Lessons from RED | For Africa: Using Technology to Drive Public Relations in Africa
According to insights derived from McKinsey, Africa has become increasingly digital. This has opened up immense opportunities for technology-driven public relations strategies and, consequently, organic brand growth. Noting that Africa is more digital than it ever was is, however, not enough. Deploying the right public relations strategies requires home-grown expertise. This is because home-grown expertise ensures that you are always in tune with cultural sensitivities.
A classic example that buttresses the need for home-grown expertise is the Heineken Credential Campaign that leveraged Africans love for title. This campaign was powered by an idea that the target audience could connect to. Harnessing technology and the power of social media, the campaign ran on the nuances of popular social media platforms and went viral; generating talkability and encouraging relatable-ness. Needless to say, the campaign was a huge success and even earned the Gold SABRE Awards for PR Campaigns.
Looking at the credential campaign, it is evident that one key facet of the public relations strategy was the hashtags- #NigerianLoveForTitles and #Funny NigerianTitles. These hashtags got people talking and, in the process, cemented the brand’s messaging in people’s minds. Hashtags increase the visibility of a story. By running with a narrative that Nigerians could relate with, it was easy to build traction and hence visibility.
Another strategy that was employed was videos. As obvious as it is, videos are an integral part of public relations in Africa. There are certain messages that are passed across more efficiently through videos than through pictures and impressive, succinct, copies. The messaging for the Heineken Credential campaign was one of them.
Making bite-sized videos is another technology-driven strategy that can be harnessed when navigating public relations in Africa. With the dominance of Tiktok and Instagram reels, bite-sized videos are a great way to push your message and establish strong connections with your audience.
There are many other technology-driven public relations strategies that you can employ. However, with whichever you choose to employ, remember that you should never adopt a strategy simply because of its popularity but because it will work great for your brand.