Why I Feel Influencer Marketing Remains Future of PR —Oguntamu | MyLatestGist.com
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Why I Feel Influencer Marketing Remains Future of PR —Oguntamu

Prior to my career advancement as talents manager, I had established myself as a media executive operating a full-bodied media agency. The journey so far in the media space is an exciting one. I started off as a brand influencer and evolved into becoming the founder of an agency. What inspired my growth into media agency was that on the scale of business, I do not want to continue as a person that brands, agencies or companies will keep coming to give peanuts to, on the level of posting different contents for several brands daily. That to me doesn’t portray a reliable level of seriousness as a purpose-driven individual with strategic goals. For example, I am tweeting for MTN today to advertise some of their products and tomorrow I am tweeting for Glo. Such act doesn’t give my personality a defined identity. I felt that I needed to be more structured in a way and move up on the chain of business in the industry. Because of the influence I had, I was able to get my first major campaign which was Wema Bank as an agency. And it started off like that. Over time, we have been able to work with brands like Wema Bank, Google, Youtube and Bolt. They have engaged us in public relations, social media management and so on.

Now we have ventured into talent management. Talent management is big and popular. We have worked hand in hand over the years with talents. Resultantly, people get to know us more as the management behind Broda Shaggi. So I will say that we have evolved from being an influencer marketing channel to PR, digital marketing and now talent management. That’s the journey and we bless God for it.

How did you start working with Broda Shaggi?

I had known him before he became Broda Shaggi. He has been a very hardworking person and his creativity speaks for him. Before the Broda Shaggi persona, he had tried to humorously exhibit the character of a university lecturer; he had tried doing a village boy. He has tried different things online. So I have known him from way back. As a man whose hunger for success is unmatched, he kept trying new ideas. The moment he attempted the “Broda Shaggi” effects, it worked. Later on, he came to me because I have always been someone who advises him professionally. If there is any opportunity to see, I would invite him over. Even back then in my church when we are having comedy night, I would pay his transport fare to come around and showcase himself. So I have always been that person who has got him, not because he became Broda Shaggi.

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So by the time he began to get recognized, a lot happened. Let me tell you the story: at some point he wanted to leave where he was staying. He asked if I would take him in. Then I was living in a three-bedroom flat with friends. I told him I wasn’t staying alone and didn’t want it to look like I was the one bringing crowd. So I said you can visit but not stay. All that period there was no Broda Shaggi. It was just Samuel. Then he moved to some other friends’ house and that was where Broda Shaggi blew! So he came to inform me about his rising popularity and asked me to manage him. I said no. I had a lot I was managing and had some bad experiences managing some people before. So I said I can be consulting for you and advising you as I have been doing, but I won’t manage you. So the people he was staying with said they wanted to manage him since he was living with them. He had no choice than to allow them since he was living with them. I think a year after or thereabout he had to come back to me and say, ‘it is still you that I want, not these people’. So that’s how our journey began and we thank God for how far we have come. That’s how I started working with Broda Shaggi as his manager. Asides that, we have team members that works with us.

What other brands and personalities do you work with?

I manage Broda Shaggi. I have managed MC Lively. I consult for brands like Adedimeji Lateef, Mr Macaroni, Taooma, a lot of them. I have grown to be very influential in that space. Even if I don’t manage the person entirely, I have inputs in some of their projects. I do corporate brands too.

Do you have any expansion plans?

As the name Penzaarville Africa says, I will say we have plans to enlarge our coasts to other African countries. Like I said, we have evolved from influencer marketing to social media marketing to PR to digital. Now we are looking at outdoor/out-of-home advertising. So we are positioning as a 360 degrees youthful media agency. We look forward to engaging more great minds in our team as the expansion plan comes to reality.

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What has been your biggest challenge in the industry?

To be honest, I will say that many people think they can do what you know how to do best. So they say why are you charging so much for this? I would say that over time, the quality of our work has shown that you have to pay well to get a good job. So many people think they can engage you and you let them know what it costs; they say I can hire someone to do it for me. They don’t really place a value on what you can do except over time they see it and then they try the other person then come back and say ‘ok do it’.

Secondly, the industry is kind of saturated, to be honest. Something about Nigerians is that when they see someone excelling in an area, they all rush into it. The industry is saturated and it dilutes the prestige your work is supposed to have. I am not saying the industry is not open but it is a different thing if you have quality people who are learned and are experts in this field, rather than have everybody on the street saying they are doing digital marketing, PR or talent management. So eventually this makes it look like some sort of a joke.

What difference would you say you have made in the PR industry?

For me, I would say my influence and that of my company have helped people grow in the industry. So I would say it’s just been we impacting people, getting them better at what they do, and ensuring that our clients are satisfied with the jobs and campaigns we do for them. We don’t make work look hard. We know everybody that matters. We can tell you that we are a phone call away from anyone that is essential and important in this industry. We have also added Handle It Africa, which is an annual conference. But we didn’t do it for the past two or three years now because of covid-19. But by God’s grace, we’ll be back and better next year. Handle It Africa is a media conference that helps people grow by harnessing the use of social media. It is a convergence where we bring speakers from different fields in the media space that use their media space/platforms to help themselves. We bring them to teach people how best they can harness the use of social media. We had it for three years before covid-19 came. Now we are looking at how to expand it across Nigeria and into other African countries. These and more are some of the things we’ve done to differentiate ourselves and impact the media industry.

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What is your outlook for the PR industry in this era of social media influencers?

Everybody needs to embrace digital now. Social media is the reality. Content is king and content creators are the people who drive conversations now. Basically, if you don’t read newspapers, listen to radio or watch TV, you might not be informed about what is happening. But now, in the twinkle of an eye, everything is on social media. So I feel that the future of PR is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing does not really have to do with your popularity but with your influence online – how well the people listen to you! What is your sentiment online? When you say “A”, how does people respond? How many fans do you have? That’s what helps in driving conversations around brands, products and services. That is why brands now engage influencers and ambassadors to drive their products. It is a huge industry, and PR professionals need to be ready and understand that everything works hand in hand. You cannot do social media marketing without traditional media. But to be honest, that is why they call it new media. This is the new world and we need to embrace it and understand how to effectively use it for our own good.

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