JOHANNESBURG, May 7 – Local public relations companies are forming strategic partnerships with others across Africa for competitive positioning and ahead of the first world cup ever to take place on African soil.
Tell-Em Public Relations East Africa was part of a delegation that recently attended a Pan Africa PR Agency meeting in Johannesburg organised by Fleishman Hillard (FH) South Africa to discuss the building of African PR capacity in the wake of recovering business levels and the much anticipated run-up to the World Cup.
Managing Directors from African Fleishman Hillard partner offices attended the meeting in Johannesburg, representing Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius, Zambia and Cape Town.
Tell-Em Managing Director Elizabeth Cook said that PR was growing in sophistication across the continent and more clients were looking for a pan African solution.
“Through our affiliation with Fleishman Hillard, we have spent the past two years investing a lot of time and effort in building both capacity and our partner networks across the African continent,” she said.
“Global perceptions are definitely shifting and Africa is a very exciting place to be, especially now, with the growth of broadband communications across the continent and with few days to the FIFA World Cup.”
The Managing Director of Fleishman Hillard South Africa Kevin Welman noted that the growth of broadband communications across the continent has translated into Africa rapidly becoming a global citizen and part of the rapidly growing digital economy.
“This process has fueled other changes as access to the internet and has spurred education and learning and further encouraged the democratisation of the media in those countries where freedom of expression has often been frowned upon,” he said.
Mr Welman said other socio-economic factors contributing to this perceptual shift include the reality that with the recession and collapse of first world markets global companies can no longer afford to condescend the third world as emerging markets since they have now become central to their economic growth.
He said he has seen a marked growth in PR business throughout the continent as he traveled to and visited FH affiliate offices stretching from North to West and East Africa and back down to South Africa.
“We have become and remain highly proactive in building our African network as we now have more capacity and skilled PR professionals on the ground than ever before.”