The world of public relations and brand positioning is a highly competitive one, particularly on the African continent, but Mary Njoki, the founder of successful Kenyan PR firm Glass House PR, is determined to be an industry leader by building a foundation of innovation and creativity.
LoA spoke to founder Mary Njoki about her entrepreneurial journey and her vision for hercompany.
What does your company do?
Glass House PR Ltd brings together a mix of services and comes up with a customised approach for each client. Our integrated approach to communications and PR ensures that all angles of a company's story are aligned and delivered to key audiences in a clear, smart and steady manner. We deliver the best in communications strategy to our clients so they can reach their business and communication goals. This is a new era of public engagement pulling information from a variety of sources, experts and networks. Consumers demand a dialogue, and expect an empowered role with the brands they interact with, and the communities they touch. Glass House PR delivers messages, generates media coverage and creates experiences that build awareness and engage audiences. Through events, the news media, social channels, bloggers and celebrity endorsement, we develop effective and creative ways to reach and engage with your consumers.
"Glass House PR delivers messages, generates media coverage and creates experiences that build awareness and engage audiences."
What inspired you to start your company?
My relentless desire to innovate, provide solutions, and to build new things inspired me to start my company.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
People should use our services because we are newsmakers in Africa. We have become Africa’s best PR firm by driving relentlessly for innovation and creativity – our fundamental passions inspire us. We’re starting conversations more than ever. We’re pushing boundaries more than ever. And when there’s industry news, we’re in the spotlight, now as always.
"People should use our services because we are newsmakers in Africa, We have become Africa’s best PR firm by driving relentlessly for innovation and creativity – our fundamental passions inspire us."
Tell us a little about your team
My team is composed of young people who are excited about innovation and are ready to deliver and give clients the solution that they need.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
In 2012 January, I got fired from my marketing job via text message. Many women would have been shattered by this job loss but instead I felt relieved. I am personable and I was good at marketing but there was no challenge in the marketing job in the IT company. Today I run a successful public relations firm with big names on its client list like Facebook. The thing that I love most about entrepreneurship is the challenge. A year before this sad morning, I had attended a Business Networking International (BNI) meeting by chance. There, I had interacted with CEOs who instantly changed my perception on entrepreneurship. After the job loss, I worked in a PR company for four months and I decided to quit - now jobless and armed with only Sh6, 000 and a laptop, I believed in the possibility of founding a company that would create millions. I was curious about public relations but I didn’t have a clear picture of what it entailed. I started doing my online research. The more I found out about it, the deeper in love I fell with it. In my mum's house in Ngarariga, Limuru, I put together the concept of Glass House PR. I created a website, Facebook and Twitter pages and then started sending my company profile to the network I had built at my marketing job. When marketing a business, all prospective clients will want to know who you worked with. My first year saw me doing a lot of pro-bono work or work at a minimal fee just so I could prove myself and to build my brand. Many times I got tempted to get back into the job market, but the conviction that I was building something bigger than me kept me going. In 2014, doors started opening and I began working with artistes and public figures - we have also worked with international companies like Facebook and Viber. This year, Glass House PR was shortlisted to attend a conference in New Orleans in the US and I was able to interact with business leaders such as Chris Sacca who applauded me for being a young woman in Africa who is changing the landscape of PR and changing the world through entrepreneurship.
"We’re starting conversations more than ever. We’re pushing boundaries more than ever. And when there’s industry news, we’re in the spotlight, now as always."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I dream of birthing other brands on all continents in the world, creating employment around the globe, with the idea to create a media outlet of the future. Glass House PR will also be a global content creation hub.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Being the creator and innovator gives me satisfaction. Also that I am able to provide solution for problems and clearly give the authentic PR solution that the world needs, satisfies me.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Each woman has something to offer to the world, they just need to discover what they can do easily or what they are passionate about - they will then be able to create an authentic solution to a specific world problem that comes from who they are and what they can do.
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Why LoA loves it….
At LoA we love to meet those women entrepreneurs who demonstrate sheer tenacity and determination in following their business building dreams, and who keep going when things get tough. Mary Njoki is one such entrepreneur who is forging her own unique path and creating a brand to be reckoned with in Africa along the way. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa