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A Bank And The Woman In Red

By
Chido Nwakanma

Congratulations to the new MD of Zenith Bank. Congratulations to Zenith Bank on appointing a tried and tested professional from within to head the bank.

The presentation of the new boss has suffered headwinds. The criticisms centre on
1.⁠ ⁠Male chauvinistic responses.
2.⁠ ⁠Catty female snide comments.
3.⁠ ⁠Showing her off as a lithe Figure 8 when that has nothing to do with her new standing.
4.⁠ ⁠Presenting an overdose of qualifications and credentials.

An observer noted that Zenith probably needed to prepare for the communication and PR challenge of showcasing an overly beautiful and over-educated female as MD.

Some made issues even about her red dress. However, the conversation about red dress needs examination. Red corporate wear is appropriate branding for Zenith Bank. The Australian former MD of MTN Adrian Wood popularised corporate fashion branding with his loud yellow ties: MTN.

The point is that MD Dr Adaora Umeoji Nwokoye has to be strategic and intentional. Is her surname Umeoji or Nwokoye? Or does she want the compound Umueoji-Nwokoye?

Does she want to institute a dash of red as a Zenith Bank fashion statement?

She is beautiful, no doubt, and parades an exciting Figure 8. Unfortunately, Figure 8 is not corporate. She must sacrifice the vanity of Figure 8 for the corporate essence.

Ada Zenith is an embodiment of Zenith Bank. She will bear aloft the Zenith banner. Like every human at the apex, she will experience intense scrutiny, piercing stabs, praises, and drink from exquisite goblets.

Zenith and its MD must take the lessons from her initial media presentation.

1.⁠ ⁠Nigeria is conservative. Present your beautiful MD as a corporate executive in the first rank. Work on her wardrobe to reflect that.

2.⁠ ⁠Trim the qualifications in your releases. Which are the most appropriate? I recommend they list a first degree in Sociology, an MBA, and a PhD. The rest do not add anything.

3.⁠ ⁠Dig. What were her contributions?

4.⁠ ⁠Is she a thought leader? Showcase or prepare her for it and push her to selected speaking engagements.

5. This lady has many positive attributes. She is a dame honoured by the Pope. Some have testified that she upheld family values in Zenith by frowning on the non-appointment of married women in specific departments. In other words, there is a rich trove of material that Comms can leverage and release in appropriate doses and intervals. Not everything at once to avoid causing indigestion.


5.⁠ ⁠She will not be MD until June. Do not compete with the sitting MD for airtime. It is against the laws of power.

6.⁠ ⁠Prepare for MDship. It is both professional and political. Should she have a manifesto (politics), a Strategic Plan (professional) or both?

CHIDO NWAKANMA WROTE THIS PIECE AND ORIGINALLY TITLED IT, “ZENITH BANK AND MANAGING DR UMEOJI’S PR”

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