who will utilize modern technology with the abundance of human and natural resources available in the country to radically transform our current pitiable economic, political and social deprivations and misery setting to a land of national harvest, wealth and integrity in the comity of nations. Nigeria as a brand will therefore not be doing anything negative if it were to provide honest, responsible, transparent and credible leaders on its market template. Like products and services brands, Nigeria leaders and politicians in particular need to create the desired impression that will sell them in the market place, making for the purpose of earning their target audience (the outside world) share in the competitive market.


5.2 Conclusion

It has been established that a country’s image is largely determined by the ways and manner it handles its domestic and international affairs. Having gone through periods of extreme negative image, Nigeria adopted various re-branding strategies to launder its image. The measure of success recorded by each image cleaning exercise, depends on its contents and the approach adopted. Thus, this paper has shown that, among other re-branding concepts adopted by successive governments in Nigeria, tourism stands out as a pivot around which other re-branding contents must revolve. This stems from the fact, that apart from being a people-oriented industry, tourism resources are available in every geo-political zone of the country and therefore stand to be used positively for making the country a tourist heaven of international repute. This will automatically help to brighten the country’s image.


5.3 Recommendations

Based on the plethora problems discussed above, the follow recommendations have been suggested so that the rebranding project will not be tantamount to a jamboree project.

1. Leadership by example:

As noted in the discourse earlier, Achebe opines that, the unwillingness or inability of the leaders to rise to his responsibility is the challenge of personal example. Hence this is the hall-mark of true leadership. Nigeria as a state should no longer tolerate the continuous recycling of hired and tired brains, when it has an abundance of fresh and tested, active, young and articulate brain.

2. Nigeria Brand icons:

The point has been made by different commentators at different fora, that any 428 Educ. Res. mass media effort for rebranding Nigeria that does not involve the country’s brand icons is fruitless effort.

Mass media practitioners agreed that, brand message is as credible as those that are doing the mass media . No present Nigeria leader has the credibility some Nigeria icons posses. Examples are: Emeka Anyaoku, Wole Soyinka, Philip Emeagorali, Austin Jay Jay Okoacha, Ibrahim Gambari, Bola Ajibola, Ngozi Okojo Iweala and so on who got to the world stage to present different picture of Nigeria image. Nigerian state should stop underestimating the intelligence of these and other hybrid icons. Nigeria icons, (these are those who through their personal efforts, have managed to give this country some measure of credibility in the international world) remain a reasonable and legitimate option for selling Nigeria brand in the international market. Also, Nigerian icons should make it a point of duty to participate in piloting the leadership of the country since “The price honest men pay for not being involved is to be ruled by dishonest men”.

3. Change of Attitude:

Similarly, all stakeholders in the Nigeria project must see the imperativeness of rebranding in the way we do things, the logo “Nigeria factor”, “African time” or “this is Nigeria” which implies things can be done in unlawful manner should stop. The re-orientation must also focus on the need to make the people of this country believe in the brand called Nigeria. All Nigerians should work for peace, security, honesty, and stability, because we have one country that we can call our own. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the integrity of the nation is rebranded as stated in the The Nation (2010, p 60). In rebranding Nigeria as a product, the leadership and followership must adhere to the ethical standards and values because charity begins at home. Part of the leadership ethical standard must be the foundation of the Nations policy on corruption free society (Bowman 1991). A corrupt leader cannot wage a successful war against corruption.

According to Wole Soyinka recently, “There is a lot of rubbish to clear in terms of personnel, degraded structure, infrastructure and also the stubbornness of the highly powerful political actors who continue in the old manner” (personal communication). If we truly desire a change, we cannot ignore a call to change. Let those who give us bad brand be flushed out so that effective public relations and advertising campaign can serve as antidote to good branding just as The SUN opines.

4. Conducive Environment:

Besides, Nigeria government must create conducive environment, as conducive as what could be found anywhere in the world. The Nigerian road network should be rehabilitated and motor-able. There should be constant electricity supply cum water supply in order to attract foreign investors and other stakeholders who can partner with the country.

5. Truthful Propaganda:

Political leaders should be more concerned with truthful than propaganda. They should follow the principle of mass media which emphasizes “95% action and 5% talking”. That is, they should put all things in order before embarking on peddling for foreigners.

6. Wider Coverage of Information:

There should be high involvement of mass media , advertising and media expert in re-branding project. Information about rebranding project and actions should go beyond traditional channels of mass communication; radio, television, newspaper, magazines and billboards. Other channels such as internet, rallies, public campaign community briefing etc should also be included in the dissemination of information and feedback mechanism to involve all and sundry in the project.


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