Today ends the women’s month. It’s been a packed month with so many conversations and campaigns around the theme “Break the Bias”. It won’t be a surprise to move on so quickly because why not, women have been given too much attention throughout the month right? Well, it can never be too much!
Before we do so, let me steal a little bit of your time to celebrate a few women who have played a huge role in my career journey. It’s not to say men haven’t played a role in my career development but since we are still in the women’s month, I would want to share about women.
The truth is, many of them are not even aware they have and still play a huge role in my decision to stay on this entrepreneurial path; that is to launch a career in PR and much more in fashion, beauty and lifestyle.
First and foremost is my Mum. I would start with her because I remember telling her sometime in 2013 when I made a decision to resign from my job as a cashier at Tigo (now Airtel Tigo) to look for a job in PR. Strangely, she didn’t stop me. While I stayed home for almost a year, I convinced her I was looking for job and she supported my idea. She did not pressurise me until I finally got the job. Similarly, when I decided again to resign from a reputable job after working for less than 2 years to work with an emerging fashion brand in-house, I was sure that didn’t sit well with her but she still supported me to pursue my dreams. All her life, she’s worked for herself. I guess that’s where my spirit of entrepreneurship started. For believing in me, for trusting that I can make it, for not knowing what PR was and still support me to go for it is what has brought me this far.
Below are some of the women and names behind websites/pages/communities/businesses that have hugely played a role in my career. I have followed since I made a decision to pursue a career in PR and more especially fashion PR:
Esther Cobbah – If you’ve been following PR in Ghana, you would know that Auntie Esther is one of the female pioneers of modern-day PR and her company Stratcomm Africa is one of the oldest indigenous PR companies in the country. From afar, I would take any opportunity to listen to her on TV or Radio when I chance on a flyer that has her photo. And anytime, I would say to myself, if she’s been able to run a PR company for more than 2 decades, then I can too.
Cynthia Ofori-Dwumfuo – Cynthia was our head of PR and my immediate boss when I worked at Global Media Alliance from 2014 to 2016 as an account manager. I admired her intelligence and yes I wanted to be a smart boss one day just like her. She currently heads Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Hollard Ghana and as usual she’s a badass boss lady.
The PR Couture founded by Crosby Noricks – I literally slept there when I was starting out. In my early days, there were very limited resources on how to run your own PR agency or even Freelance. The PR Couture became a great resource for me. I knew I had to read more about PR, Communications and see what other Comms professionals were up to and learn from them. I subscribed to their newsletter and still do. I visit the website from time to time to catch up on recent articles on how to build a career in communications.
Roxy Jacenko – Roxy is the founder of Sweaty Betty PR based in Australia. Since I chanced on her page about 4 years ago, I have followed her works knowing I want to make my mark with my specialization in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle PR here in Ghana and beyond. She’s also someone who has built a strong personal brand while running her PR agency.
Natasha Koifman– She’s the President of NKPR and a PR Guru who is based in Canada. She’s another PR boss lady I admire and take inspiration from her anytime I come across her post on IG. Oh yes, she’s also great with personal branding.
Diana Opoti – Diana Opoti is based in Nairobi Kenya and has a PR consultancy called Diana Opoti PR. She’s one of the female figures in PR I feel we share similar interests when it comes to fashion in Africa. Her 100 Days of African Fashion campaign grabbed global attention and since then she’s become a force to reckon with in the fashion industry in Africa.
So to any one wondering how to get started on your career and building a business out of it, I would leave you with these few pointers:
- Identify what exactly you want to do, and start making plans to go for it. It’s ok not to know at the early stages and it’s okay when you are still not sure. But make it a point to find what you are looking to do. It takes time so have patience for yourself.
- Once you are sure of what you want to do, spend time knowing more about it. Research, read and read more! There’s so much information available online now, you only need to be committed to learning.
- Always write down your plans and ideas. It helps to remind you when you are not sure how to go about it. Writing down your ideas and plans also helps in motivating you when you feel lost and less motivated. Going back you see what you want to do can spark a new energy.
- Speak to people, speak to your colleagues, close friends who would understand your decisions, speak to people who have walked similar paths.
- Nurture it! Just like anything, you need to have the patience to grow it. Go through the process, learn along the way, make all the mistakes there is but always get back on track.
Like I mentioned, most of these people I named above are people who are not even aware that in all that they do, is inspiring a young lady to pursue her dreams. You don’t need to be in their space, or work with them or know them personally to be inspired by them.
Just by doing what they know best, they are making their impact on others. To all these amazing women and many others out there, keep inspiring many people like myself.
I also want to also make a special mention to my Women in PR Ghana community for also inspiring me to keep improving and be a better convenor. We recently announced our Top 10 PR Women for 2021 and I would say I am proud to see us all excel and inspire.
So don’t stop. Keep doing what you know best and you may never know you are also inspiring others to also pursue their dreams no matter how long it would take and no matter who believes them or not.
Now can we skip to my birth month? ?