A new e-book released this week, Talking to Africa: Considering Culture in Communications for a Complex Continent, argued that communications and public relations in Africa are not a one-size-fits-all exercise.
The author of Talking to Africa and Managing Director of Africommunications Group (ACG), a pan-African public relations company, Mimi Kalinda leveraged her experience over almost two decades in communications in Africa and abroad to write the research-based book, which included photography by Ishmael Azeli.
Talking to Africa reviewed how understanding the cultural dynamics of four major African markets (Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa) can lead to the development and more successful implementation of communications strategies that are results-driven.
Further, Kalinda argued that understanding, developing and implementing communications strategies that are attuned with local audiences in complex African markets can help domestic and multinational companies, non-governmental organisations and individuals looking to work in Africa benefit from the multiplicity of experiences, backgrounds, attitudes and networks that represent their target audiences.
In the author’s words, “Being a part of and contributing to the Africa Rising narrative is a matter of identifying gaps, innovating and tirelessly delivering on expectations. This requires a flexibility in the way business is done and a deep understanding of what incentivizes different stakeholder groups to action.
“Audiences act on a message based on their personal and cultural understanding. Africa is no different. Understanding culture differences, and accepting that Africa is not a homogenous continent, will help businesses in particular reach their objectives more effectively”.
As an advocate of the African continent and its growth, Kalinda regularly writes and speaks about how shaping Africa’s narrative positively is vital for the continent to fulfil its potential. She sits on the Africa Brand Counsel and was nominated for the Women4Africa Awards 2016 as a finalist for the International African Woman of the Year Award.