Femi Falodun, the CEO of ID Africa, has said to truly solve the challenges that impact the African communications industry, indigenous tech companies and communication agencies will need to collaborate to develop homegrown solutions.
Across Africa, individuals and organisations are adopting technological solutions into virtually all aspects of life to solve business, health, education, and agricultural challenges. Falodun believes to solve communications challenges in Africa, communicators will have to work with the very successful African tech ecosystem to develop ideas and products that can truly address local challenges.
He stated this while speaking on a panel that examined trends, opportunities and challenges in the African PR and Communications market, at the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) in London, on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
Sharing from his over a decade experience of consulting on Public Relations, Media and Digital Communications projects across diverse sectors and developing strategic communication programmes for some of Africa’s biggest brands, he said some of the technology tools being developed in other parts of the world for Public Relations professionals don’t really work well in Africa, which is why those working in the communications industry will have to work with the very successful African tech space to solve critical problems.
“Most of the tools available internationally are effective to an extent, but they would be more effective if they were built with local context in mind when they were being developed,” he told PR professionals from over 30 countries.
Falodun, who is also a Director at BlackHouse Media (BHM) UK, said, “This pushed us (BHM) to a point where we had to invest in local tech to build local tools that would help us analyse campaigns and optimise our processes, and one of those products ended up becoming Plaqad that provides social media analytics and local insights on the continent.”
“The next project we are trying to build now is a Digital Press Office to aid the media relations work that PR people do. We understand that some of these technologies are being developed in other markets across the world but they do not necessarily solve the problem for us locally.”
He said to solve communications challenges in Africa, communicators will have to work with the very successful African tech space to develop tech tools that can truly address the local challenges.
Meanwhile, Jessica Hope, CEO of Wimbart who joined Falodun on the session, says some of the Western PR support services “are completely useless for Africa”.
Hope, who founded Wimbart, and has become one of the most respected PR partners for African startups, says she believes opportunities are in abundance in Africa and it is important to understand the market, how people like to do business and the rules of engagement.