Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), the world’s largest community of Public Relations Professionals has profiled three promising Nigerian businesses as part of its small business heroes campaign launched in April 2021.
The businesses which cut across fashion, technology, new media and law include 618 Bees, a legal tech company, Gbemisoke shoes, a women’s shoe line, and Emblue, a media and communication company, leveraging technology to drive consumer attention.
As COVID-19 continues to present challenges for business across the world, the PRCA PR and Communications Council launched the Small Business Heroes campaign to support SMEs at all levels as they navigate the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic while demonstrating the positive impact PR can have on businesses when applied effectively.
The case studies feature businesses that have demonstrated rapid growth while applying creative PR strategies to address key challenges faced by their target market.
Broadcaster and media personality, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi launched the eponymous shoe line, Gbemisoke to cater to women with big feet who found it difficult to find their shoe sizes both in Nigeria and abroad. Gbemisoke leveraged the popularity of the founder and her network to position the brand as a must-have thereby driving the fear of missing out among prospective customers.
United Kingdom-trained lawyer, Efe Ugboro launched her start-up 618 Bees in 2018 to help Nigerian businesses avoid the frustration associated with incorporation, filing and taxation. The company aligned its launch with the release of the annual Nigeria Bureau of Statistics employment report to advocate for more entrepreneurial pursuits, in addition, adopted gamification and creative storytelling to engage female entrepreneurs across social media platforms.
Veteran marketer and CEO of Emblue, Kelvin Orifa launched the new media and communication company to help Nigerian businesses reach the growing population of Nigeria’s youthful audience while minimizing waste of resources. Leveraging the popularity of Social Media Week, Emblue launched its franchised Artificial Intelligence marketing software, Christopher A. I at the annual event and reached millions of attendees who joined the event both offline and online.
In addition to the case studies, the campaign also includes a coaching programme where experienced PR professionals are matched with small business owners specifically those who are yet to apply PR to their business for free guidance and education on how to apply PR to their business. The coaching programme will run for an initial period of six months from April to October 2021.
PRCA council member and Founder/CEO of Blackhouse Media, Ayeni Adekunle said, “considering that in Nigeria, SMEs account for 96% of total businesses, 84% of employment and contribute 48% of the country’s GDP, there is an opportunity for us to support the wider Nigerian economy by focusing on SMEs.”
“Many entrepreneurs have demonstrated resilience by adapting and in many cases pivoting their businesses in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic. Through the small business heroes campaign, our goal is to show businesses how to communicate effectively with their target audience. While I felicitate with the Nigerian SMEs featured in the global case study, I encourage more Nigerian businesses to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the PRCA”, Ayeni concluded.
According to Liam Buckley, PRCA Council member and small business lead, “We are aware that marketing budgets are often the first to be cut back during times of crisis, so we want to step in to help those who are looking for PR support, but don’t quite know which way to turn.
“It is more important than ever that small businesses understand how to communicate with their target audience, and we encourage them to step forward to take advantage of the free coaching sessions. Our expert PR coaches will gain an understanding of your business, identify your communications challenges and work with you to put an effective strategy in place.”