Many small and medium scale business owners often see Public Relations as an unnecessary addition to the running costs. They think that it is a service better not engaged until it becomes absolutely necessary, or a crisis-management tactic. The result of this is that they end up in search of solutions when crisis erupts. This, however, should not be the case.
On the Nairametrics Business Half Hour, Abiola Bonuola, a Tech PR consultant and founder of Bonuola Communications explained that Public Relations is best engaged from the outset of a business.
“The biggest brands you see around invest in PR and there is a reason for that. It is important you start with your PR consultant from the beginning, ensure that your brand has the right story. I think some people like to treat PR the way they treat lawyers, only running to them when they are in trouble. Meanwhile, if you had them from the start, you should have gotten the advice that would have prevented the trouble in the first place. It is important to focus on making money from the beginning of the business but you also should ensure that your brand image is positive so that you continue to make money,” Bonuola explained.
When clients are already in the middle of a crisis before they come to a PR consultant, it is more challenging to address the crisis, because they first have to get an understanding of the brand, its activities, its stories and history. Naturally, it takes more time and resources to repair a thing than it takes to prevent the damage.
The PR consultants guide the company through corporate activities, government relations, investor relations, customer relations and media relations to keep the narrative on the positive side. Even small and medium businesses can be guided in the use of brand communications to ensure that more people know about what they are offering. They also need to ensure that their products are on the best regulatory side of the policymakers, and not breaching any regulation.
Bonuola Communications, a tech PR consultancy firm started out in January 2021 to fill an obvious PR gap in the tech space.
“What I noticed at the time is that a lot of tech start-ups needed help with the brand communications, and they were not even paying attention to it. Most of them are busy trying to figure out how to build their apps, how to make sure that the customers are getting the best experience. They are just trying to make the society better. They don’t even know how to tell their stories in a way that will ensure that they achieve the results that they set out to achieve,” she explained.
Bonuola Communications came into the PR space with the target of focusing on tech companies that were not doing enough in their brand communications. Within less than a year of operation, the company has serviced several startups, small and medium businesses.
Explaining the strategy of operations, Bonuola said; “Most of them are yet to get funding at the early stage, and that is why they like to relegate PR to the background because they think they cannot afford it now. What we have done is to package customised, budget-friendly, and affordable options for these small companies. When they finally get the investors on board, most of them continue to use our services and they upgrade”.
Bonuola Communications has stayed self-funded, taking advantage of technology products to keep operations lean, and expenses low.
With a work background in digital PR and media relations, Bonuola brings into the business, a local access to media in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, helping the startups to cover a lot more than they could have thought possible, and on a modest budget too. Clients also have access to a pool of talents to sort out different stages of their development.
Over the next decade, Bonuola Communications hopes to roll out specific products that will solve the tech PR problems for clients.