A graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, Onoriode Edafe, has emerged winner of the maiden Corporate Communications Pitch Competition (CCPC),organised by the Sesema Public Relations, in conjunction with the Alima Atta Empowerment Fund.
Emerging from the five contestants to clinch the grand prize, Edafe was presented with N130,000 and a six month internship at Sesema Public Relations, while the first runner-up, Ibukunoluwa Oyegbesan from University of Bradford, UK received a cash prize of N70,000 and three months internship at the firm.
The winners emerged after a rigorous pitch process overseen by industry experts among whom were, Mrs. Habiba Balogun of Habiba Balogun Consulting; Mrs. Sade Onyia, a management consultant for multinational firms; and the Managing Director, Sesema Public Relations, Mrs. Tampiri Irimagha-Akemu.
To select the five contestants for the grand prize, applicants were required to write an essay on how public relations agencies have transformed brands in Nigeria and the key drivers that have made it possible. Thereafter, five contestants were selected from that stage and given a PR brief to respond to where the final winners were selected.
Speaking at the event, Irimagha-Akemusaid the competition was initiated to continue the legacy of the founder of the firm Ms. Alima Atta, a foremost PR guru who dedicated a greater part of her professional life grooming new entrants into the PR landscape and giving them a head start in the industry.
“We are happy that Sesema PR has marked another year delivering expert PR services. We will continue to develop programmes and youth empowerment initiatives that would ensure that we help young people that are passionate about public relations.
She said the competition was in line with the organisation’s CSR objectives to the growth of PR and communications sector and landscape, adding, “we are really impressed by the level of creativity and technical capabilities displayed by each of the contestants. They have made us realise that we are indeed pursuing a worthy cause; that is why we have decided to extend the internships opportunity to four contestants rather just the winner.”
Responding, Edafe thanked the organisers for the opportunity given to him to participate, saying, “winning this competition was a shock to me considering the calibre of contestants I met here, but I am happy I won. I have learnt a lot already from the pitch process, and I know that the internship opportunity will give me a huge jump in my career and I am grateful for that.”
The CCPC, the first of its kind in Nigeria, is aimed at identifying bright communications graduates to avail them a platform to build a career in public relations and digital communications.