Abiola Bonuola is a Tech-PR Consultant who actually migrated from the media to the PR world before branching out as a Tech-PR specialist, a sort of new wing in the image making world. A graduate of Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, where she studied Mass Communications, Bonuola discloses, in this exclusive interview with KOLA BOLA of The Industry, how she create contents and tell stories in a localised manner. She explains states there are several tools and technologies, that aid her as a Tech-PR consultant to make her job easy and faster. She noted also that often founders of tech brands tell stories that most of the time are not the brands’ stories, insisting, it is her job to listen to both sides tales and then merge them for an exciting tale about the brand. Excerpts:

Who is a Tech-PR Consultant, and how do you as a professional help to package tech brands for better image projections?

A Tech-PR Consultant is someone that is into public relations of tech companies, tech products and companies that are startups and are just starting in the tech industry, in an environment using technology to solve their problems. Now Tech PR Consultant thus uses public relations. So public relations itself is a field that is very very wide, and a lot of people use different kinds of things. You can see public relations in the governments, in the celebrities, you can even see public relations in the entertainment industry, you can find it in health and the FMCG. So public relations is something that people are very familiar with, but secondly it is a bit different if you are trying to build startups or a tech company or a product from the ground. A product that people don’t even know anything about. So you need to be able to build credibility for the product. So it is a very different field completely. So, for better image projections most of the times Tech-PR Consultants do PR for technology companies, they are also using technologies themselves to assist companies. As you can see I work at home, and most of the time I just use my systems, the internet and reach out to my different clients. And with the internet I can also engage a lot of people – engage the media, engage the governments, engage the investors that are interested in this tech brand. So it is all about using technologies. There are different tools that we use in the industry as for Tech PR. We use different tools that can also help us to measure and manage the activities, that is PR activities. So this really helps a lot of people like me to make our work faster, easier, some of us can get at least 10 clients just because there are technology tools to be used.

What stands out as a Tech-PR Consultant among other public relations practitioners in the image making world?

What stands me out, for me as a Tech-PR Consultant, is that I get to create contents, I get to tell stories, in a localised manner. The difference between me and other public relations practitioners is that I’m doing something not necessarily unusual but the difference is like a niche. It is like a field on its own. It is not a field that everybody is into, it is a field that there is not much money and startups don’t really have enough money to help. But the thing with startups is about following them on the journey from the beginning. That is what I do that is different. Most PR professionals, they just get the brand. This is the brand, this is the history of the brand and they just switch in from there. But for me I usually start from the beginning – who are you guys, what have you been doing, let’s work out something together.

Content creation is core to PR handlers, how do you arrive at the accurate contents for the tech-brand clients that you manage?

Most of the time, for content creation, we usually start from a story that the founders actually have to tell, a story that a brand needs. Sometimes the stories that the founders want us to tell may not be the same as the story that the brand needs. So it is important that we look at the two stories and combine them together, and that will now inform the kind of content that we create for the tech brands that we work with. So most of the time you find us sitting down in the offices of our tech clients because we need to understand where they are coming from, what the brands look like – their focus, their vision and what they have done. And sometimes we need to listen to what the founders are. Is it a brand that is named after a person that died or is it a brand that is built with passion or is a side hustle. So you need to understand where they are coming from and all these will inform your content creation.

 Agritech, fintech and credit-tech, what connects you to all of them, techwise?

What connects me is that I already have experience working with different tech brands, so I kind of understand where tech brands are coming from most of the times. And that is why I’m comfortable with different fields – agritech, credit-tech, fintech. What connect me is that I already have the experience. And because I already have the experience I can easily relate with them and I now find myself helping them with public relations.

There is no brand without moment of success and it is just normal to expect moment of crisis, how do you manage crisis for your clients using tech to proffer solutions?

There are a lot of Tech-PR Cosultants, sometimes they have issues and crises, meaning that there might just be news that they need to respond to. Something happened recently in PDBest where everybody was afraid that they have made a bad investment. So all their customers were just trying to withdraw their funds. To the extent there was this kind of stampede. So the thing is that to avoid such crisis or to manage such crisis, you need to already have a crisis template. So in the time of crisis this is how we are going to manage it. These are the people who will speak with the media, these are the people that will even handle the social media during this crisis. So, there are no surprises, even there are surprises, we are already prepared for the crisis. And you expect that anything that arises you will be able to manage it no matter how difficult it is.

How long have you been operating as a tech-based PR communication strategist?

As a Tech-PR communication person I have been operating for over a year. I used to be with an agency, I have worked with different agencies. I actually migrated from the media, I used to be a journalist. From there I went into PR. I went to do NIPR. I started doing PR and from PR I moved into Tech-PR specifically, because I found that it was a huge market. And I found that a lot of companies do not understand PR in the Tech industry and they need it to be able to survive and succeed in Nigeria marketing market.

Tell us the future of tech brands and tech PR consulting in the upwardly mobile world? The future of tech brands and tech PR consulting is that they will be able to tell their own story themselves. A lot of companies are already creating PR and the media. That is, they already employ PR professionals. So in the future I see more of them having more PR professionals in their workforce, in their management. And they will be able to work with external agencies like I myself to ensure that their stories are been told the right way. Even if they have PR professionals that are working with them, they still need the services of tech-PR agencies

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