Woodrow launches PR Academy to support development of communications professionals

Woodrow, the future positive communications consultancy, has announced the launch of the Woodrow PR Academy in Kenya. The academy aims to tackle the skills gap in the PR industry on the continent and upskill the next generation of communications leaders.

The academy will run a regular series of free expert-led workshops, backed by a curriculum addressing modern-day PR challenges.

The workshops, held both virtually and in person in Nairobi, will cover subjects from ‘What makes a great broadcast interview’, ‘How to work with newswires’, and ‘What makes a story’, to ‘The art of great writing’, ‘Understanding business journalism’ and ‘Managing the client-agency relationship’.

It is the first comprehensive, free-to-all comms training programme ever set up by an international agency in Africa. International names from the Economist, Reuters and CNN will join Kenyan talent from CNBC and more.

Woodrow, which has offices in Nairobi, London, and New York, was recently announced for the second year in a row in the Financial Times as one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe.

The consultancy will convene experts from multiple industries to nurture and upskill PR professionals across the East and Southern Africa region.

Practitioners are invited to register their interest here.

David Karega, Head of East and Southern Africa at Woodrow, commented: “In Kenya and across Africa, demand for skilled PR practitioners is at an all-time high. But many young professionals are not leaving institutions of higher learning with all the skills they need to thrive in the industry. We will offer programs that reflect the real-world challenges faced by PR professionals, ensuring all sessions remain relevant and aligned to industry demands”.

“Our aim is to give participants a unique blend of industry insights and creativity. They’ll have access to names that have reached the very top of their profession, both at home and abroad, who can truly motivate and inspire young PR professionals across the continent.”

Some of the speakers already confirmed for 2024 include:

  • Winnie Dunbar, former producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show and an Emmy Award-winning content creator.
  • Jonathan Rosenthal, Africa Editor, The Economist.
  • Jackson Biko, Author, creative writer and storytelling expert
  • Aby Agina, Financial Markets Broadcast Journalist & Editor at CNBC Africa
  • Karin Strohecker – Lead Correspondent, Emerging Markets at Thomson Reuters
  • Ivy Kimani – Head of Communications, M-Gas and former Director for P&G’s Feminine Care brands in Sub-Saharan Africa

Jim Donaldson, Woodrow’s non-executive Chair and former CEO of global PR giant FleishmanHillard, will also present a special session for C-Suite leaders on how to build and empower a senior team.  More names will be announced in due course.

The Woodrow PR Academy is responding to the pressing need for a comprehensive bridge between academic knowledge and practical skills. It will ensure participants gain insights and skills aligned with international best practices, setting them on a trajectory for success in this competitive field.

Charlie Tarr, founder and CEO of Woodrow, stated: “Consultancies like Woodrow have a duty to give back to the industry and nurture the next generation of talent. Our office in Nairobi has been growing so fast that it has opened our eyes to the challenges and opportunities on offer here. The academy is a testament to our commitment to the growth and prosperity of young practitioners, from Kenya to Namibia, South Africa to Somalia. It’s our commitment to clients and fellow agencies – even our competitors. We firmly believe that investing in the development of young professionals is vital to the future of PR in Kenya and the wider region.”

The first cohort of the academy is expected to commence in April 2024.

Woodrow PR Academy is an initiative by global communications consultancy Woodrow. The academy is committed to closing the skills gap in the PR industry by delivering comprehensive training, mentorship, and resources to young professionals across Africa.


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