L-R: Dr. Phil Osagie, Global Lead Strategist, JSP Communications Limited (Guest Speaker); Mr. Olamerun Gbadebo, President, ARIAN; Prince Cookey, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Business Journal; Mr. Sunday Thomas, Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association (Chairman) and rep. of Chief Yemi Soladoye, President, INSCAN at the 2nd Business Journal Insurance Summit 2016 held at Protea Hotel, Ikeja last Thursday.
Dr. Phil Osagie, Global Lead Strategist of JSP Communications Limited, says strategic application of public relations could help grow the insurance sector in Nigeria in a sustainable manner, especially at a time of economic recession as we have it today.
Osagie, who delivered the lead paper ‘Role of PR in Growing Insurance Business in Nigeria’ at the 2nd Business Journal Insurance Summit in Lagos, said the PR elements of Informing People, Persuading People and Integrating People with People will help to scale the current challenges facing the insurance industry in the country.
On the state of the insurance industry, he said only one out of 10 Nigerians have any form of insurance cover, meaning that that over 150 million Nigerians are without any form of insurance while less than two per cent of insurable risks are covered by insurance firms. Other industry data includes:
- Vehicle/car insurance, represents the largest form of insurance at 63%
- Less than 3% of the entire adult population with any formal insurance cover
- 17 million vehicles on Nigerian roads, with 14 million fake insurance and 4 million with valid insurance
The lead speaker listed six key benefits of PR application:
- Awareness & understanding
- Manages attitudes and concerns
- Enhances desire for insurance – likability factor
- An essential component in the 4 Ps of marketing
- Strategic brand building role
- Crisis management & confidence restoration
‘In today’s world, publicity is everything, of course along quality service or product. In order to earn the consumers’ trust, companies rely heavily on marketing strategists but they also rely heavily on PR specialists. Public relation as a discipline and as a profession is changing rapidly. It has undergone tremendous changes in recent years.’
These changes could be summarised in a six-model plank:
- Public Relations as an Important Marketing Communication Tool: This can be employed both within and outside the organisation. Public Relation has a great role to play in the marketing of insurance products. It has its own tools or instruments which it sees to achieve its objectives of building the public image of the industry.
- Public Relations is a Relationship builder: Helps government or other organization in building and maintaining sound and productive relations with special public like customers, employees, and the public at large by adopting itself and simplifying the Insurance language to the society
- Crisis/Damage Control: PR helps insurance business in times of crisis through specialised writing and communication to the
- Increase Goodwill of its Various Publics: PR will increase the goodwill of Insurance various public through promotional communication and other categories.
- PR as Educational Tool: Public Relation is one of the means insurance industries can use to inform and educate members of its target audience about the existence of its products and services and to persuade them to patronise its or to develop favourable attitude and opinion towards it. The company efficiency in prompt claims settlement and overall effective organization is communicated to the public through well written write ups and activations
- PR as a Management Function: Since insurance products are more of services offered to various members of the public, these services are provided to the interest and benefits of the members of the public. Public Relation is an important management function in any organisation. It is developed to communicate a message that coincides with the industry’s goods and seeks to benefit mutual interest wherever possible.
The 2nd Business Journal Insurance Summit 2016 which held on Thursday, November 17 at Protea Hotel, Ikeja under the theme: ‘Managing Risks in a Depressed Economy: The Case of Nigeria’ was chaired by Mr. O. S. Thomas, Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA).