Now, with the year getting in motion after going through the “baby steps” of the first weeks of 2014, it’s finally business as usual with people and businesses getting on their feet struggling and strategizing on how to attract and win new clients from competitors.
And the cut-throat competition for clients and new business is being experienced in the country’s PR industry as well. Just as we had reported over a year ago about the battle for new ICT accounts by PR firms, the situation is no different this year.
In 2012, our focus was on Bertolli and Associates that had just lost the Microsoft account which it had served for many years and Gina Din Corporate Communications (now Gina Din Group) that had also lost Safaricom account after decade of service.
This year, we focus on two resurgent PR firms twos – one of which is again Gina Din and the other being Tell-Em PR.
The two firms had seemingly been dormant for some time in as far getting new IT accounts but are currently coming back to the limelight.
Let’s begin with Tell-Em. The firm for a long time never represented any IT account apart from Intel. But since winning the Microsoft account from Bertolli in 2012, it has experienced a change in fortunes.
The firm has managed to attract other IT accounts – including Oracle, SAP, ASUS, Mastercard and Ericsson (which was previously handled by Gina Din).
However, having Tell-Em act as the local PR agency for Ericsson has never been clear to many keen observers. This is because the Ericsson account was previously handled by Gin Din, an affiliate of South Africa-based Weber Shandwick which interestingly handles the Ericsson account in Africa.
Many feel that due to Gina Din Group’s local affiliate status with Weber Shandwick, it would have been automatic for the Ericsson account to be handled by Gina Din but this has not been the case.
However, after losing Ericsson, Gina Din has also managed to win various accounts, among these being ZTE, SEACOM and Tracom. In addition to these, Gina Din handles Orange, Zuku and Vodacom Tanzania.
Apex Porter-Novelli has managed to grab both Google (from Africa Parctice) and HP. Apex also handles Tecno on project basis.
At the moment, the only seemingly lucrative IT firms with no PR agency are Access Kenya (recently acquired by Dimension Data); Huawei which was previously handled by Silver Bullet and Liquid Telecom (formerly KDN) and which was for long handled by Coporate Talk. But the Liquid Telecom story is more complicated and will be dealt with in a future post.
UPDATE: I’ve since doing this post been informed by Byrone Osir that in relation to IT, Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Kenya handles Mastercard, Nokia, Qualcomm, SONY and Epson and that H+K has handled these accounts for 2+ years