The move to appoint Tell-Em PR comes just weeks after the Kenya-based telco announced a restructuring exercise which saw the exit of 60 staff from the company, among them being John Musonye, the firm’s former Corporate Communications Manager.
Prior to the layoffs, several key staff – some holding managerial positions – had left the Mombasa Road-based telco for rival Safaricom, including Charles Wanjohi who’s the previous Marketing Director.
Unlike other local telcos, Airtel Kenya has been handling its communication and PR matters in-house for a number of years. The only other PR firm to have represented the firm was the now-defunct ZK PR which held the account when it was still called Zain. Currently Orange Kenya is handled with RedHouse PR while the Safaricom account has been held by Ogilvy PR for a number of years after it moved from Gina Din Group.
OgivyOne, an Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) affiliate, has been acting as the firm’s digital agency in Kenya.
Hill+Knowlton (H&K) has been handling the Airtel Africa account with the firm’s local subsidiary, Hill+Knowlton Strategies at times previously being called upon to help during Airtel Kenya events. However, it remains to be seen what will come of the arrangement now that Airtel Kenya has given the account to a local firm to handle. Tell-Em PR has never had a telco in its stable of clients even though it has various ICT accounts including ASUS, Ericsson and SAP among others.