For any organisation to stand the test of time and command respect from its clients, MD/CEO, Black House Media (BHM), Ayeni Adekunle has said that the companies must first define their reasons for starting the business from inception.
Ayeni explained in a virtual panel session on Brief Faculty, – a platform that enables knowledge sharing and mentor-ship in the Marketing Communication industry, that business owners must first define the objectives of their businesses before setting out, if what they want to embark on is a global corporation that will create business impacts to the people and societies, or a side gig that just want to pay their kids’ school fees, put foods on their table, buy a car and live in a three bedroom apartment.
In his words, he said he determined from the inception the positive values his company should be known for.
“I made up my mind early when starting Black House Media (BHM) that I wanted to build a business that will make Nigeria great and Nigerians proud, and I will rather do it in the right way it should be done and fail than just compromise,
We have resigned clients’ accounts before and we are still doing it because we want to do things right. Even when we moved from doing entertainment to doing corporate Public Relations, I remember that we increased our fees by 1000%. We lost all our clients but I told everyone that the clients can leave but as long as we survive, they will come back one by one and today they are back with us”, Ayeni said.
The journalist turned PR executive said that he didn’t know all the clients BHM works for now when he started the company.
“I had no idea that they existed. In fact, we have been working for MTN Nigeria for three year now, never in my life have I ever imagined that we can work for such a brand that is as big as MTN. The company in its history has never had one PR agency; they always have two agencies, one for corporate PR and the other for brand PR. That was the first the time in the company’s history that they consolidate all the accounts”
“During our first pitch for MTN Nigeria, we stayed in my house for two weeks. It was as if our whole life depended on it but at the end, we came third. DKK, and Brooks and Blake won the pitch, my guys were not happy but I said to them that we didn’t start the company to work for all the clients.
Clients can choose who they want to give their businesses to and we fought for almost ten years to be invited by MTN to pitch. The year before, we did all we could to be invited to Etisalat pitch, we were not invited. Chain Reaction won the pitch and almost half of our staff were headhunted to work for the two agencies that won the MTN pitch. Two years down the line, an opportunity came and we got the business”, Ayeni explained.
He pointed that asking the question of “What, and how” in starting business is pertinent for businesses to thrive successfully.
“What are your principles, what do you stand for, what kind of culture are you trying to create”, he asked.
“I am interested in making the ecosystem better. I am interested in elevating PR from where I met it to a higher level. I won’t be here forever but I want it to be said when I’m no longer here that thank God we have someone like Adekunle Ayeni”, he said.
Ayeni was featured in the September, 2019 edition of Forbes Africa’s