Grayling, one of the global PR agencies that had set office in Kenya, is winding down its operations in this market. Grayling, which is part of UK-based Huntsworth Group, has been operating here from about 2015, during which time it has represented various client accounts including Microsoft, Barclays Bank and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Apart from these, it also handled various other clients on project by project basis.
Even though the firm’s offices along Chiromo Road are still are still open as winding up operations will take a while, all clients whose contracts were pending had been given a notice earlier to ensure that they can plan well during the transition.
At the moment, Grayling’s 15 (former) staff members are however still handling various clients’ issues but as individual consultants, not as part of their former employer.
But it still remains unclear when Grayling Kenya, which was led by Zack King as the MD, is shutting down operations while it still had a number of clients on retainer. As recently as September this year, the PR outfit was still serving AGRA and coordinated the NGO’s continental meeting in Ghana while for Microsoft, it handled the IT firm’s Hackathon for Young Women event held at Strathmore University in mid October. This was before the firm’s contract with Microsoft ended on October 30, 2019.
In addition to this, Grayling had reportedly received offers from various investors who were keen to acquire and take forward the brand in Kenya but such discussions apparently fell through for various reasons, the main one being that offers were too low according to those in the know. One of the offers reportedly came from the firm’s affiliate in Dubai
For now, the firm’s former staff have to cope the eventuality of impending unemployment even as they seek out other job offers.
Grayling Kenya was part of Grayling, a subsidiary of Huntsworth Group which is a PR focused group listed on the London Stock Exchange. According to its website, the group also includes financial PR agency, Citigate Dewe Rogerson; UK consumer agency, The Red Consultancy; and specialist global pharmaceutical consultancy, Huntsworth Health.
Grayling Kenya now joins the list of PR firms that have had to wind down operations in this market the others being ZK PR, Corporate Talk (which acted as Microsoft’s PR agency for sometime before losing the account to Grayling) and Publicis One.