… as Nigerian Women in PR concludes plans to host participants at its annual conference
LAGOS, Nigeria, – March 5, 2021-/African Media Agency(AMA)/- Public relations as a profession has been misunderstood and largely unappreciated over the years, especially as many are unable to identify distinguishing features from its sister professions: advertising and marketing.
This, Nigerian Women in Public Relations has said, is the reason they have authored the Experiencing Public Relations book set to be launched on Saturday March 6 by 11am. Speaking ahead of the event, the keynote speaker Omotola Oyebanjo, Head Corporate Affairs and Communications, Africa and Middle East at Upfield said:
“The PR profession is often underestimated, largely due to a lack of understanding of what it is about, and yet its impact on organisations is crucial. As reputation managers and image makers, we have the important responsibility of building trust, managing critical stakeholders, telling the brand’s stories in a compelling way and ensuring that organizations are well positioned and their reputations protected. Like health and wellbeing, these cannot be easily quantified in Naira and Kobo, but take it away, and suddenly companies discover that they lose a lot of Naira and Kobo.”
The Experiencing Public Relations book is a compilation of essays from 12 Nigerian women practicing public relations in Nigeria, Ireland, the United States and the United Kingdom. With contributors ranging from entry level professionals to veterans with over two decades’ experience, the articles discuss practical steps and raise thought-provoking questions that can help readers navigate their public relations journey from being young professionals to c-suite public relations women.
“This is our contribution to the body of knowledge in public relations, which is critical for the continued growth of our industry. Our selection process in identifying contributors was rigorous and carefully designed to ensure that we get representation across different generations. We also made certain to have contributors who work on the client side as well as in PR agencies. This is why we are confident that the information contained in the book will be of significant benefit to all public relations practitioners, both male and female, our industry regulators and the general public. Even more interesting – the book will be available to download for free on our website www.ngwomeninpr.org after the launch!” says Tolulope Olorundero, Editor-in-Chief of Experiencing Public Relations and Founder, Nigerian Women in Public Relations.
The articles in the book include: Who is a Public Relations Professional by Victoria Nwadoka; Switching to Public Relations by Demilade Abolaji; Public Relations in the Digital Age by Adebola Olomo; Why Media Relations is still a Powerful Part of PR for Nigeria and its Diaspora by Ronke Lawal; and Rethinking Government Communications by Adedoyin Jaiyesimi.
Other articles include: The Senior PR Woman by Oluwayemisi Adekunle; How to Get a Seat at the Table by Aderayo Bankole; Entertainment PR by Satira Osemudiamen; Work-Life Integration by Temi Ibekwe; Five Tips to Nurture your Career by Mabel Aladenusi-Adeteye; Educational Courses and Sources in Public Relations by Adaora Njemanze; and Discovering PR as an Undergraduate Millennial by Ibukun Falope.
The Experiencing Public Relations book is project conceived by the Nigerian Women in PR organisation. Nigerian Women in PR, established in 2019, is an independent social impact organisation created to build a robust network of practising and aspiring female public relations professionals of Nigerian descent. Their aim is to support, inspire and empower these professionals while improving access to career advancing opportunities. With its robust programs including #PRin30Seconds, Campus Students’ Summit and #ThrivethruPR, the organisation is determined to support female professionals get and retain a seat at the table where far-reaching decisions are made.
Date: March 6, 2021
Time: 11am WAT
Registration link: www.bit.ly/experiencingpr
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Phone numbers: +2349022496806, +2348024452344
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Nigerian Women in Public Relations.
4 Entrepreneurial and small business lessons from 18th century Ashanti Empire
The Ashanti Empire was one of the most endearing, richest and powerful dynasties to ever exist in West Africa. It offers individuals and businesses the opportunity to study “the kingdom of gold” which flourished between c.1695 and the rise of British colonial rule in the late 19th century.
The 4 entrepreneurial and small business lessons from 18th century Ashanti Empire
#1 Develop a strong brand
For all business owners and entrepreneurs, branding is a key marketing practice that distinguishes it products and service from its competitors. Branding does not only play a distinguishing role but provides recognition to the company, increase business value by giving the company more leverage in the industry and generate new customers.
It appeared Ashanti understood the importance of branding and sought to brand themselves with gold. Gold was the major product of the Ashanti Empire. The importance of gold to Asante empire could not be overemphasized. Gold was eloquently sewn into royal clothing, made into ornaments and exquisitely carved into symbolic shapes. Osei Tutu made the gold mines royal possessions with gold dust becoming the circulating currency in the empire.
The most notable of all the Ashanti gold branding uniqueness was that of the Golden Stool, which Osei Tutu argued represented the ancestors of all the Ashanti. The Golden Stool legitimized his rule and that of the royal dynasty that followed him. This branding of gold brought wealth to the empire as it traded heavily in gold in the 1700’s.
#2 Not all money/opportunity is good money/opportunity
Small business owners and entrepreneurs can get caught up in ‘quick or easy money/opportunity’ that may quickly bring prosperity to their business but may have moral questioning or negative repercussions in the long-term.
By the early 1800s, Ashanti had become a major exporter of enslaved people. They conquered neighbouring towns and dynasties to meet up with the growing demand for slaves in exchange for manufactured goods, most notably, firearms. This move by the Ashanti was heavily wrong on all accounts. From violation of human rights and freedom to the economic brain drain in the country, slavery is the most inhumane practice to ever exist.
#3 Recognizing opportunities
The Ashanti empire recognized and seized an opportunity in slavery that further expanded its power and influence. Though wrong, it teaches young entrepreneurs and small business owners to always be on the lookout for opportunities, the right opportunities.
Many opportunities exist that young businesses and entrepreneurs must seek and exploit. By researching into trends and seeking out innovative problem-solving approach, entrepreneurs can take advantage of the numerous opportunities that exist.
#4 Take-out your competition
To expand its influence and power, the Ashanti Kingdom, from 1790 until 1896, was in a continuous state of warfare. Most of the wars gave the Ashanti empire the opportunity to acquire more slaves for trade.
In today’s world, taking-out the competition has taken more of a subtle approach. It involves researching into the strategies of your competitors and deploying a much better strategy to gain new customers or outreach. When entering into any market it is important to research the competition. This will provide marketing tools to seize and quickly scale your business.
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Neglecting these 5 Marketing trends in 2021 could cost your business
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, a lot of businesses had to rethink their marketing strategies to ensure customer retention and acquisition of a new customer base.
Some businesses were forced to slash their marketing budgets and reduce targeted marketing mediums. However, living in the age of global digitalization, boosting marketing strategies may be the way to go to take advantage of the global marketplace. Also consider these marketing trends in 2021.
Today’s customers are looking for quick solutions to their problems and needs hence, businesses need to provide quick and instant solutions while maintaining and growing their customer base. With that said, below are 5 marketing trends that your business must take into consideration this year.
Marketing trends in 2021 – Chatbot
According to Investopedia, a chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation through voice commands or text chats, or both. That is, it is a program that interacts with your customers like the way a human would at a cost of little to nothing to engage with. Since chatbots are automated, they can attend to your customers at any time of the day or night. Due to this feature, chatbots provide the following benefits.
• Instant customer service: Customers get instantaneous answers to their questions at any time they visit your website or application service.
• Data acquisition for marketing: if a customer signs into a chatbox with their Facebook profile, you can receive their public data to make a more personalized marketing campaign. Also, you can request their email address and phone number to build your email marketing lists.
• Assist customers in finding products: some chatbots support product searches and cross-selling which makes it easier for customers to get what they want without having to surf through your website.
Marketing trends in 2021 – Video marketing
Creating video content to convey your marketing message should take precedence over the other forms of content such as texts. This is because video content marketing is easier to consume and visually stimulating. Besides, Google’s algorithm favours video content hence an all-important reason to consider video content for your marketing objective.
Marketing trends in 2021 – Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that involves using influencers that have a high number of dedicated social following to endorse your product or service. Gone are the days when influencer marketing was limited to celebrities. Today, a high number of social media influencers have risen and can quite effectively get people to purchase your products or service. However, getting in touch with the right influencer is key.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in its simplest form has been termed as “the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches.” The greater the visibility of your webpage or social media, the greater the chance to attract potential customers and retain existing ones. To improve your searchability on such social media platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok, using the right and best hashtags for your content is key.
Due to the pandemic and out of necessity, a lot of events had to take place online. As we are in 2021, it seems this new trend is here to stay and offers a massive opportunity for businesses. For one, going virtual opens up events to a new audience and reduces the costs that are associated with organizing in-person events. Virtual events are particularly useful for a firm in the real estate industry. Real estate companies can easily showcase newly built homes or sites to potential and existing customers anywhere across the globe.
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Meet the two Ghanaian businesses who have benefited from Inclusive Digital Commerce accelerator
The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce accelerator, managed by BFA Global, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), have announced the first cohort of digital commerce companies to be scaled, with the goal of improving the livelihoods of informal MSEs in Ghana.
Boost Ghana and KudiGo are enabling small retailers to grow by easing business administration, digitizing operations, improving access to working capital and reducing the cost of doing business, while providing suppliers with efficient access to MSE customers on the ground.
Both companies will receive up to US$120,000 in capital funding, along with:
- Deep, bespoke, expert-led venture acceleration support;
- Connections with Catalyst Fund’s growing global Circle of Investors and Circle of Corporate Innovators, and;
- In-market expertise from MEST.
Ghana’s Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) Sector
“MSEs are the backbone of Ghana’s economy, representing about 80% of the MSME sector and employing over 50% of Ghanaians (MOTI 2019). Within the MSE sector, informal work is predominant and contributes to 90% of employment,” said Jane del Ser, Program Director for the Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator.
“Following the COVID-19 crisis, micro and small enterprises in particular lack access to a financial safety net, which significantly impacts their livelihoods and ability to do business. As most transactions and records occur offline, these businesses also lack digital financial records that can grant them access to the working capital they need to survive. Both Boost Ghana and KudiGo present digital solutions that have the potential to significantly impact the livelihoods of thousands of informal MSE owners,” del Ser concluded.
Catalyst fund Inclusive digital Commerce accelerator
Since launching the program in November 2020, Catalyst Fund conducted research on MSEs in urban and peri-urban retail shops around Accra and found that 100% of shop owners have smartphones, and more than half already market their businesses via social media. However, few currently use digital means to purchase inputs, manage their businesses on a day to day basis, or fulfill orders; only 20% buy inputs online, and 80% purchase inventory in-person, at markets or at a store. This leads to costly transportation expenses, and it means MSEs cannot guarantee the availability of supplies or price stability enjoyed by larger retailers.
Boost Ghana and KudiGo
Boost Ghana is tackling this problem by enabling underserved small businesses in Ghana to order stock digitally at the best wholesale prices, and receive efficient, same-day deliveries. For suppliers, they provide direct access to last-mile retail customers at scale, providing critical data and reducing the cost of distribution. KudiGo provides a holistic retail management solution for small business owners, including inventory management, a CRM, mobile money payments and a digital storefront, enabling businesses to build a digital footprint and access financial services more easily. They also offer their MSE customers last-mile delivery via partners.
In addition to working with Boost and KudiGo, the Catalyst Fund team aims to grow the wider digital commerce ecosystem, by partnering with corporate innovators and investors who can help these companies scale, in an effort to create a more enabling investment and business environment.
“Digitizing MSEs is critical to growing the informal sector and unlocking their potential to scale up and be at the forefront of Ghana’s economic recovery. Leveraging the collective capacity of local digital commerce companies to lead this effort is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Nathalie Akon Gabala, Mastercard Foundation’s Regional Director for West, Central and Northern Africa.
Catalyst Fund recently released an investment brief containing three areas of opportunity for inclusive digital commerce innovation in the Ghanaian market. The brief can be found here.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce.
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