By Enyeribe Ejiogu
Yetty Ogunnubi’s elegance will definitely knock you over, when you meet her the first time. Her elan strikes you in a way you can’t deny. Little wonder therefore she made a perfect success of the annual Yetty D Fashion Show in London, which she launched 14 years ago. In the course of organizing the annual event, she learnt the essence and benefits of public relations and effective communications in building the image and personality of brands. Yetty D, as she is known to family and friends, has been able to brilliantly extend that knowledge into expertise and creatively turned the brands of the many clients her firm, YD Agency, has handled into roaring success stories.
In this interview, she gives us a peep into the future of YD Agency in Nigeria.
Tell us a bit about Yetunde Ogunnubi?
To my family and friends, I am known by the pet name, Yetty or Yetty D. I come from a family of creative individuals. My parents are into the art business, so you can say that the creative spirit runs in the family. I have three brothers and I am the only girl. I have always been an independent child. I recall telling my parents that I wanted to live in the boarding house when I was just nine years, although that was because I had older cousins in that school. So I left Grace Children School and went to Mayflower College in Ikenne.
I am a professional in the Fashion and Art Industry. With over 14 years work experience, I am a hardworking, analytical and target-driven individual with extensive training and hands-on experience in fashion, art and food business operations, who is able to go to great extents in order to achieve results of high standard. The consistent feedback from clients, colleagues, and teams all through my career shows that I have a proven thirst for excellence in projects, giving meticulous attention both to details and agreed time frame for completion of responsibilities. Let me add that the Yetty D Agency deals with brand management and public relations.
When did you come into the public relations and communications business?
Well, I got into the business accidentally, in London when my label, Yetty D, which started about 14 years ago, began holding the annual fashion event, ‘Yetty D Fashion Show. I started the fashion show to promote my label as well as other fashion labels and artists. I handled the Public relations, branding and promotion myself and both projects (my label and the fashion event) were successful. As a creative person, I am always particular about projecting the right image with respect to branding. Whilst promoting my label and the fashion show I started working with other brands to give them the right visibility, though I did so behind the scene.
You lived and practised in London. What would you say was the highpoint of your career there?
I can easily say that the highpoint of my career was the last edition of the Yetty D Fashion Show in London. The turnout was great. Some of the designers and artists that featured have gone on to become great success stories and I am happy they had the opportunity to use my platform as a stepping stone for their businesses.
I also remember the day a major marketing company invited me to their office in Central London for a meeting. On getting to the office, I saw that their video-screen had everything to do with my label and they told me how they had been carefully following my brand and seeing the growth and how I was pushing it. They expressed interest in working with my brand. In fact that was the day I realized that I was actually good to some extent in public relations and branding.
What did you learn from your foray into public relations and branding in London?
I have learnt to maintain relationships and staying connected; besides, one has to be informative, concise and relevant. It is also very vital to know and deeply understand the brand one is representing, and finding ways to be creative with respect to business development for the brands we work with it.
As someone with versatile experience in the business, how do you plan to energize and revitalize the public relations marketing and communications in Nigeria?
At YD Agency, we are very particular about how we represent our clients. It is also essential to know that we are carving out a niche with a focus on Fashion, Influence and Communications. We believe branding is not about creating a false image for the world, it’s simply about unearthing and maximizing our clients’ true strengths and building on these to make the clients out in their energetic and uncompromising drive to achieve their goals. This enables our clients to increase in confidence, self-motivation and visibility that help to build a strong relationship inside and outside their brands.
How then do you plan to retain a leading position in public relations and brand communications in Nigeria?
I prefer to work quietly but efficiently. I believe that the results we will achieve working for our clients will speak for us. My client list is quite extensive, having worked in the Fashion, Food and Hospitality Industries both at home and abroad, from events marketing to personal and corporate branding to product launch. My job is to find ways to make our clients stay relevant in the society by identifying new opportunities and re-energising their growth and business development.
What is your role at YD Agency?
I am the Head of Communications for the agency. My job is to make sure we work with the right clients as well as meet up with the deliverables we agreed on with our clientele. Thankfully, I have a fantastic team at the agency and whose work is to ensure that everything works seamlessly.
Looking at the Nigerian situation, how is the public relations and brand communications practice in Nigeria different from other countries?
Essentially they are the same, but I must state that different countries have their own benchmarks because the challenges are different, from one country to the other. I know a lot of businesses in Nigeria are starting to recognise that they need public relations to boost their businesses.