By David Adeleke
BHM, a global Public Relations and Communications agency based in Nigeria and the UK, is launching the first-ever Africa Public Relations and Communications Report on July 16, 2022.
This development comes five years after the BHM launched the Nigeria Public Relations Report to place Nigeria on the global communications industry map by gathering insights and analysis from experts and examining the challenges and opportunities within Nigeria’s fast-growing Public Relations industry.
The success of the Nigeria Public Relations Report has revealed the need to replicate the quality and depth of insights on a continental scale. 2022 will make it two years since the COVID-19 pandemic struck and changed life as we know it forever. It has impacted every sphere of human life, from interpersonal relationships to corporate communications and international relations.
For Africa, these changes were profound and mostly unfamiliar. This was partly due to high levels of poverty and illiteracy and the insufficient quality of the infrastructure that make health communication more seamless and effective.
Africa’s cities are home to a growing population of 600 million people, and they account for over 50% of the continent’s GDP, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). When this is viewed against the backdrop of the sudden unemployment crisis caused by the pandemic, it is easy to understand the massive impact that COVID-19 had on the economy. Firms and businesses, especially SMEs, which account for 80% of employment in Africa, have been shaken to their core, with the cost of living jumping by over 100% in the past year.
As the search for solutions to help adjust to this new reality continues, the dissemination of quality information will help the continent and cross-border relations. This is why the new Africa Public Relations Report aims to bridge the divide and reduce the staggering effects of the pandemic on the countries in the continent and their various PR and Communications industries.
Access to this type of information will help influence policymaking and corporate practice on every level of human association within businesses, schools, families, public service, and so on.
This visible need for data-inspired the World Bank to create the World Development Report for 2021, fittingly tagged “Data For Better Lives”. According to the bank, the availability of an accurate compendium can propel social and economic growth on all levels in the world ecosystem. Data gathered from one source can go on to inform change in many ways.
The numerous benefits of high penetration of information can be seen in other countries where similar reports are created regularly. In Los Angeles, the Relevance Report is handled by the Centre of Public Relations at the University of Southern California.
The report is published annually alongside the Global Communications Report and is a collection of essays and trend pieces from PR industry leaders and USC academics. This year’s edition addresses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social justice protests on the PR industry.
Contributors include corporate executives from leading global PR firms like Golin, Edelman and Peppercomm. It also consists of input from top communication leaders from Google, Disney, AEG, and IBM.
In New York, PRovoke Media, formerly known as the Holmes Report, helps provide knowledge, information and analysis of the PR business and its stakeholders. They do this through provokemedia.com, where they publish regular case studies, original reports, and research. They also publish a free weekly global newsletter featuring professional industry insights and a crisis review, which chronicles the lessons learned from the biggest PR crises of the year.
By taking a leaf from its book and that of other global PR powers, BHM positions itself as a major industry player in it for the long run. It will expand and serve as a reference point for the PR and Communications industry across Africa. The Africa Public Relations report will serve as a well-rounded mirror that helps the world understand the way Africa sees itself, the way the world sees Africa, and the way Africa sees the world.
David Adeleke is a writer, media analyst, and communications strategist with over seven years of experience in media and technology.