This week saw the entry of yet another PR agency in the market. One of the veteran practitioners in the industry, Desiree Gomes launched Engage Burson-Marsteller Kenya. She is one of the pillars that made Gina Din Corporate Communications - a force to reckon with in the industry and her entry into the market will create ripples. Engage Burson-Marstellar comes barely under one year after the launch of RedHouse Group, an integrated marketing communications outfit that is revolutionizing the widely misunderstood Public Relations profession.
Is the market already saturated with PR agencies? One may ask …The answer is NO. A quick audit of the market reveals that with over fifty banks and microfinance companies, over twenty established fast moving consumer good brands, and more than twenty insurance companies, the market is clearly not yet fully explored. The manufacturing industry has over 120 established companies that require PR services as well as the tens of parastatals and government agencies.
Without a doubt, PR is becoming an integral part of overall marketing campaigns; the industry is relatively performing well compared to advertising, even with the blurred line between the two professions brought about by new media.
The increasingly technological and complex array of potential communication channels presented by the emergence of new media has also benefited the industry by boosting outsourcing of PR services. It has become increasingly difficult for in-house PR and communication agencies to keep up with new media developments and opportunities. In many cases it has become more effective to outsource PR services to firms that can offer comprehensive strategic guidance and have specialists in new media fields such as website optimization and social media.
I personally believe that the industry will continue benefitting from the increased usage of new media as a platform for customer engagement. The emergence of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs as key components of brand growth and development is also a guarantee for continuous business. Well, if the current trend of transfer of marketing and promotional expenditures to PR is to go by, then everyone will be smiling all the way to the bank because clients will keep on seeking more impactful and cost-effective means of communicating with customers.
All said and done, let us welcome Des and Engage Burson-Marsteller Kenya to this peculiar market.