Ever since the previous administration made such a mess of communicating the capabilities and activities of the former president to the people, Nigerians have begun to take presidential communication more seriously.
The appointment of Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu – managing director of the Sun newspaper and director, media and communication of the APC Presidential Campaign Council respectively – will surely bring about high expectations as they have become the key spokesmen of the new President, Muhammadu Buhari.
In order not to create bad-will and mess up the relationship between the government and the people this time, here are 5 things they both can learn from the previous government:
1. Ensure immediate and smart responses to all pressing matters.
The last government was known either to take too long to respond to crucial national matters or respond to issues in the wrong manner. Good instances of this include the Chibok kidnapping and very recently, the oil marketers strike.
2. Never make statements you might have to explain later.
Jonathan’s “stealing is not corruption” statement will be remembered for a long time to come. Even when asked to explain himself on live TV, he kept going round a circle of not very relevant stories.
3. Find out what the flaws of the president are and work on managing them well in the eyes of the public.
There were a lot of negative stories about Jonathan’s private life that did not only contribute to his negative image but also caused Nigerians to continuously drag his name in the mud.
4. Communicate all activities of the president in good light and maintain good behaviour on social media
There is no need arguing or going back and forth with trolls on social media. Healthy engagement does not equal mud-slinging and name-calling. Don’t be another @DoyinOkupe or @realFFK
5. Provide positive entertainment for the people.
Patience Jonathan provided enough entertainment for Nigerians. Even though it was her shortcomings that created the entertainment, Nigerians cannot deny that she was the most conspicuous of all the Nigerian first ladies, in terms of ‘colour and expression.’
However, we’ll still like some sort of entertainment from the government. A cue can be taken from Barack Obama at the WHCA dinner.
Good luck Sirs.