Has SAP and MasterCard changed PR agencies?


We are already midway through the first week of a new year, 2017. And even though we’ve turned our backs on the previous year, 2016, it is not too late to make a few observations from the past year, more so regarding Kenya’s PR industry – that is the clients (mainly those in the tech and IT space) – vis-a-vis their partner PR and Communications agencies.

In the past year, we tried as much as we could to capture and chronicle most of the developments in the PR industry in our ‘Tech&PR” segment. But just as we approached the end of 2016, some developments took place, which too some could have seemed insignificant, but which to us are major and thus can not go undocumented.

On December 5 , 2016 SAP Africa announced the appointment of Dr Gilbert Saggia as its new Managing Director in East Africa. Prior to his new appointment, Dr Saggia had been the regional boss of rival enterprise software vendor Oracle.

Curiously, SAP’s Africa hub in South Africa decided to channel the communication through a newswire service – African Media Agency, which is based in Dubai – instead of communicaing the development via it’s regional PR agency Tell-Em PR.

On further enquiry, it became obvious that Tell-Em PR was clearly not in the picture regarding communication about the new MD’s appointment, for reasons best known to the firm’s South Africa hub.

The Tell-Em PR team could also neither confirm nor deny whether the firm has lost the SAP account to a rival. The last SAP pitch from Tell-Em was done towards the end of November 2015.

Away from SAP, Tell-Em PR and Africa Media Agency, the other firm that seems to have changed or is keenly considering switching PR agencies is MasterCard. The MasterCard account, which has for long been handled by H+K Strategies, has of late been working with another Communications agency, Icon Media.