Mahogany Consult sets ambitious expansion target

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Mahogany Consult, an indigenous Public Relations (PR), Event Management and Human Development Consultancy company has set an ambitious target to expand its operations to West Africa in the next five years.

Speaking in an interview with a cross section of the media in Accra as part of activities earmarked to celebrate the company’s five years anniversary Mrs. Baaba Cofie, the Senior Consultant for Mahogany Consult said the company had over the five years built its capacity to become a major player in the industry.

“Very simple, we want to be everywhere in Africa. As our vision says, we want to spread our wings like the mahogany tree. It’s very important to us. We want to have Mahogany Consult in West Africa, East Africa, and North Africa and beyond,” she said.

Mrs. Cofie said the company would tap into its partnership with Public Relations Organisation International (PROI) to extend to achieve its target.

“We want to do that in five years time, we want to be the Agency that is known for its strong research base. We have a strong academic background and as an Agency, we are interested in not just churning out academic materials but we are also interested in training the next generation of academics and practitioners,” she said.

She said the company which started with two people (partners) had grown and now offers employment opportunities for Ghanaians.

Challenges

On challenges that confronted the company over the five years Mrs. Cofie said “When we started Mahogany Consult, we were PR people and not business people so we had to learn the way of doing business in Ghana the hard way. The good thing was that we had a number of international jobs at the beginning which made us more comfortable and happy but overtime we realised that building a business when the money comes in meant that you put it back in the business.”

“The second challenge was human resource. That is, getting the right people to work with.” Although, at a point it was a challenge, some way somehow, God just brought some people to partner with us and they have been a blessing because if you talk about resourcefulness, the resourcefulness is in the people and if you do not have the right people to work with, it is very difficult to become resourceful,” she said.

The third challenge she mentioned was the inability to understand the tax system in Ghana and the work environment in general in the early stages.

“The fourth challenge was with our local clients. A few didn’t really appreciate what PR is and how important it was to their businesses and they did not see its contribution to their bottom line. Therefore paying for PR services was not a big thing,” she said.

Success story

Mrs. Cofie said the company’s biggest accomplishment was its partnership with Public PROI in 2012 which opened the opportunity for the company to expand its horizon.

Source: David Adadevoh

What you should know before starting a career in Ghana’s PR industry

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It’s 39 days into 2017 already. As it stands, the personal/professionals plans and resolutions made for the year are in full gear. To all intents, I can tell you that it is a year, where many envisage great initiatives and executions. For most PR/Communications professionals like myself, the early part of the year has been expended on strategy and execution sessions.

I must hasten to also add that like every new year,  some professionals will seek to take a “great leap” – the situation where professionals, old or new make their next move or seek to land a job in Ghana’s PR industry. For the former, it is often a familiar undertaking but for new entrants, who may have come out of school or seeking a career change, it becomes a rough sea to navigate.

To assist the latter category with some information on what they need to know before getting a job in Ghana’s fledgling PR industry, I sampled views from some established PR/Communications professionals.


Cyrus deGraft Johnson, Corporate Affairs Manager, Accra Brewery Limited

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“PR isn’t only about Media Relations. It goes beyond that. Build relationships within the media landscape. Lies can and should never be part of your narrative, no matter the circumstance. If you happen to find yourself among the dominant coalition, always make your case clear and concise if you want to be taken serious.”


Eunice Asantewaa Asante, Programme Assistant, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations

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“You may have a small budget to work with so prepare to be as creative as possible and resist the urge to complain; when your hard work starts bearing fruit, the budget will increase and you can do more. Also, be open to learn new skills and stay up to date with the trends in your industry.”


Richard Ahiagble, Head of Corporate Communications, Airtel Ghana Limited

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“Develop a network of influencers not only in the media but across stakeholders. Most of what you do is influencing people. These will be great resources when you have your back against the ropes.

Also understand how the media works in Ghana. You won’t survive your first 100 days if you don’t. Writing and editing skills are your best pals. Irrespective of what level you work, you will do about  90% of the writing.”


Joyce Sackitey-Ahiadorme, Country Sustainability & Community Affairs Manager, Voltic (GH) Limited

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“Be interested in your industry since most of the work demands the practitioner to communicate on behalf of the company. There’s the need to learn all the facts, processes and procedures of the company. This helps you to fully communicate efficiency and be prepared anytime. You must look beyond just communicating and understand the key issues in Sustainable Development which matter to your organization; because institutions are concentrating on delivering Corporate Social Investments to enhance their reputation.”


Stephen Boadi, Head of Digital Marketing (Africa), PZ Cussons

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“In our digital age, a good knowledge and understanding of the digital landscape and familiarity with listening tool is essential. Also, familiarity with crisis management models and the impact of online is also key.”


Michael Sarpong Bruce, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Tigo Ghana

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“PR is extremely rewarding but also challenging. It is a high-stakes industry driven by results and you’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game to the table. Often, I tell friends and colleagues to develop a thick skin, because, the organisation or client you work for will be counting on you. The industry requires multi-tasking and quick thinking; don’t take things too personal. Prepare, prepare well, stay positive and reliable.”


David Appiah, Public Relations Officer, Huawei Technologies (Ghana) S.A Limited

dave“You should be good with Marketing Communications and understand how you can support Marketing and Sales with PR campaigns. Good writing and presentation skills with a key knowledge in putting together a power point presentation is also essential.”