Abdul Imoyo: The PR Behind Access Bank’s Effective Communication
Abdul Imoyo is a seasoned Public Relations and communicator who brings industriousness and jovial aggressiveness deep to bear.
As the head, Media Relations at Access Bank Plc, Abdul has a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Lagos State University and a Masters of Administration from the University of Lagos (Unilag).
He has responsibility for the Access Bank brand, is an enigma in the banking industry especially when it comes to customer relations with all vigor, astuteness, and applicable understanding of the system, foremost he is disarmingly unassuming.
Abdul Imoyo took Waka About Africa through his role with Access bank in a very straightforward but also tasking however the way and manner he goes about it with all ease give the infectious sense of responsibility.
Abdul heads the Public Relations and Media Relations Desk, which is called the PR and Media Relations Unit.
It has to do with engaging the stakeholders especially the press, shareholders, customers, the public, government even the community because most of the time you find out that you need to pass information to the community where you operate in. His job entails managing information and ensuring that the right information is passed on to the public through the right channels.
Abdul revealed to Waka About Africa, that yeah, “the job is exciting and interesting in the sense that, given by my background, first and foremost, I’m a journalist, so, I think I enjoyed a lot of goodwill from my colleagues out there.
Mainly, maybe because of the relationship that we’ve enjoyed, before I crossed over to this side, I think so far, it’s been interesting, because, as I said, I’m enjoying that goodwill, from my friends and colleagues in the media that makes my job easier. Also, the bank has been very supportive too, because they give me all I need to make my work easier. It’s been easy from both sides, I’m enjoying it.
Therefore I wouldn’t want to take it for granted for any reason whatsoever”.
“I have passion for the job that I do, coming from my background as a journalist, and now still working with the same media stakeholders in a core critical and challenging role; and ability to function in an environment that allows me to express myself, empowering me with all that is required to deliver”.
Speaking to Waka About Africa on his typical day, he said thus, “I work around the clock is 24/7, because these days Journalism I don’t know if it ever sleeps, is more now like round-the-clock kind of, there is print, TV, radio, there is online news on the go and others. So my work is 24/7 because even as I’m here now, my bosses expect me to know what is going on.
Like, right now, I should be able to know if there is news about us, where the news is coming from, you have to be in the mind of like a million people to know what they are thinking, what they are going to write about us.
It’s also been good for me, because of my background in journalism, he recalls.
“I wake up to come to the office, do news review all-round check many industry news, know the one that relates to us and where we notice people feel that there are some concerns about us, we try to address it and at the same time, we still push out the good news about us because it has to be good for us to attract investors, for us to attract customers because we get a lot of quires from some of the investors and stakeholders especially when they feel the news are not too good they want to know whether it’s true or false how are we addressing it”.
On what area of his job he finds most challenging and interesting as well, hear him “What I find more challenging is when I wake up in the morning I see news that is not too palatable, especially coming from maybe people that I think knows better, or people that I think have access to me that should have at least try to cross-check. I’m not saying don’t write but let’s balance it.
You can come to me and say I have this information, what do you have to say about it, or what’s your own side of the story. I’ve seen people come to me with their own personal stories they want to paint it like it’s from somewhere else or they got it from somewhere, when I try to look into it and what they want to write.
They will come up maybe with a different example of someone else and they are charging unsolicited deduction, I’ll say, please send me the details and when you look through the details, you will find out it is this same person is all about him, and he was trying to paint it or make it look like is a general problem, maybe because I’ve done the job before so I expect that you should even know what is news.
People come to you with the something news kind of and you would even be wondering, the question will be are you supposed to be doing this job like this, at this point, but you can’t blame them that is what the job they have to do and at the same time, another thing is, I know there’s a deadline in journalism, but you’re coming to me with something exclusive, even me I don’t have the information on the go.
I need to get back to someone in the senior management to give me the details, and you’re telling me you have one hour to write the story, I’m like, it’s exclusive to you and when is exclusive I don’t see the rush, but these days, you just see people who want to do the story like it’s yesterday while is not breaking news.
When a story is exclusive to you then its exclusiveness gives you enough time to get the facts so that you can come out with a good story.
When someone is calling me at 3′ pm to tell me that he has to get the story out by 5 pm, I’ll tell you that even the person that is going to give me the information may probably not be in the office or even around.
Maybe even the man who also may get it may need some information from somewhere else to be able to do it well, I advise you to just wait to get the facts so that it will be a balanced story.
Those are some of the challenges we are addressing and we try to manage as well as to get people to understand that we need each other, you need me, I need you but I wouldn’t tell you not to write but if you don’t go out with the right information, it hurts me, and at the same time it will hurt you because it gives you credibility if you do a good story.
I think people can see through it and say it’s a good story you have done, but if you just do it anyway, it also has an impact on your own reputation and the brand that you’re trying to put out there;” he insists. Also, the interesting part of it is the kind of support I get from my colleagues, especially in the media, when I send out a story and don’t need to solicit for positioning next thing you see it on the cover of the newspaper, or even a picture is on the cover it makes it interesting for me, it makes me look good.
You know, especially when you don’t have to solicit and say please I want the front page and find out that or the next thing you see it on the cover that makes it interesting for me, he enthused.
Waka About Africa queries on his journey so far and when he started PR/ Media Relations with Access bank, Abdul has this to say, there was an opening he revealed that he was sure they must have interviewed a lot of people at the end of the day to God be the glory I got the job. As I said by way of training, resources, and everything I think, the bank is trying and has done well for me, I think I’m enjoying good support, I’m enjoying the support of my immediate boss the group head, and the support of the management.
So, I can’t say that I won’t deliver, even in terms of training, in terms of resources and everything that is there, I think I have enough to be able to deliver.
On what it takes or require for one to occupy the position as bank’s image-maker he quipped O! It Is not even about Access bank rather it is a general thing in the industry and outside banking PR has different branches or different aspects of it, there’s branch manager, reputation management, crisis management, all that come to play in your job role, and job description.
There are so many angles to deal with it. Because the most important thing that you’re trying to do is put your brand there in good lines, letting people know what you’re doing and the benefits they stand to gain if they partner with you. Right now in Access bank, we have over a 45million customers, it’s not a joke, there’s a lot we need to do that we’re still doing to ensure that we keep these customers we also working hard to attracts more, when you say 45 million but we are over 200 million people in Nigeria, this means out of every five people you come across one is at least the customer of Access bank, that’s good for us. And we don’t want to let it go.
We don’t want to lose any of our customers but do all we can to keep them and want to even get more, we’re not only in Nigeria, we’re everywhere now. In Africa, we’re expanding, we are an International Bank, in the UK, in Dubai, in China, even in Lebanon, so it’s no more like it’s only in Nigeria.
We have a lot going for us and we aspire to be the most respected African Bank.