Interviews

‘Building the first app for PR in Nigeria is a dream come true’- Ayeni ‘The Great’ Adekunle, CEO of BHM Group

History was made in Lagos, Nigeria, last week as BlackHouse Media, Nigeria’s leading media and public relations agency announced the launch of its mobile application, BHM App. Interestingly, it’s the first of its kind in the public relations and communication industry in Nigeria.

The exclusive launch, held at the agency’s head office in Ikeja, Lagos, welcomed a host of distinguished media and prominent guests in the industry.

In attendance were TV host and comedian, Tee A; columnist and journalist, Tolu Ogunlesi, editor and publisher, Toni Kan; PRCAN President, Chido Nwakanma; PRCAN Vice- President, John Ehiguese; PRCAN Secretary-General, Muyiwa Akintunde; journalist and sports presenter, Colin Udoh; Sodium Brand Solutions CEO, Abisoye Fagade; The Niche Newspapers Executive Editor, Olumide Iyanda; AVEdge Limited CEO, Lolu Durojaiye and many others.

In a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the CEO of BHM Group, Ayeni Adekunle said: “The app is an experiment, done 100 percent in-house. Our future as PR agencies in Nigeria depends on how well we adapt to changes. We want to make sure that if the terrain changes we can also play in that terrain and more…

 

We have just witnessed the launch of the first app for PR. What informed the concept?

We wanted to create a platform that can help our industry better. A platform that can help students understand PR business better in Nigeria. Platform that can help clients do their jobs better. A Platform that can bridge the gap between those who need our services and their publics. We wanted to create a tool that can provide information, tips, news, and statistics among others for the PR industry in Nigeria. A tool that can help tell our stories better.

Doing this has taken us close to a year or more, and I am happy that today, we are unveiling it, with the full support of Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN). I am very excited because this is the first in the series of exciting tools that would re-direct the future of PR in Nigeria.

Tell us how the app would be of benefit to different sectors within the industry?

If you’re a journalist, you need the app because you want to find out what’s happening in the lives of the agencies you cover. You want to find out about the brands in the market; you want to find out how to contact different agencies in Nigeria, among others. For agencies, it helps to find out what brands are up to; news and happenings trending the industry, among others. If you are a PR practitioner, you can learn new things with this app. You want to see videos, lectures and workshops, this app is for you.

The BHM App offers unique features such as an extensive directory comprising local and international media contacts in the industry, newsfeed stream, social blog and video integration and many other exciting channels and is readily available for the general public on Blackberry, IOS, Windows and Android devices.

Generally speaking, it’s a tool that serves different purposes for everybody within the integrated marketing and communication industry in Nigeria.

What’s unique about this app?

BHM App is the first of its kind in Nigeria. This is the first time this is happening; and it’s a free tool for everybody to download on their mobile phones. I pray this wouldn’t be the last. We want better ideas that can help us do our work better; that can tell our stories better.

Apart from being free, how does it work?

Just download the app on your mobile phone store. It’s very easy, simple to understand. It’s user friendly, and it’s now left for you to choose your favourite section, depending on your needs. It caters for everybody’s needs, and we are not stopping, it’s work in progress. We continue to update it based on the feedback that we get.

Why did it take close to a year?

It took us a long time because we wanted to do it in-house. Hence, it took us time to set up the team; it took us long time to experiment and research; what kind of service the app would render. It got to a point we almost called it off, but I am happy today, we’re launching the app. I am happy with the feedback I have received, so far, from the executive of the PR-CAN, my senior colleagues as well, journalists and bloggers. Everybody is excited.

Any benefit for BHM?

Apart from several benefits for the whole industry, it also has a segment for BHM staff. There is another aspect of the app that helps monitor our campaigns better. It also helps individual staff monitor their campaign; it has so many benefits for us, whether as individual or a team. Most important, we built the app for the industry. It’s our own little humble contribution to the growth of the industry in Africa. I’m confident it’ll benefit the whole industry.

How have you been running BHM in a competitive market like Nigeria?

It has been fun. I am happy about it, and it’s great, especially doing what I love. This is my dream; my life and my living. I love it. We like to think out of the box, we don’t think like a PR agency in Nigeria where there is no power, infrastructure, security; we think like a PR agency in the world. We want to do unusual things, and it’s a privilege to have the kind of brands that trust us with their reputation. We won’t joke with that. We are having a ball, a groove. The more challenging it’s, the more fun it is.

But the success story s not peculiar to BHM. Several PR agencies in Nigeria are doing wonders, but nobody is telling their stories. We need to tell our stories better, we need to take credit for the beautiful things we’re doing and encourage ourselves to do even better.

-RASHEED ABUBAKAR

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