Home FeatureOutdoor Industry Post-World PR Day: Africa’s Challenge

Post-World PR Day: Africa’s Challenge

by Goddie Ofose
0 comment

The growth of Public Relations in Africa can be summed up with three words: money and mileage.  In terms of money, we’re far behind the rest of the world; latest figures from PRovoke Media, a leading source of global PR news, show that out of the Top 250 PR agencies in the world, none are out of Africa.  The top PR agency in the world generates over $980m in income while the 250th generates over $6m in income.  That means no African PR agency generates over $6m in income.  In terms of mileage, we can compete.  The World PR Day that was celebrated on the 16th of July was initiated by an African: a Nigerian, no less! We have Ayeni Adekunle, the founder and CEO of Black House Media, one of Nigeria’s top PR agencies, to thank for World PR Day.

2022’s World PR Day attracted PR participants from Nigeria, Ghana, Ukraine, Kenya, Dubai, Canada, South Africa, Ecuador, India, Botswana, Abu Dhabi, England, Rwanda, Belgium and Uganda.  Talk about mileage! All were encouraged to post personal PR stories, videos and hashtags created for the day on social media, organise fireside chats and publish op-eds about PR on their agency/personal blogs or submit op-eds to national/regional newspapers and trade magazines. 

Why is Africa lagging way behind financially in PR income generation? Existing and prospective clients cite lack of return on investment as the reason why they’re not willing to spend more or spend at all, respectively.  The challenge going forward for African agencies is to exert more of their efforts on business development as a service to these existing and prospective clients.  Apart from all the services we offer such as employee relations, community relations, media relations, government relations, investor relations, CEO brand management, crises management, issues management and strategy, just to name some, leading the client to where they can charge another party for their service is indispensable.

Simultaneously, we must continue to do more and more PR for ourselves as practitioners and as agencies.  In working for our clients and getting paid, we can all too easily forget to make friends that will help us be more successful.  Yes, you read that right! PR is also about making friends so that in times of trouble, you won’t be too badly burned.  In times of prosperity, you need to share your wealth in the form of corporate social responsibilities to your operating environment.  Is your agency in a co-working space? Once a month buy snacks for the whole building! Build a borehole on your office street for that compound that doesn’t have pipe borne water and imprint your company logo on the borehole.  And don’t forget about to write about your good deeds in the newspapers and on blogs! If we do them for our clients we can do them for ourselves.  Acts such as these earn you or your agency serious brand currency that leads to face or name recognition that will put you in a position to charge top naira! 

Trust, Truth and Transparency was the theme for this year’s World PR Day.  PR is not spin; it’s not telling lies.  We highlight the positive.  The United States of America retains her position as the world’s thought leader on most things, particularly in politics, entertainment and fashion.  They were able to do this through making the whole world believe they’re the best.  When I was growing up in the 1980s American movies frequently made villains Eastern European and heroes American.  It wasn’t until I became an adult I realised that they did this to give the world the impression that Eastern European was bad and America was good.  Switch to the 2000s and they started making their villains Middle Eastern to give the world an impression that the Middle East was bad and they were superior.  My senior colleague Bolaji Okusaga the Managing Consultant of Precise, a PR agency, who was named as one of the Top 50 PR professionals in Nigeria in honour of this year’s World PR Day, said in an interview some years ago that who wins an American Presidential election is not the most qualified, but the most persuasive.  African PR agencies need to be more persuasive when we ask for more money from our clients and when we’re pitching services to prospective clients.

The best time to strike an iron is when it is hot and right now as the world is gagging for our Afrobeats and fintechs, we must these successes to inspire us to build an African PR industry that is world-class. 

 

You may also like

Leave a Comment