25 July, 2013

H+K Strategies Expands Africa Footprint with New SA Acquisition

Global WPP public relations agency H+K Strategies expands its African presence through acquisition of South African consultancy Corporate Communications Consultants.
The South Africa acquisition increases the number of fully-fledged African H+K Strategies offices to six and builds on the company’s African expansion strategy announced in January 2013

Nairobi, Kampala, Dar es Salaam, July 25th, 2013: Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a leading global public relations and communications firm, today announced the launch of Hill+Knowlton Strategies South Africa following the acquisition of South African agency Corporate Communications Consultants (Corpcom).

“Corpcom has worked as an affiliate agency to H+K Strategies for 14 years. Through this relationship we’ve enjoyed an incredible exchange of knowledge and access to some of the world’s top communications experts. While we are very proud of the advisory work we do at the C-suite level, this change will allow us to broaden our service range and enter new sectors. We’re ready to take the next step and become a fully-fledged H+K Strategies office,” said Roz Thomas, the newly appointed Managing Director of Hill+Knowlton Strategies South Africa.

Corpcom was founded in 1989 and has been predominantly a B2B agency with sector strengths of financial services, professional services and ICT. A key part of the company’s work involves building a South African presence for multi-nationals clients including such as BlackRock, SanDisk, SES, The Dow Chemical Company, Citrix and Thales. The firm also represents South African giants such as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, South Africa’s largest residential developer Century Property Developments and life insurance challenger brand BrightRock.

H+K Strategies entered the sub-Saharan Africa region in May 2009 through a joint venture with Scangroup - a Kenyan-based marketing and communications firm listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) – with an office opening in Nairobi.

Scangroup CEO Bharat Thakrar said: “We are delighted about this announcement as it fits with Scangroup’s vision to be Africa’s leading integrated marketing communications group.”

Early this year H+K embarked on an elaborate expansion plan for Africa aimed at offering consultancy services to businesses across the continent. As part of the strategy the agency appointed Alexander Döll, who successfully managed the East African to take up a new position as Chief Executive Officer of H+K Strategies Africa.

Speaking on the latest development, Mr. Doll commented; “This acquisition further expands our African footprint and is a testament to our belief that Africa will be the next frontier of growth for the company. Through our offices and extensive network of affiliates we are able to offer on the ground support in 27 African countries.”

In the past four years Hill+Knowlton Strategies has opened offices in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania and Rwanda. In Africa H+K Strategies supports supporting global brands, multi-national and local businesses such as Procter & Gamble, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Airtel, Nestle, Emirates, Standard Chartered, Sony, De La Rue, DHL among others.

Globally, H+K Strategies has 90 offices in 52 countries with a client base that represents 50 percent of global Fortune 500 companies. The South African office will offer clients a broad range of services such as corporate communications, marketing communications, internal communications, sports marketing and sponsorship, digital communications, issues and crisis consultancy and public affairs.

16 July, 2013


July 16, 2013 – Nairobi, Kenya: IBM experts have recommended strategies for improving the viability of vocational-technical education in Kenya, as well as for making health services more effective.

The 12-person IBM team hailing from six countries that proposed the plans had spent the previous 30 days in Kenya meeting with the public, private and not for profit sectors as part of an IBM Corporate Service Corps (CSC) engagement. This initiative sends IBM's top talent to provide pro bono consulting services to non-governmental, local government and small business groups in the developing world on issues that intersect business, technology and society.

The blueprint for better education and job preparedness was presented to the Kenyan Ministry of Youth and Sports. It suggested ways for Youth Polytechnic centers to enhance their revenue and demand for their certifications. Enrollment is particularly poor in rural communities because of pregnancies, poverty and a transient lifestyle that disrupt studies.

IBM suggested that Youth Polytechnics should consider creating flexible programs of varying lengths that give trainees credit that can be shared between Kenya’s different educational institutions. To facilitate lifelong learning and make it easier for students to obtain degrees, credits should be counted toward future programs and degrees when former students have more time and resources.

The team also encouraged the inclusion of local businesses in the Youth Polytechnic’s activities. Their expertise can ensure that the skills taught are more practical and in-demand, as well as provide a ready market for graduates.

“As Kenya’s economy grows, we will require a steady stream of dynamic and sophisticated skills to drive the emerging culture of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Dinah Mwinzi, Director Youth Training, Ministry of Education Science & Technology. “This initiative by the IBM experts will assist us in achieving our long and midterm goals under Vision 2030 of employment creation for youth.”

Some IBM team members worked with the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Design (KICD), where they developed a framework to identify and forge global partnerships to provide financing and the sharing of successful practices.

For the Division of Reproductive Health within Kenya's Ministry of Health (MoH), the IBMers built on a cancer screening framework that a previous IBM team developed in 2012. MoH was encouraged to improve the way it gathers, shares and analyses data that can build cancer awareness, increase technology adoption and improve resource training.

The projects were coordinated with Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the Digital Opportunity Trust.

“As we mark the 5th anniversary of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, we are pleased to continue supporting the Kenyan Government in achieving its critical development goals particularly around empowering the youth to lead the country’s social and economic development,” said IBM Country General Manager, Tony Mwai.

The initiatives of the 7th IBM CSC in Kenya follows the launch of the latest IBM Corporate Responsibility Report last week, which outlines social responsibility programs aligned with the company's Smarter Planet strategy to protect the environment, strengthen education and economic development, enable humanitarian research and improve the quality of life in cities around the world.

IBM's Corporate Service Corps deploys IBM employees from around the world with expertise in technology, scientific research, marketing, finance, human resources, law, and economic development. Issues they address range from economic development, energy and transportation, to education and health care.

By year's end, approximately 2,400 IBM employees based in 52 countries will have been dispatched on more than 187 Corporate Service Corps engagements, and undertaken 850 team assignments in 34 countries since the founding of the program five years ago, in 2008. Over the last five years, the program has sent more than 638 employees on 56 teams to 11 countries in Africa, a growing market for IBM.

Follow IBM's Corporate Service Corps by visiting http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/corporateservicecorps/, or on the CitizenIBM blog at www.citizenIBM.com and on Twitter, at @citizenIBM.

For more information about IBM citizenship, please visit www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility

02 July, 2013

Social Media Awards partners with Deloitte

July 2nd 2013: OLX Social Media Awards have partnered with Financial Services Advisory firm Deloitte for the audit of nominations which closed yesterday after 26 days of entries.
Deloitte East Africa will provide quality assurance in the voting exercise which has so far attracted thousands of entries and judges have a fortnight to select winners from the nominees. 
“We join hands in this venture as a sign that we fully understand the critical role that social media now plays in brand visibility,” said Martin Oduor-Otieno, Deloitte East Africa Partner in charge of Clients and Markets and a senior advisor in Financial Services Industry.
“Social media is now one of the key platforms used by firms to build image, brand and disseminate information on services and products offered.”
Rapid rise in the number of internet users in Kenya has accelerated the use of social media, igniting a steady increase in the number of businesses using social media platforms for brand awareness and customer service.  
Presently, 17 million Kenyans, 36 percent of the population, have access to internet according to the Communications Commission of Kenya. However, there are grim statistics that indicate the businesses are yet to optimize the use of social media platforms.  
For instance, 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored; this is according to all AllTwitter, an unofficial twitter resource. Martin Muli, one of the organisers of the recently unveiled OLX Social Media Awards, says most organisations have dormant social media accounts, and the active ones often bombard the public with bland company information.  
A quick review of comments from SOMA Facebook and Twitter accounts shows a serious contest between Safaricom and Kenya power shaping up for the customer care category of the Awards, with Orange and Faiba battling for the video of the year category.
Churchil Show, Tujuane, The trend TV are equally emerging as the favourites under the show of the year category, with Maina kangeni and Larry Madowo winning the minds of “netizens” for the media personality category as the voting process begins.
 “The OLX Social Media Awards are meant to spur professional use of social media and sustained conversation on these platforms,” says Mr Muli.  The Awards will bring together different social media enthusiasts and organizations to celebrate the tremendous contributions brought about by social media and at the same time appreciate and acknowledge those who have immensely contributed to the growth of social Media in Kenya.
“The power has truly shifted to consumers. A recent survey by TNS RMS, a research agency, showed that in contrast to Global internet use, Social Media is far more relevant then e-mail in Kenya. The survey actually discovered that out that 57 % of Kenyans believe that what other people say about brands online can be trusted more than what the brands say,” Peter Ndiangui, the General Manager of OLX, the leading online market place.
The Awards will culminate to a gala event to be held on 9th August 2013. “This is a first in Kenya, we’ve roped in experts from various fields to make sure the Awards are a success,” says Mr Muli. Other partners in the award include Trinc Media, the Public Relations Society of Kenya and Thinck, a content development firm, Bloggers Association of Kenya and Niaje.

01 July, 2013

Watch 'Verax" -Edward Snowdens Movie on Youtube

Verax is a five minute YouTube make believe movie trying to create conversation that the ex CIA Spy Edward Snowden may have had  with Chinese authorities at the Mira Hotel in Hong Kong.The amateur movie beats hollywood to a high drama movie surrounding the "rogue spy " Edward Snowden and is expected to go viral on the internet.The reality though is that "Verax" rather than satiate curiosity may just create the grounds for major movie on the controversial ex CIA Spy who has exposed Washington and the Obama Administration to major embarrasing diplomatic fiasco both among perceived foes and friends withthe EU expressing shock at the allegations that the USA has been spying on its European Allies and its member states.

However lets face it-spying never died down it went tech after the cold war and all those Countries exclaiming shock have major skeletons in their closets.Its one thing to speak what is amusing to the media and its quite another behind those sealed "secret/intelligence briefings or meetings"that each Country has.Furthermore if a Country has not been doing it,trust me they wish they had!


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