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Chevron staff highlights the role of Public Relations in Crisis Management at UNN

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Effective Public Relations strategies have been identified as essential for maintaining stakeholder trust, managing crises, and ensuring long-term success of corporate organizations.

Mr. Victor Anyaegbudike, Manager Communications, Chevron Nigeria and Mid-Africa Business Unit gave this indication while delivering a paper titled: “Corporate Organizations, Public Relations, and Crisis Management” as a guest lecturer during the 2024 Jackson Annual Lecture (JAL) and International Conference of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) held from April 17-19, 2024.

Victor, who is an alumnus of the University, noted that Public Relations and crisis management are integral components of a comprehensive reputation management strategy for corporate organizations, adding that while Public Relations focuses on proactively managing public perception and building strong foundations, crisis communication steps in during times of crisis to address and mitigate reputational threats. “In today’s interconnected world, where information travels at the speed of light, Public Relations plays a pivotal role in shaping the image and reputation of corporate organizations,” he stated.

He explained that crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization or its stakeholders and outlined some strategies for effective Public Relations crisis management which include Preparedness, Transparency, Consistent Messaging, Empathy, Monitoring and Adaptation.

According to him, “effective crisis management involves a delicate balance between transparency, empathy, and strategic communication. Organizations that handle crises well can emerge stronger and maintain stakeholder trust.”

While identifying and highlighting some theoretical and practical paradigms that constitute successes and failures of Public Relations efforts in crisis, Victor emphasized the paramount role of leadership in crisis management and stated that effective leadership during a crisis fosters resilience, trust, and successful resolution.

He mentioned some ways leadership contributes to effective crisis management as “Decision-Making, Communication, Strategic Vision, Empathy and Support, Adaptability, Transparency and Accountability, Team Coordination, Learning and Improvement.”

The lecture was well received by a large audience which included members of the academia, representatives of corporate organizations, government officials, traditional rulers, and students. Victor was also presented with an Excellence Award by the University during the event.

The Jackson Annual Lecture was established in honour of late John Payne Jackson, a courageous newspaper editor who founded the “Lagos weekly Record newspaper” in 1891 and used his paper to attack the exploitative and obnoxious policies of the colonial government.

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