From One Small Shop to PR Agency of the Year — The Rise and Rise of Ayeni Adekunle’s BHM

When Ayeni Adekunle, a public relations practitioner, journalist, scientist and businessman founded the All You Ever Need In (A.Y.E.N.I) Entertainment, he thought he was starting a modest company that will cater for the local entertainment market. Little did he know that he was building an institution that will not only dominate media and entertainment but will also deliver disruptive services within the public relations and marketing communications community.

From a one-man entertainment company in November 2006, A.Y.E.N.I Entertainment grew to Black House Media (BHM), a full scale corporate and marketing communications company in 2009 and today, one of the continent’s most promising PR firms, involved in reputation management, consumer engagement, content development, digital assets management, research & intelligence and media relations. The company has in its employ over 60 full time staff, and dozens of roving consultants in Nigeria, Kenya, London, Germany and many other countries around the world.

BHM, whose mission is to provide the best possible corporate and marketing communications to top tier brands and organisations, using traditional and digital strategies that no one can beat, aims at becoming the world’s leading media and public relations network. This, it hopes to achieve by working with its partners in the media, business, government and technology industries, to achieve the best possible solutions for clients, consumers and other stakeholders.

BlackHouse Media has worked with various clients in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Milan, Paris, Las Vegas, Ghana, Barcelona, etc. in diverse sectors of the economy, from financial services to consumer goods, telecommunications, education, media, lifestyle and ICT.

It also supports causes close to its heart. It co-sponsored Big Daddy, the award-winning short film on rape; #NECLIVE — Nigeria’s foremost entertainment conference; and regularly provides pro bono services for NGOs, with beneficiaries including Wecyclers, Action Aid, and more.

BHM provides an array of services, ranging from crafting brand strategies, crisis management, perception management, government relations, advocacy, to help brands tell the right stories to the right audiences in the right places; to experiential communication, using big ideas to plan PR events and activations that break boundaries and connect conversations from real-life-offline situations to online in ways only few can dare.

The company has a veritable team of consultants who enjoy a deep understanding of, and relationship with, local and global media following years of association.

On social marketing, BHM has an in-house team of experienced social community managers and marketers who focus on listening, engagement and conversations; content marketing and promotion; influencer management; and fan-building. This team and the assets they manage reach over three million users weekly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram alone.

BHM’s digital agency, ID Africa, generated over 1 billion combined social impressions for its clients and own campaigns in 2014. This number was tripled in 2015, with total impressions exceeding three billion. In 2016, social impressions grew further to 3.7 billion in 2016. ID Africa is responsible for the pioneering Nigerian Twitter Map.

Apart from working for its teeming clients, BHM has demonstrated thought leadership in the communications sector in Nigeria. It launched the BHM app — the first and only mobile application in Nigeria’s public relations market serving as a resource centre for the country’s media and marketing industries in 2014.

Similarly, BHM, has in the past, introduced few initiatives to boost knowledge and provide data for researchers, who want to know about PR practice in Nigeria. They include; Smart PR, a social media campaign initiated to showcase the good works that Nigerian PR agencies have done. It further launched the first ever Nigerian PR Report in 2015, an annual report on the PR industry in Nigeria; BHM further went on to publish “the Concept of Virality”, an e-book and case study on Olajumoke Orisaguna and other viral stars in Nigeria.

It also launched #PRISDEAD (a campaign on the current state and future of PR in Nigeria) reaching over 4 million people and recording over 46 million impressions in 2015.

BHM, as a part of its celebration of its decade-long operations in 2016, published a free 138-page book BHM Guide to PR for professionals interested in Smart PR.

According to Ayeni Adekunle, the founder and CEO of BHM, the combined skills an agency needs to have today goes beyond understanding strategy, how to write, client service or community management. Today, the PR agencies that want to survive needs to understand blogging, technology, social media, psychology, entertainment and basic things that would help a brand thrive in today’s marketplace’.

“As an agency, we are proud that we don’t offer just lip service when we say we want to be a global company. We are currently the only agency in our market, with the caliber of infrastructure that can rival any of our contemporaries from anywhere else. It is a big deal for us, because we truly want to build Nigeria’s first global agency”.

BHM owes its success to its people, a team of young, passionate professionals who to deliver unbeatable results for clients, investors, stakeholders and audiences. As a reward to, and motivation for, these professionals, Black House Media adopts what it calls the policy of 3C’s of Capacity, Convenience, Compensation which puts its people before profit, integrity before image, and unlimited possibilities before general platitudes.

The policy made for the creation of an environment that allows staff think and work outside the conventional four walls of an office. It created a lounge, nap rooms, provides free lunch, games center among other facilities. This pro-employee policy earned Black House Media the Best Agency to Work award in the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Lagos State Chapter awards in 2017. BHM also won the Agency of the Year category in 2017 at the NIPR Lagos State Chapter awards, in recognition of it strides in the Marketing communications sector in Nigeria.

BHM became an active member of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), the umbrella body for PR agencies in Nigeria in 2013.

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BHM

BHM

Official Medium page for BHM, a global media and public relations agency operating from Lagos, Nigeria. Since Nov 7, 2006. We put people before profit.