Why I’m devoted to Nigeria PR Report

Nigeria PR Report 2016

So we had an AMA ( ask me anything chat) session on BHM‘s Facebook and Periscope yesterday, and someone wanted to know why we are doing the annual Nigeria PR Report and what impact I  think it’s had.

It’s a question I get asked a lot. Why are you doing this? What’s in it for you and your agency? Are you building some sort of credentials so you can run for PRCAN presidency? Or you’re just using all the campaign to position your agency? Someone even suggested it’s a covert spy operation to help us know what’s happening with competition. And I laughed in Itsekiri

My answer? None of the above could be farther from the truth. But it’s not the first time I’m being asked such. In 1998 when I started organising the Youth Awards for Excellence in Music, YAFEM, there were many at the time who thought I was doing so many of such free, popular events to position myself to run for PMAN presidency. You’re laughing too? Hahahahahahahahaha!

I believe in building ecosystems. I believe in baking bigger pies so everyone can have a bigger share. I believe in making communities better than I met them. I believe in building tomorrow today.

That’s why we do NECLive every year, for free. That’s why we publish Nigeria PR Report every year. That’s why I do most of the things I do. Chatting with a friend this morning, about this article from The Atlantic, it suddenly dawned on me that all the industries I work in are endangered: PR = endangered. Media = endangered. Entertainment = endangered. To fold one’s arms, and continue business as usual, is to be digging one’s grave without knowing it.

I believe the PR Report brings something we desperately need to save our businesses: data. We need to know what’s happened, what’s happening, how it happened, why it happened, etc etc if we are to plot a good future for ourselves and those coming behind. We must have the kind of insight that takes us into the minds of the market, the minds of the consumer, the minds of government, the minds of our customers, and other stakeholders, if we are to potentially make informed decisions around our individual businesses and the industry in general. We need to know what areas to invest in, what skills to build, what new markets are opening up, what new tools could make distribution and reporting better; what technology we could utilize to transform our work, and ultimately our businesses and our clients’. How do you build a multi billion dollar industry while you’re winking in the dark? You simply cannot!

As PR people, we like to use that quote Richard Branson has denied owning: ‘If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on PR’. We like to tease potential clients, asking them to not ‘wink in the dark. We like to complain about so called ‘digital marketing’ pulling the rug from our feet; we like to give advertisers and media buyers the side eye, insisting they’re getting paid so much for doing so little.

But the joke is on us, really. If we really want anyone to ‘spend their last dollar’ on public relations, then we must do better than we currently are doing. To do better, we need to know better. To know better means having the right data to help with strategy and planning and measurement and billing. We must pul the wool from our own eyes first, before asking multinationals who have built big businesses, or SMEs building amazing businesses, to stop ‘winking in the dark.’

One of two things eventually happens to endangered species: the are either rescued and preserved, or they go extinct. I see a big opportunity for PR now and in the future (I see the same future for entertainment and media, and it’s not even because I’m afraid of what will happen to me and my family should these three industries go down :|); a big opportunity with governments, with consumer companies, with technology and media. There’s a higher probability that our industries will morph into something formidable if we continue to do things differently, if we continue to innovate and self-disrupt. The entire BHM vision is built on the belief that Africa will deliver the brands, businesses, leaders, thinking, tools and nations that’ll run the world in a matter of years. And we believe it is possible.

Let’s just say it’s time to build tomorrow!

Interview: Media Consumers Now Have More Power Than Before – Ayeni

ID Africa

By Funsho Arogundade (The News Nigeria)

 

In this interview with FUNSHO AROGUNDADE, the young media entrepreneur fondly called “Ayeni The Great” gives a rare peek into digital marketing agency ID Africa, his latest business venture, which will see a spread of the BHM Group’s clientele and content across more nations on the African continent

Q: How did BHM Group begin?

A: BHM Group started in 2006, while I was still a reporter, from my two-bedroom flat in Akute (Lagos). My wife and I had no furniture so I bought a small chair and table, and could only afford to pay someone to assemble a computer. We started out working for musicians, actors and record labels that had smaller budgets, so it was tough but fulfilling work.

A few years later, my friend Ayo Animashaun (owner of Hip TV and The Headies) gave me a desk in his office from where BHM operated. Eventually, we had to rent our own office space and today we have 60 employees and various consultants across the world. In 2009 we began working for corporate clients, and they tapped into the experience we had built with entertainers and young people. It has never happened in Nigeria that an organisation with experience solely in entertainment – working for artistes and actors – to begin working for various multinationals. That’s our story and we are proud of it.

Ayeni Adekunle1croped

Q: You recently launched ID Africa, a digital agency and subsidiary of the BHM Group? What do you hope to achieve?

A: With Digital Marketing, disparate uptake rates exist. Brands across regions in Africa are very late to the party, while those trying to get into the party are not in the appropriate attire; I mean they are not using the right tools to speak to, or listen to the people. Africa is a continent of up to 2,000 languages from numerous tribes, with over 1 billion people becoming increasingly globalised, yet retaining the peculiarities that categorise their individual heritages – the status quo is changing. We all know that the latest arrivals to a party can still make the atmosphere electric, so this is an opportunity for practitioners.

We are fortunate to have an extensive understanding, based on our PR background, about people who consume and publish content on the Internet. We know what they are looking for, so we have an understanding of how to use that social space better to create the kind of conversations that can help people meet each other and have a nice time, whether it’s a brand meeting the consumer or just consumers interacting, or even brands needing to engage with each other.

ID Africa is the digital agency that can make this happen because it is not just a service agency; more of Africa’s audiences need to be communicated with and listened to via channels and outlets that best conform to their social, cultural and personal proclivities.

Q: So, what are your experiences as you roll out ID Africa with more continental clients?

A: I cannot divulge research data we have obtained at prohibitive costs, but I will share some insights.

A: To successfully communicate with the diverse audiences and demographics that constitute Africa’s cities and navigate the sociocultural nuances therein, all brands- entertainment or corporate- must treat the term media very loosely. If I can get on a Mutatu in Nairobi or a Danfo in Lagos and speak to 50 passengers, and try to get them to try or understand my new product, then that bus as far as ID Africa is concerned, is as valid a media vehicle as social media is in Johannesburg.

 

Read full interview on thenewsnigeria.com.ng

 

African Businesses are late to Digital marketing, says Ayeni

id2

By Goddie Ofose (The Niche Newspaper)

 

Genesis of BHM Group

BHM Group started in 2006 from my two-bedroom flat in Akute, Lagos while I was a reporter. My wife and I had no furniture so I bought a small chair and table, and could only afford to pay someone to assemble a computer.

We started out working for musicians, actors, and record labels that had small budgets. It was a tough but fulfilling work.

A few years later, my friend, Ayo Animashaun, gave me a desk in his office from where BHM operated. Eventually, we rented our own office space and today we have 60 employees and consultants across the world.

In 2009, we began working for corporates, and they tapped into the experience we had built with entertainers and young people.

It had never happened in Nigeria that an organisation comes from entertainment – working for artistes and actors – to work for multinationals.

That’s our story and we are proud of it.

Exploring digital marketing

With digital marketing, disparate uptake rates exist. Brands across regions in Africa are very late to the party, while those trying to get in are not in the appropriate attire; I mean they are not using the right tools to speak to or listen to the people.

Africa is a continent of up to 2,000 languages from numerous tribes – with over one billion people becoming increasingly globalised, yet retaining the peculiarities that categorise their individual heritages. The status quo is changing.

The latest arrivals to a party can still make the atmosphere electric, so this is an opportunity for practitioners.

We are fortunate to have an extensive understanding, based on our PR background, about people who consume and publish content on the internet.

We know what they are looking for, so we have an understanding of how to use that social space better to create the kind of conversations that can help people meet each other and have a nice time, whether it’s a brand meeting the consumer or just consumers interacting, or even brands needing to engage with one another.

ID Africa is the digital agency that can make this happen because it is not just a service agency; more of Africa’s audiences need to be communicated with and listened to via channels and outlets that best conform to their social, cultural, and personal proclivities.

Ayeni Adekunle1croped

Observing the space

I cannot divulge research data we obtained at prohibitive costs, but I will share some insights.

To successfully communicate with the diverse audiences and demographics that constitute Africa’s cities and navigate the sociocultural nuances therein, all brands – entertainment or corporate – must treat the term ‘media’ very loosely.

 

Read full interview on thenicheng.com

 

ID Africa: Uniting Continent With Digital Support

id1

By Afolabi Idowu (The Union Newspaper)

 

The increased Internet penetration and the resultant increase in the publishing and consumption of content online are the factors that conspired to necessitate the emergence of ID Africa. The Group Managing Director of BHM Group, Mr. Adekunle Ayeni told the UNION recently According to him, “We will not be seeking to merely replicate successful campaigns in one country, or go to another country and toe the line, no.

Africa is not a country, but a cohort of nations with diverse social, cultural and political influences and nuances. Therefore, ID Africa will be taking into consideration how each of these factors will make or mar each brief, each brand and each consumer demographic we are trying to tackle,” “For example, a brief might mean ID Africa looks at target cities, even for the making an online campaign that would run solely on the Internet.

We would do this because we know that mobile phones have killed off most cyber cafés in many Nigerian cities, so we expect the Nigerian consumer to most likely be consuming content from one of the over 83 million active phone lines Nigeria has. Studies show many young people in Ghana and South Africa still use Internet cafes, even though they have a mobile phone.”

Ayeni Adekunle2

He added, “In Cape Town in particular, there’s evidence that mobile phones and public access computers are not substitutes for one another. Juxtapose this with Senegal, where Google   opened what it called Africa’s first cybercafé that works only with tablets in 2013 and you will see why ID Africa is excited to explore the digital opportunities that abound for consumers and brands alike.”

His company, The BHM Group now has a London office, morphing into a chain of businesses that manages strategic communications programs for companies with interests in financial services, entertainment, lifestyle and fashion, media, consumer goods, marketing and technology. Its clientele is just as varied, with brands like First Bank Nigeria, Verve, Hennessy, Nigerian Breweries and Interswitch, as well as Viacom, parent company of MTV Base, Nickelodeon, BET and Comedy Central. Speaking further, “Rising Internet penetration in Nigeria and across Africa has increasingly pushed content publishers and consumers to interact online.This shift has created the necessary conditions for the emergence of ID Africa.”

 

Read full interview on theunion.com.ng

 

 

Why My New Company Is A Big Deal

I.D PIX4

It’s 6AM in Lagos, Nigeria.

I’m sitting at my desk, looking back at the past few years of my life. I haven’t had much sleep, haven’t seen my kids in two days. I’m wearing the same clothes from yesterday.

But I’m not complaining. Instead, I’m actually grateful. 

It’s 6AM on February 27, 2015 – just about 11 years after I left the University of Ibadan with a third class degree. Just 11 years ago, when I was a hospital reject, a homeless and unemployable ‘graduate’.

It’s 6AM on February 27, 2015. Eight years and 14 days since I officially left paid employment.  I remember the day on February 13, 2007, my dad’s 63rd birthday, when I looked my boss in the face and said ‘actually, sir, I don’t think I want to work here anymore’.

It’s 6AM on Friday February 27, 2015, eight years and three months since I started what is now known as BHM. By now, I’m sure everyone knows the story of how we started with zero Naira, how we squatted for years and used my wife’s salary to run the business.

I.D PIX3

It’s 6AM on Friday February 27, 2015, over three years since we crossed the $1m mark (yes, a big deal, for a little Lagos agency), nearly five years since we started our second business (Nigerian Entertainment Today) and the day we officially launch our third – ID Africa – a sexy company that will introduce new ways of helping brands and consumers use social tools to connect with those they care about.

Continue reading…