Good leaders rise to occasion during hard times

This article was published in today’s People Daily, Read on!

We are in tumultuous economic times when Wanjiku is trying to make sense of the ever growing costs that are ballooning her monthly expenditure.

From increased costs of kerosene for lighting and cooking to the indirect effect that the high petrol prices has on the cost of transport and travel, Wanjiku is being forced to dig deeper and deeper into her shallow pockets.

We are at the last quarter of the year and her son will be sitting his final year examinations.

That means additional costs because she needs to provide  better nutrition to ensure her son’s comfort and peace of mind during the examinations period.

Unfortunately, with all the increases on her daily expenses, the business front does not bring any good tidings. Her daily expenses for her mitumba business have soared, thus significantly reducing her meagre profits.

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How to revive brands after poll uncertainties

This article has also been published this morning on People Daily! Read on!

Last week marked one year since the declaration of the August 8, 2017 election results.  And they were greeted with either jubilation or anger depending on the political divide — President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee and Raila Odinga’s Nasa.

There was anxiety and uncertainly across the country. This was a hotly contested election, whose outcome — Uhuru’s re-election — was rejected by the opposition.

The tense atmosphere kept sensitive sectors such as businesses on a razor’s edge. For months,  business remained muted and efforts to resuscitate them has been a slow climb-up the hill.

One year later, though some businesses are on recovery path thanks to the thawed political atmosphere after the Handshake between Uhuru and Raila on March 9. Others are still struggling with looming layoffs and no hope of resuscitation.

As a Kenyan brand trying to permeate the maze and reach the fickle consumers, what are some of the strategies of bouncing back? Read more

Brand positioning for posterity

Brands that will remain unassailable in the coming years are the ones that are already making heavy investments in research and development. The top 3 of the worlds wealthiest people are techy nerds. If this doesn’t tell you much about embracing tech, then your company must be existing in a rock. Brands that will continue counting their profits are tweaking their strategies every so often.

It is pertinent to lay down your strategic plan that will guide your employees to draw their annual objectives with an outlook spanning say three to five years. If you are not clear on this, or if this is a plan you have shelved for ages, don’t hesitate to talk to us. But I couldn’t emphasise strongly how important this is. It is the roadmap that defines your existence and lets the world know how you can solve their pain points, or better still provide their pleasure points.

You would certainly not need a future teller, to decipher that brands like Google have made the invaluable investment into their future and that they are here to stay. Last week I attended their Digital skills training, organised in partnership with Gulf African Bank. Majority were youngsters, who went full throttle in giving case studies of their experiences with different digital platforms. It reinforced the knowledge and understanding of some, at the same time equipping the business owners present, with knowledge on the extra they can do to go the visibility mile.

Google is not only equipping the next generation but constantly innovating tools that will bring brands closer to their market.

Which brings us to our point to ponder this week  Read more

Customer mismanagement a case of Sunshine Hotel

Hotel Sunshine, each time I think of the hotel, my mind runs quickly to the picturesque lush green carpet of tea that Kericho County is known for. This week the hotel has been in the news not for the very rosy of reasons, after a mheshimiwa withdrew her booking following what she termed as embarrassment and violation of her constitutional right.

As it’s known,  bad news spreads like wildfire. No sooner did the legislator share her predicament of discriminately having to produce her marriage certificate, than another woman rep was quick to recount her nasty experience of two years ago. It is reported that the proof of marriage was not asked upon booking, but the hotel demanded of it later in the evening when the couple came back to retire for the evening after dinner outside the hotel.

As an outsider hearing this for the first time, you will be marred with derision which is a PR disaster for the hotel. Below are some pointers to manage customers better and have them sing praises of you, years after serving them. Read more

Taxman’s noose, bound to tighten

The taxman’s noose is bound to tighten in tandem with the country’s growing appetite for projects whose funding remains unknown. More pressure will continually be mounted on the revenue collector as a fall back plan to feed this monster called development.

The pressure is indeed insurmountable, since, whenever this topic of development comes to the fore, the immediate comparison is with countries like Singapore who are said to have been in the same page with us 50 years ago. But how they moved from developing to a developed nation, is the puzzle we seek to piece up by playing catch up with the sudden launch of projects which prove burdensome to the taxpayer. Therefore the revenue collector will be casting their nets wider and this couldn’t be a better time to clean up and clean out.

Are your taxes in order? Read more

How will you handle crisis when it comes knocking?

Crisis management is one of the key management tasks that Public Relations professionals ought to have ready ammunition to handle should it arise.

In the recent weeks, Starbucks Philadelphia’s coffee shop had accusations levelled against them on biracial profiling. Two black men entered the coffee shop and requested to use the restrooms, only to be told that policy demands that only paying customers are allowed access. So they opted to wait for a friend supposedly a white, outside the shop but they were accused of trespassing and one of the employees went ahead and called the police.

This exchange could not help but reach the bystanders and within few hours the video of the incidence stirred an uproar and went viral on social media. There were all manner of comments from the irate public spewing disgust under the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks.

How the crisis was handled Read more

Be ahead of the curve by maximising feedback in these 3 ways

‘We are elated and impressed by your work and we are proud of ourselves to have chosen you to journey with us. We no longer hold meetings to ponder and re-strategise about our plummeting sales, and high employee turnover following our implementation of your recommendations to our strategic plan. It is obvious that you are indeed great at your services.’

Isn’t that what every business owner, board chair or senior company executive would like to hear? By all means YES! Perhaps you have gotten such feedback and you are all so smug about the whole idea gloating over drinks to your friends. But, did you know you can use this as a bait for more clientele and be ahead of the curve?

Here are some of the ways: Read more

Belt up drive through the maze successfully with these PR tips

It is that time of the year where we belt up ready to drive through the maze of market offerings available to be tapped.

As a CEO or Communications Manager, you have probably set out your goals and are optimistic that unlike the previous years, you will experience phenomenal growth of your brand and as we all desire, increase your bottom-line.

Is goal-setting enough? Have you thought of breaking them down further into tangible outputs? And does your team have clarity on the goals? Perhaps failure to do this is the reason you have stagnated over the past 3 years.

You make grimace as you sit down to crack your head on a plan that would be successful and reflect the growth of your bottom-line.

Here are some three tips you can incorporate into your planning: Read more

UNEA3 ends with a multitude of pledges – what does this mean?

Curtains finally fell on #UNEA3, the 3rd United Nations Environmental Assembly last Wednesday, following almost 2.5 million pledges from governments, civil society, businesses, and individuals.

Resolutions can be passed and pledges made, but the onus is on an enabling policy environment and more so, implementation. Having interacted with organisations that are out there to promote sustainability solutions, I have realised that what drives individual responsibility has a lot to do with the background. That does not dismiss the fact that this can be acquired and adopted.

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Deep into the remaining bits of the heartlands of coffee

The last decade has seen total transformation in one of the most populous counties in Kenya, Kiambu County. The single carriage route leading to this county, is a concrete jungle which is slowly replacing coffee bushes that were once a spectacle of nature for the county as you drove through.

Coffee has been a significant contributor to the country’s GDP, and Kiambu County a hotbed of coffee production, has the ideal soil pH to support the crop.

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