Ayeni Adekunle, founder and chief executive officer of Black House Media, (BHM), a budding public relations and digital communication firm in Lagos may have inadvertently reawakened some ‘sleeping’ PR agencies in the country by disclosing that his agency had crossed $1million revenue mark four years ago.
Following the official exchange rate, which N315.25 per $, the fledging communication outfit had grossed approximately N315.25million since 2012.
The feat according to some experts within the Nigerian integrated marketing communication industry could only be achieved by a vibrant creative advertising agency.
This piece of information was let out as the agency is preparing to celebrate its 10 years anniversary on November 7, 2016. In a message to thank all those who stood by him and the business, Ayeni said “I wanted to send you a quick thank you note, for being a blessing to me and our organisation, and for your invaluable support over the years.”
Narrating the tough but interesting beginning, the founder in his ‘thank you note’ stated “When I founded the company, with my wife, as a young reporter at Encomium, I struggled to raise the N15,000 required for CAC business name registration; eventually paying in several instalments, he said.
“I worked from my living room in Akute, and had only about three on-off clients, earning an annual revenue of less than N500,000. I had no training in public relations or business management, had no money or important contacts.”
The elated Ayeni, who had belted another first in the industry by launching the first PR report in Nigeria said “Today, we have grown into a promising organisation, with our own office, amazing staff, three businesses, good client base and a history of innovative work. We crossed the $1m dollar mark four years ago.”
In 10 years, according to Ayeni “e have built brands known and respected in their areas. We have built Nigeria’s first PR App, published Nigeria’s first-ever PR Report, and done work in over seven countries. Even though we still call ourselves ‘a little Lagos agency’, we have been ranked as a top PR agency, by billing and influence, and a major thought leader and industry shaper.”
Obviously not willing to rest in his laurels, the founder of BHM disclosed that the journey is still long, the work to be done, plenty. This year especially has been tough, because of the general business climate. Our work and income have been impacted in no small measure but we have proactively handled the situation, with results we are proud of.
In his quest to operate like truly global firm and abide by the good governance ethics, the PR agency has engaged Deloitte, a global organisation and one of the big four consulting firms in the world, to handle our audit and tax activities.
Ayeni said “It’s another step we are proud of, as it demonstrates it’s not just lip service when we say we want to be a global company. We are currently the only agency in our market, with this caliber of professional support. It is a big deal for us, because we truly want to build Nigeria’s first global agency.
As digitalization and social media continue to define communication practice locally, BHM is claiming leadership on social media. Ayeni, who confirmed the position stated “also a big deal, of course, is the fact that we are the biggest agency on social media in Nigeria, with almost 100,000 cumulative followers on social, and, as you may have seen, the only Nigerian agency verified on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
In 2014, we established our 3Cs system, prioritizing convenience, compensation and capacity for everyone at BHM. It’s the reason we set up the BHM Lounge and launched the complimentary lunch initiative for our staff. It’s the reason we have nap rooms and games and aggressive trainings for our staff members. I believe we are on course to deliver our five year plan to become one of the best places to work, not only in our industry, but in Nigeria.
The agency will also use occasion ofd the 10 anniversary to reconstitute its board. “Our newly reconstituted board will be announced in November, ahead of our anniversary,” Ayeni informed