Access Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading financial brands, has recorded the highest media mention among Nigerian banks according to a recent Public Relations Intelligence report by Quadrant MSL which reviewed the financial service industry of the banking sector.
The study was recently made public by the leading agency and it showed the Share Of Voice, SOV (number of news stories as compared to competitors), sentiments (how the story was viewed by readers) and sector news trends amongst commercial banks during Q4 of 2018.
According to Quadrant MSL Managing Consultant, Uche Ajene, “the report exclusively focused on newspaper exposures, despite the fact that many eyes have moved to the online space, yet newspaper still retains high consumer trust and are influential among key stakeholders such as regulators, policy makers and government.”
Explaining further, she said: “Based on the nine leading newspapers monitored, Access Bank recorded 209 mentions or 16 per cent share of voice, followed by Sterling Bank with 11 per cent, while Zenith Bank and Diamond Bank held the third and fourth places with 10 shares of voice each.”
“First Bank also had a decent performance with nine per cent SOV, while Union Bank and UBA got seven per cent each. Eco Bank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC and Fidelity bank received six per cent SOV. GT Bank and Wema Bank rated poorly with four and two per cent SOV respectively.”
Some of the key news drivers for Access Bank were reported to be Access Bank Born In Africa (BAFEST) and the merger announcement gave the bank a boost, especially in the month of December where it recorded a breakaway high number of print media exposures.
Sterling Bank, on the other hand, recorded high mention in November, in part due to the launch of a new product, the Device Financing Scheme (DFS). Also, the sponsorship of the AKE Festival and iCreatAfrica Skill Fest gave Sterling Bank the leverage.
Meanwhile, “Trend analysis shows that Wema Bank media presence remained low throughout Q4, the bank did not actively push stories, campaign or events,” the report said.
In the overall analysis, Access bank pushed 10 campaigns within the quarter, the report stated. Besides topping the SOV index, Access bank also led in the positive and neutral news sentiment chart, with reports concerning Access Bank merger with Diamond Bank dominating the news pages.
This was followed by Sterling Bank which recorded 11 per cent of the banking sector positive news stories. Zenith bank, on the other hand, saw 10 per cent of the positive news from its sports campaigns, followed closely by First Bank which had nine per cent positive sentiments, mainly driven by stories about FirstGem which pushed entrepreneurship empowerment for women.
But for a few banks in the period under review, the banking sector recorded low negative news. “At 42 per cent, Union bank amassed the most negative news sentiment in the quarter owing to reports about the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) involvement in some of the bank’s activities.”
“Diamond Bank saw a 16 per cent negative sentiment share, spurred by views that their merger with Access Bank stemmed from poor performance,” stated the report.
The report also noted that negative news in the quarter was driven by regulatory matter and larger discussions on debt and investment.
Conversely, GT Bank, known for consistent consumer engagement remains a surprise here with only two major campaigns. It is important to note that they may have had other campaigns pushed on their online medium. But Wema Bank was unlisted as they did not have any campaign during the period in review.