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Cosanna Preston
Department Head, Strategic Planning and Research , Public Relations
Lagos, Nigeria
Cosanna has nearly 10 years of experience in communication, research and strategic planning having worked in project and NGO management, journalism, academia and public relations for organizations in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. She remains deeply committed to community development and effective communication. Seeking challenging opportunities in Nigeria or Canada.
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Area of Expertise:
  • Capacity Building, Training, Advocacy, Political
  • Communications, IT, Media, Knowledge Management, Editor
  • Fundraising, Business Development, Grants Writer
  • Government/Governance, Reforms, Corruption
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Policy, Research, Analysis
Professional Experience:
I have experience across diverse skills, work environments and cultures having worked in organisations across Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Nigeria. Essentially, my experience revolves around three core skill sets:
1. research and analysis,
2. strategic planning and organisational management
3. strategic communication

Regarding my research I am firmly rooted in academic rigour and have conducted research and analysis in both academic and private sector capacities. My research has explored citizen-government communication, sustainable development, corruption, the impact of oil extraction on local communities and Nigerian politics. Research and analysis remain a day-to-day part of my current position as the Head of Strategic Planning & Research with one of Nigeria’s leading public relations agencies, C&F Porter Novelli (www.candf.com.ng).

In my role I oversee two major units: client planning, and monitoring and evaluation. The first is responsible for all background research including industry and competitive research alongside stakeholder mapping and target audience investigation. The monitoring and evaluation unit has an emphasis on media monitoring and analysis. with additional activities including perception analyses, and campaign specific monitoring and evaluation tactics.

In terms of strategic planning and organisational management, over the past six years I have repeatedly been a pioneer and co-founder in organisations. Through my current role I have pioneered the first Strategic Planning & Research department in the Nigerian public relations industry, and implemented the inaugural two-year growth plan. Prior to this I was the pioneer staff for the Student Hubs network (www.studenthubs.org), a UK NGO focused on informing connecting and inspiring university students to contribute to social change. There I designed the organisational structure to balance the continuity and oversight provided by the head office with the autonomy and spontaneity of the network offices. These experiences are supported by my founding roles in several advocacy groups focused on human, and specifically indigenous, rights.

Finally, as regards strategic communication, I have a combined total of nine years experience across journalism, campaigning and public relations. My roots are in journalism where I have been a nationally published freelance journalist, as well as a news editor of a local newspaper with a circulation of 11,000 twice weekly. My campaigning experience is rooted in my advocacy work, but has since broadened to include campaign planning for clients in the corporate, NGO and government sectors of Nigeria such as the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Lagos State, Coca-Cola, Central Bank of Nigeria, Murtala Muhammed Foundation, and a PZ-Wilmar joint venture.

In all of this my diversity in experiences and cultures remains my strength, while my passion for social change and the betterment of society
Education:
MSc., African Studies, University of Oxford – St. Antony’s College (2008)
Thesis - ‘Bringing the Public Back in: A Critique of the Nigerian Anti-Corruption Project, and the Alternative Policy Futures’

BA (Honours), Political Science, with certification in Globalization and Governance, University of Alberta, Canada (2007)
Thesis - ‘Enduring Oil Conflict: The Greed and Grievances of Canada and Nigeria’, A comparative study of community relations in oil regions of Canada (Lubicon Lake Nation) and Nigeria (Ogoni).

Exchange Programmes

Universidad de Las Americas, Puebla, Mexico (2006)
Focus of Study: International Relations, Community Development, Spanish

University of Ottawa (2003)
Focus of Study: Canada/US relations.
Affiliations and Achievements:
While the full details of my achievements and affiliations are detailed in my CV, of note, I am a published writer, a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, have won awards for academic excellence and serve on the board of a local Nigerian NGO, Education as a Vaccine (EVA - www.evanigeria.org), as the head of the development committee.
Available for:
  • Consulting assignments
  • Job opportunities
  • Being headhunted – make me an offer

    Years of Experience:
    5-10 years
    Highest Qualification:
    Masters
    Languages:
    English, Spanish
    Nationality:
    Canada , United Kingdom
    LinkedIn Profile: http://ng.linkedin.com/in/cosannapreston
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