After Safaricom, Oxygene signs up Huawei’s corporate PR account

Just a few months after slicing off a piece of the Safaricom account, moving away with the corporate segment of telco’s PR account from Ogilvy (which has now been left to handle product PR for Safaricom), Oxygene has now signed up Huawei Kenya.

The development means that Oxygene will now take charge of Chinese firm’s corporate (and CSR) communications needs while Tell-Em PR will continue to handle Huawei devices. At least in this case, Oxygene has not taken away or sliced off part of the account as Tell-Em has only been in charge of Huawei devices and corporate issues.

Oxygene’s deal with Huawei must either be weeks or just a month old at most. This is because towards the end of last month, the Huawei team were on a site visit to Safari Park Hotel accompanied by Tell-Em representatives, most probably in preparation for the Kenya Safe City Summit which opened at the hotel today.

The initial invite to the summit came from Huawei directly but some days to the event, the media invites were now sent from Oxygene, meaning that it was now in charge of the event, and not Tell-Em.

However, the seeming ease with which Oxygene, a relatively new firm in the country’s PR scene, is snapping up corporate PR accounts should act as an eye-opener and wake up call to PR firms on how they handle their clients corporate PR needs. Of course one can argue, and rightly so, that Oxygene has so far only managed to get away with Safaricom but you never know where they’ve set their sights next as the predator in this case.

In early May, Business Today reported that Oxygene “is styled as an independent, boutique communications agency that differentiates itself with a strong focus on strategy and planning, and having a strong team of partners who can offer senior level counsel to C-Suite on a broad range of complex issues that cannot be handled easily with just a PR and advertising identity.”

For now, all indications are that Oxygene is living up to this description, with a focus to “offer senior level counsel to the C-Suite on a broad range of complex issues that cannot be handled easily with just a PR and advertising identity.”

From its website, Oxygene states that it’s an “integrated agency of  the future” and believes that “agencies will be built around clients and consumers, not brands or channels like TV or digital.”

Then it continues thus: “There won’t be a lead agency, but disciplines sitting as equal partners. We’re all aiming for the same place from different starting points…” Going back to where we began with Safaricom and Huawei, this can be interpreted to mean both Oxygene and Ogilvy sitting as equal partners as they aim for (or offer service to) the same place or client (Safaricom) from different starting points (that is Oxygene providing Corporate PR services while Ogilvy handles product and brand aspects of the telco’s communications needs). The same applies to the Huawei account.


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