Celebrating Davido With Media Friends At BHM Lounge

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So we hosted a media party for Nigerian pop star Davido in celebration of his recent global deal with Sony Music.

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Couldn’t find my glasses. And my cap.

Davido

Are you in a photo if it’s just your hand in it? Davido

Davido and his NET cover

Davido was a bad boy. Proud of how he’s cleaned up his image and used his music to show young folks what’s possible.

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Frosh

The BHM Team and Davido

The BHM Team pose with Davido before he had a chance to enter the lounge.

PR Is Dead

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It’s 2015.

It’s July 9, and almost 50 workers at BlackHouse Media, a public relations agency in Lagos, Nigeria are out of patience waiting for June salaries.

A week earlier, the finance team sent a mail to all staff, explaining the delay and promising payment in one week. It’s the first time in many years that the eight year old agency is failing to pay salaries on time.

BlackHouse Media, a member of BHM Group, is by Nigerian definitions a successful agency. It works for two multi-nationals, including the country’s biggest brewer; it works for media giants and has a digital advantage over every competitor in the market. In 2014, the company launched Nigeria’s first PR application, and recorded over 1 billion social media impressions for client campaigns. One year later, it launched its own digital agency, ID Africa.

BHM Group Staff

BHM Group

BlackHouse Media is not struggling. But while staff salaries were only delayed for one week in June (after a cash flow hitch), the same cannot be said for a lot of other agencies in its category.

According to a 2015 survey, only a handful of public relations agencies in Nigeria are able to pay staff and contractors as at when due. A lot of old and new generation agencies are struggling to make ends meet in a market when creative agencies, digital marketing companies and media independents are making a kill.

Why is this so?

Many in the industry believe it is because agencies cannot charge much. Only a few get good budgets and are on retainers.
As a result, only few can keep great talent. The flight from PR into advertising or client side is at an all time high; most of the agencies surveyed have lost senior consultants in the past year.

Only few can do great work.

PR is rarely in the room when management is planning or when the government is strategizing. When we do get called, it is often for traditional media relations or to ‘manage’ press events.

PR Is Dead

Clients complain they do not get value at the level of strategy; that they do not get help navigating social media; that they do not see creativity and innovation, especially in storytelling and community management.

Agencies lament on the frustration in not being properly compensated; not having access to senior management. They complain about phony pitches, poaching and government’s failure at regulation.

Nigeria’s federal government continues to engage services of quacks for public relations roles even as many public and private organizations regularly engage unregistered foreign agencies to do PR work in Nigeria.

Many of the so-called big agencies cannot pay competitive wages, and in recent times, several have owed up to three months’ pay.

Pundits say creative and media agencies are not immune to these problems. Reports say only a handful of agencies in that segment are running profitably.

The difference? You can identify the big media accounts based on spend. You can understand why some agencies are getting lucrative creative briefs while others are idle. There are more than a few media, events and creative agencies turning over billions of Naira annually from one-offs, commissions or retainer works. There is, at this moment, none in PR.

BHM Media & Intelligence predicts that more agencies will see revenues dwindle if client trust is not restored, if the industry is not able to re- attract super talents. And these will only happen if the practice is able to resurrect.

Yes, PR is dead.

What exactly do we bring to the table that clients and their publics cannot do without? The current system of press releases, buzz words and other fluff?

PR Statistics

Nigeria has a population estimated at about 200 million. Most of these are young people spread round rural, semi-urban and urban areas.

As at March 2015, there was an estimate of 195 million active mobile phones in Nigeria with GSM subscriber base of 144,486,786. Nigeria has the highest Internet penetration rate in Africa with an annual growth of about 4 million.

ID Africa Stats

Our country has over 7 million people on Facebook and is considered one of the top five African countries with the most Twitter activityAlso, the adoption of other platforms like WeChat, Whatsapp and Instagram is growing rapidly.

Newspaper circulation will predictably continue to drop. Some of the country’s biggest titles have cut print runs consistently; several have shut down presses while others have completely gone off the stands. In a country where media relations is a core function for most PR professionals, how will this impact on our work?

More consumers are spending more time on their phones than in front of the TV. Media platforms are rapidly redefining themselves and aligning with consumer habits.

Brands are using storytelling and content marketing to engage their consumers. Many consumers are becoming content creators and publishers in their own rights – be it through their Facebook status updates or by expressing strong opinions on Twitter. Some of the biggest media and influencer jobs of the past two years in terms of income and impact have been by individuals on social media; individuals who may never have been considered ‘media’ only a few years ago. Some of them are so powerful that the Nigerian government has nicknamed them ‘cabal’.

But where are the PR people?

What do these figures mean?

It is time we shamed those who believe “PR will never take its long-coveted seat at the boardroom table, where it will be recognized as an essential component of strategic business rather than a bolt-on” (Phillip 2015, 11).

BHM Boss Ayeni Adekunle To Speak At Success Stories Africa Conference

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BHM Group President, Ayeni Adekunle has been announced as lead speaker at Success Stories Africa Conference 2015 holding on Saturday 12 September 2015 in Lagos.

The respected writer and entrepreneur, who is also the founder of digital agency ID Africa, entertainment website TheNETNG and music platform Orin, is an in-demand public speaker with a wealth of business and lifestyle tips to share. Ayeni, who founded his first business at 17 has spoken at a number of high profile events including the recent Junior Chamber International (JCI) Lagos City Monthly Business Meeting With Entrepreneurs, Project Fame West Africa 2015 Image and Personal Branding Master Class and the African Public Relations Association (APRA) 2014 Conference in Mauritius.

Speaking on the topic, ‘The Making of BHM Group’ and in the course of developing this theme, he will share his life’s story highlighting key encounters, lessons, habits, people and principles that have shaped who he is today. By telling his personal success story to a diverse audience of young Nigerians engaged in different fields of endeavour, he hopes to help those present to find their way and achieve success in life.

Speaking recently, he commented, “I am always happy to share stories and ideas that can possibly make the journey easier for people trying to find their way.

Aimed at empowering African youths to enable them change their lives for the better, the conference themed ‘Buy The Future’, will also feature addresses from other media personalities including CEO Red Media Africa Chude Jideonwo, actress Monalisa Chinda, CEO AGDC Detoun Ogwo and Founder Omojuwa.com Japheth Omojuwa.

About Ayeni Adekunle

Ayeni is a Nigerian Public Relations practitioner, Journalist and businessman. He is the founder of Black House Media, a Public Relations firm, and ID Africa, a digital marketing agency. He is also the founder and publisher of Nigerian Entertainment Today (NET), which organises the annual Nigerian Entertainment Conference and Orin, a music platform. He attended the University of Ibadan where he graduated with a BSc in Microbiology. Often referred to in Nigerian media circles as ‘Ayeni The Great’ or ‘ATG’, Ayeni lives in Lagos and is happily married with two children.

To read more about Ayeni click here

 

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

 

I Started BHM In My Three Bedroom Flat – Ayeni Adekunle

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By Charles Okogene (Daily Independent Newspaper)

 

Ayeni Adekunle is the PR practitioner, journalist and businessman behind Black House Media (BHM) group, a public relations and digital communications agency based in Lagos, Nigeria, with offices in London, UK. He founded BHM Group in 2006 from humble beginnings that manage strategic communications programmes for companies with interests in entertainment, lifestyle and ICT.

While studying for a degree in microbiology from the University of Ibadan (UI), Ayeni started his career with Hip Hop World magazine, worked with Encomium Weekly, Thisday and The Punch  before leaving to concentrate on the BHM Group. He founded Nigeria Entertainment Today, a niche website on November 23, 2009, five months before launching its print version in April 2010.

Since 2013, Ayeni has convened the annual Nigerian Entertainment Conference, the largest gathering of artistes and professionals in Nigerian entertainment, and in 2014, he led the BHM Group to conceptualise and build BHM App, Nigeria’s first PR mobile application.

BHM’s clients include MTV Base, Nigerian Breweries, Nickelodeon, Hennessy, Interswitch, Verve, as well as BET and Comedy Central.

In this interview with journalists, he 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.

How did BHM Group begin?

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 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 corporates, and they tapped into the experience we had built with entertainers and young people.

It’s never happened in Nigeria that an organisation comes from entertainment  – working for artistes and actors – to begin working for multinationals. That’s our story and we are proud of it.

ID Africa

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

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 2000 languages from numerous tribes, with over 1 billion people becoming increasingly globalised, yet retaining the peculiarities that categorize 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.

 

Read full interview on dailyindependentnig.com

 

Digital PR to the Rescue

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By Raheem Akingbolu (ThisDay Newspaper)

 

Like other aspects of marketing communications, the goal post for effective public relations practice has been shifted from traditional to a blend of traditional and digital. A survey of the industry shows that most companies now rely more on agencies with the understanding of the new trend for their briefs than those with only traditional experience. This, according to a source, informed why most of the PR businesses won in recent time were as a result of the winners’ depth in digital application.

The Chief Executive Officer of Black House Media (BHM), Mr. Ayeni Adekunle, whose agency is currently making waves in this regard told THISDAY during the week that the best way any agency can survive in today’s market is to be dynamic in skill acquisition and understanding of the global trend.

Ayeni Adekunle

Sharing insights on how BHM has been able to weather the storm, despite the global technological advancement which has redefined the PR space, Ayeni said his agency’s staying power lies in the ability to read between the lines as trend changes.

“With PR, our approach has always been to understand how the media landscape has changed, is changing, and therefore ascertain what tools we need to use to deliver value to brands and audiences alike. Before, the media was a brick wall you had to pass through, to get to the consumer. Today, every consumer, every brand, is a publisher and recipient of content. Just as there are billboards on the roads, there are digital billboards to draw in and engage the consumer, but their construction for Africa-focused demographics is a whole different field which we are excited to have the privilege of labouring in.

So ID Africa is here to further the premise on which the BHM Group itself is built – ensuring that as manufacturers and consumers, we do not lose sight of the ‘social” in social media, and the “media” in media communication.

With PR, our approach has always been to understand how the media landscape has changed, is changing, and therefore ascertain what tools we need to use to deliver value to brands and audiences alike. Before, the media was a brick wall you had to pass through, to get to the consumer. Today, every consumer, every brand, is a publisher and recipient of content. Just as there are billboards on the roads, there are digital billboards to draw in and engage the consumer, but their construction for Africa-focused demographics is a whole different field which we are excited to have the privilege of labouring in.

Enters ID Africa

The practitioner also spoke about the recently launched ID Africa, a digital agency and subsidiary of the BHM Group, which he said was established to further deepening the practice.

“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 2000 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.

 

Read full interview on thisdaylive.com

African Businesses are late to Digital marketing, says Ayeni

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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