www.thepodiummedia.com is set to be a big player in the online Media sector in Nigeria and beyond. The medium is the latest project from the Stables of Branding and Media Guru, Demola Akinbola, who spoke with City People’s TITILOPE OSHUNLALU.
You aren’t knew to a lot of people who know you in the branding world, and your published works. Kindly introduce yourself to those just reading about you?
My name is Ademola Akinbola. I am the Founder/Lead Consultant of BrandStewards International, a brand and reputation management consultancy. I am also the Publisher of Ile-Oluji Times, a community newspaper and The Podium, an online general-interest magazine.
Kindly, highlight your role as a Brand and Reputation Management Consultant?
As a brand and reputation Management consultant, my role is to partner with individuals, organisations to build and manage global value-adding brands. I conceive, implement and evaluate strategies and plans that will support our clients’ aspirations to succeed in the market
As an author, I have 4 published books to my credit. As a brand management educator, my books focus on how individuals and companies could build successful brands and earn a good reputation. I like to share knowledge and I have a passion for writing, hence my devotion to writing books to share my knowledge and experience spanning over 25 years
I have been involved in training since 1998 when I led the employee engagement function at Owena Bank. I also played the same role at Prudent Bank, British Council, and Nigerian Aviation Holding Company (NAHCO). I am certified as a Trainer by the Irish Institute of Training and Development. Today, I preside over The Brand Academy, an integrated training and professional development institute that focuses on training entrepreneurs, SME Operators, career professionals and others in all aspects of branding, communication and reputation management.
And Organisational change specialist.
My role as an organisational change specialist entails working on enterprise restructuring and repositioning initiatives. We work with clients to set up the necessary structures and processes needed to build an enduring organisation. We essentially work with clients from the inception of their businesses and our work includes writing feasibility studies, preparing business plans, creating brand identity, developing corporate philosophy, developing operating manuals, supporting in staff recruitment and training, implementing employees induction and orientation programmes developing a brand manual, marketing plan, etc.
What’s the feedback on your books?
The feedback on my latest book published in 2018 has been quite encouraging. I am happy that the books have been well received, especially HOW TO BRAND YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS. The other book, THE WINNING ORGANISATION, is also doing well
Your latest project is the new website that has just been launched. Kindly tell us about it
Yes, we have just launched an online general-interest magazine called The Podium (www.thepodiummedia.com). Our vision is to provide content that are educative, entertaining and enlightening. We focus on development news, interviews and events. Our tag line is celebrating people, places and events. We want to celebrate the best of humanity.
The website seems to see you going fully into online lifestyle and news?
Yes, apart from lifestyle, you will also find content on events, entertainment, business, politics, sports, management, etc. We are not a breaking news website, although we do have a lot of news content. We focus more on the news behind the news, feature stories, special reports, interviews and analysis.
What prompted this?
My colleagues and I have a combined journalism experience of close to 70 years. We are all graduates of Mass Communication and we are passionate about the profession. So, we see opportunities to carve a niche out of the online journalism space, we see opportunities to further professionalise online journalism, we see opportunities to become a global online media conglomerate.
What are the challenges?
I was trained not to see challenges, but to identify hidden opportunities in any situation or circumstances
How has traffic been?
Traffic to the site has been busy, quite surprisingly for a site that is barely weeks old. I attribute this to the quality of our contents and the pedigree that my colleagues and I brought to this new project. We expect to even have more traffic by the time we fully set up our social media platforms and publish more content.
Do you see it getting as big as some established sites in Nigeria now?
It will get bigger and better than them by the grace of God. That is the vision, that is the plan. To be a global leader in online communication. We are not competing with them, but we have a point to prove that we have what it takes to be the market leader.
What do you think about the regulation of online Media?
Regulation of online media is desirable so that we can have sanity and decency. Because of the potency and potential power of online media assets, some level of regulation, not censorship, will be useful. Entry requirements should be well defined and strictly adhered to. There should be a code of ethics and There should also be sanctions for any breach of the code.
As an entrepreneur, what’s the business landscape like for Practitioners?
The Nigerian business landscape is replete with opportunities. There are limiting factors though, but with focus, tenacity, consistency, creativity, resourcefulness, and innovation, the Nigerian entrepreneur will survive and blossom. Of course, the God factor is the most important. He is the one who can bless our efforts.
What’s your motivation in business?
My motivation in business is service delivery and ultimately value creation. I like to be a solution provider for my clients and I like to be the go-to person for creative brand and reputation Management solutions that positively influence the bottom line. I am also motivated by the desire to be a pioneer and a pathfinder.
And in life?
My motivation in life is God. I am assured by the fact that as long as God is God, all will be well. I am never fazed by challenges or difficulties, I usually draw inspiration to overcome from God. I’m also driven by the passion for putting smiles on people’s faces, leaving them better than I met them.
How do you maximise your time with quite a notable number of projects?
Well, by my training, I have developed a knack for working strategically. There is never enough time for anyone or for anything, but with focus and prioritisation, it becomes easier to do many things. In addition, all the projects I am involved in are complementary, I mean they revolve around communication, which I will humbly say is my area of specialisation. I function with little or no stress in the branding and marketing communications arena. I am gifted by God in that area, I have been well-educated academically and professionally, I have been well trained in Nigeria and overseas, and I have had very useful hands-on experience in the area.
Where do you see your website in about 5 years?
By the grace of God and the support of our readers and advertisers, The Podium will be a reference point in the online magazine sector, especially in the areas of special reports, events coverage, and in-depth interviews. In five years’ time, we will be among the top three global sites for people-focused development news.
Any plans to write more books?
Sure! I am currently working on a book on Digital Marketing Excellence. It will be released by the end of this year by God’s grace. My target is to publish one book every year. As long as God gives me the enablement, I will forever write books because knowledge is power.
Tell us a bit about your personal life?
I am the last child in a family of seven. I was born and raised in Ibadan, Oyo State, but I am an indigene of Ile-Oluji, the headquarters of Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government area of Ondo State. I married and blessed with fearfully and wonderfully made children.
How do you relax?
I relax by sleeping and meditating on the word of God. When I am free, I also like to spend time with friends to exchange notes, share experiences and crack jokes.
What will you like to tell your loyal patrons, family members and friends?
I want to thank my family, friends, associates, clients and partners for their prayer and support thus far. I am a product of grace and I have enjoyed the goodwill of the wonderful people God has positioned in my life. I want to assure all of them that I will continue to make them prudent from Yahoo Mail on Android.