The coordinating committee of the Africa PR & Comms Report (APCR) has commended the top five PR consultancies across Africa – BCW, BlackHouse Media Group (BHMG), Clockwork, Edelman and Razor for their recognition by one of the most respected communications awards in the world. These five companies from Nigeria and South Africa have been nominated in the 18th edition of PRovoke’s prestigious, SABRE Awards EMEA.
Over 400 campaigns were selected from more than 2,000 entries in this year’s keenly contested competition. The award, which recognizes superior achievement in branding, reputation and engagement, will announce the winners at The Guildhall in London on May 27. The Awards benchmark the best PR work from across the globe. This year, 10 indigenous African agencies received 21 nominations on the shortlist, with the top five vying for the ‘2022 Africa Consultancy of the Year’ honour.
APCR Committee member, and Co-founder, Africa Communications Week, Eniola Harrison says, “As we work on producing the first-ever annual PR and Comms report from the continent, we are proud of the recognition African firms have received this year from the team at PRovoke. The continued growth and success of practitioners on the continent is a testament to the years of hard work, continued investment and the passion our leaders have not only for the profession, but also for the continent. And we look forward to providing the world with the much-needed insights and perspectives so that this growth will only continue.”
BCW Africa is an award-winning African public relations network, with partners in over 50 African countries, and its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2021, the company’s CEO of over 30 years, Robyn de Villiers, stepped down, encouraging a new leadership of co-managing directors — Bridget von Holdt and Karl Haechler. During that year, the agency fine-tuned its proprietary approach to developing communications strategy collaboratively with clients via deep-dive workshops, and increased its focus on issues management and crisis communications for a growing list of public sector and private clients across multiple sectors and countries. AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, CNN, Warner Media, Vedanta, Facebook, Danone Nutricia Côte d’Ivoire, Del Monte Kenya, Toyota Kenya, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Mastercard Foundation, Bank of Africa and Airtel Nigeria, are some of the company’s award-winning clients.
Founded by two journalists, Tom Manners and Nic Simmonds, in South Africa 11 years ago, Clockwork has quickly become one of the continent’s top agencies. In that short time, the company has won in the ‘African Agency of the Year’ category three times. With its focus on digital, the company has also expanded operations to the UK. Clockwork focuses on strategy, creativity and measurement across technology, gaming, entertainment and financial services. Some of its campaign highlights include #RewriteOurProverbs to #WriteOffGBV for Green Door, as well as work for Meta, Netflix and Acer.
BlackHouse Media Group, a global public relations and communications company, working from Africa and the United Kingdom, intends to be Africa’s first truly global PR firm leveraging insights into different markets, relationships, industry expertise and technology. Since its inception, in 2006, BHM has grown into a US$3.7m operation offering clients a range of services — reputation management and corporate comms, media relations and training, research, and social media among others. The firm currently has its African operations steered by ID Africa, a pan-African communications advisory and execution company. Honeywell Group, Shoprite, ALAT, BMGF, Project Management Institute, Showmax and Jumia, MultiChoice DSTV, MTN Nigeria, Reckitt, X3M Ideas, Livespot 360, Nigerian Breweries, Lori Systems and Betway, are some of the company’s big-ticket clients.
On the list, the newest full entry into the market is Edelman, after acquiring longtime South African affiliate, Baird’s Renaissance, nine years ago. With its key location in South Africa, the agency took further steps in 2019 by acquiring arguably one of Kenya’s oldest PR firms, Gina Din Corporate Communication. This acquisition has given the company a foothold in Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia. The company’s work for Unilever – “Brut Virtual Elevator Pitch,” #BeautyAtHomeWithU – has continued to be a big selling point. Edelman’s Trust Barometer has also expanded to the continent.
M&C Saatchi’s Razor launched in South Africa under the stewardship of Dustin Chick and Kalay Maistry only two years ago, but has quite rapidly become a must-watch within Africa’s communications industry. The company boasts of expertise in financial services, technology, public advocacy and measurement with heavy investment in creative strategy and corporate storytelling. Clients include Anglo American, The Beverage Company, Investec and Innovation African, Tiger Brands, Audi, Dimension Data, BDO and Discovery Life.