Category Archives: corporate blogging

WhatsApp to Replace Twitter as Kenya’s Corporate Darling?

This week, Nendo Ventures and OdipoDev published a Social MediaTrend Report that analyzed recent trends. These included usage and messages on  WhatsApp, Facebook, and over 5 million twitter Kenya messages sent in the last year that spiked during events such as the March 2013 presidential election, the Westgate Mall terror attack and the Kenya@50 independence celebrations. 
They made several predictions in the report which including three main ones:
1. WhatsApp will change the media in 2014-15: With 82% of Kenyans having phones, and 19% with smartphones, WhatsApp which is pre-installed on some phones, is becoming used more and more for sharing of pictures, video, audio, and chats – and they predicted it will become the default communication channels for businesses. Already Citizen has Road Hog and Chase Bank has launched a dedicated WhatsApp channel.
While it’s questionable if Kenyan corporations, having recently embraced Facebook and Twitter, will migrate to WhatsApp, the authors cited the fact that WhatsApp is pre-installed on some phones, and has a very low barriers to entry (compared to Twitter that requires  an e-mail address and some internet knowledge). 

2. Social TV changes everything. This is the age of the second screen where people watch TV, attend events with mobile phones in their hand and chat & comment  on social media. In Kenya, it’s also known as the “Tujuane” syndrome after a local dating TV show that has recorded as many as 9,200 tweets an episode – and it opens a new way for for more advertising and communication from companies to connect with customers.
3. Social media Devolves – it will devolved to counties  – and citizens will set out to claim their web presence and self organize like some groups in Wajir already have. Somewhat related, the 2014 Kenya blog awards highlighted some cool county-focused blogs from Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Mombasa and Baringo. 

Other predictions
– The establishment of the smart audience – and the authors estimate Kenya has a smart audience of 0.5 million on twitter and 3.8  million on Facebook and TV and other media organization, now use Twitter, rather than SMS as their preferred interaction and feedback channel.
– The rise of social media as a profession

@Mkaigwa briefs the media on the Nendo Social Media report

– The decline of ‘likes’ as a measure on Facebook. The noted that people on some local corporate Facebook walls are asking what a company WhatsApp number is

– Corporate use of WhatsApp to replace intranets
– The role of online media in personal security like the government’s proposed Nyumba Kumi (10 homes) neighborhood watch system.
Fun Fact While they also predicted that this year will see more transparency on the paid interaction between brands and influencers/bloggers to, everyone wanted to know which corporations are paying Kshs 10,000 to 30,000 ($350) per tweet to influencers. 

Win #NationHela Cards

Prepaid cards are really useful these days as there’s so much you can buy on your phone or computer – such as purchases from app stores, online book stores and deal of the day sites. The best things about the cards like NationHela is that they only take money that you have, and send you an immediate alert on the remaining available balance by SMS. 

This is unlike with credit cards, which, if you’re not careful, your purchases will creep up and hit you with a surprise when you see the bill a few weeks later. Yes, a few purchases of $3.99 and $9.99 items won’t seem like much until you get a bill that is in Kshs ‘000 shillings.

NationHela has two cards to give away – each loaded with Kshs 2,000 (~$24). To win the first, leave a comment on what you think is the best feature of NationHela or a prepaid card, and for the second, leave a comment suggesting how NationHela can improve. 

Idea Exchange: Malkiat Singh, Blog Payouts, Biko, MAVC

Malkiat Singh: For more than 30 years, school children in Kenya have learned using books produced by an author who seemed to have an endless list of titles under his name that was super- human in breadth  – that many wondered if the man actually existed. 
 

This week Malkiat Singh, surfaced to sign a deal in which he transferred the rights to 43 titles of his ‘Improve Series’ for Kshs 83 million (~$955,000) to Longhorn Publishers

At the event, he spoke of his journey from when he published his first book in 1970 and went on became a full-time author in 1975 and then to set up his own publishing outfit – Dhillon Publishers in 1993 that has produced over 100 titles.
 
Biko Zulu: At the recent Story Moja Hay Festival in Nairobi, popular lifestyle writer and blogger, Biko Zulu gave an interesting master class on creative writing with ideas for writers on how to be unique, grab attention, and tell a good story.  He also spoke of his plans for the future, including a revamp of his blog which has some very popular posts like this Letter to Kenyans Abroad!

Currently available writing, and other opportunities include: 

ALAcademy: African Leadership Academy seeks to enroll the most outstanding young people with the potential to lead and impact the world through their courage, initiative and innovation. The Academy receives 4,000 applications from most African countries each year, and the deadline for the first round this time is November 30. 

 
Afrinolly is a short film contest with BuniTv. Upload your short movie or documentary by November 30 to be eligible for 3 prizes of $25,000, $15,000 and $5,000
 
The Commonwealth Writers Prize is a short story prize from the Commonwealth Foundation awarded to established and new writers across the Commonwealth. Just write your story of 2,000-5000 words story on whatever topic and you could win UK pounds 2,500  or 5,000 UK pounds. More here and the deadline is 30 November.
 
The Google Cloud Developer Challenge runs from October 22 to November 21with prizes that include Android devices and up to $20,000. Details here.

EDIT: Google also has an Africa Connected challenge in which content creators can win $25,000. Deadline is October 31. 

Green Card The annual US Diversity Immigrant Visa 2015 program a.k.a green card lottery is now open making available 55,000 diversity visas to a randomly selected group of applicants. Deadline is 2 November. 
 
Innovation prize for Africa (IPA)invites African entrepreneurs and innovators to propose projects that unlock new African potential in (i) Agriculture & agribusiness, (ii) Environment, energy & water (iii)  Health & well-being, (iv) ICT applications (v) Manufacturing &  service industries. The winning submission will be awarded a prize of $100,000 with two additional $25,000 ones for the runners-up as measured by business potential and social impact. Deadline is  31 October
 
Making All Voices Count is a $55 million global initiative that supports innovation, scaling-up, and research to deepen existing innovations and harness technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness. Some prizes will be in the area of innovation (40 grants a year of $15,000 – 60,000), Scaling (16 grants per year of $60,000 – 160,000), Research (open and granted research) and Global Action.
 
It is open to applicants from 12 countries in Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Mozambique) and others in South East Asia – and ideal proposals should touch on gender, grassroots, and government, and must be submitted through the website by November 8, 2013.

EDIT: TRAC is the Trademark East Africa Challenge Fund that offers grant funds of between $250,000 – $350,000 to private companies in support of innovative projects that can boost trade in both East Africa, and the region’s trade with the world. Details here and the deadline is 18 November 2013.
 
Young Achievers Awards is an annual event where young successful Ugandans are recognized and awarded for their excellence and initiative in the areas of business, science and technology, agriculture and outstanding talent and leadership. Deadline is 30 October and details are here.
 
Share other available opportunities here.

Idea Exchange: Opportunities Galore: Blogs, Dust, Eggs, Interns, PhD’s, Oil, Social Media, Weddings

Some open opportunities to apply for; 

(Edit) African Banker Awards: The 2013 African Banker Awards competition is now on. Winners will be selected in categories of  African bank, African banker, best bank (in North Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Central Africa regions),  retail bank,  investment bank , most innovative bank, socially responsible bank,  financial inclusion award, investment fund/private equity fund,  deal of the year, mortgage bank/product,  and brokerage house of the year. Deadline is 11 March.

African Development Bank: 2013 Internship Programme Session 2 – Provides students with an opportunity to acquire professional and practical experience at the African Development Bank and the Bank with a pool of potential candidates for future recruitment purposes.

Also, the #AfDB’s Regional Integration Dept is seeking junior consultants. Apply now.

PhD Fellowships from the African Economic Research Consortium  for people who have gained admission in 2013-14 to selected universities such as Cornell, Oxford, Ohio State or the Universities of Bonn, Sussex, Newcastle and others.  Apply through these university websites before April 30.  
The African Leadership Academy seeks to  enroll the most outstanding young leaders from across Africa and around the world. Deadline is February 28..

The African Leadership Academy also has the inaugural ‘African Teacher of the Year Award’ to celebrate teaching excellence on the African continent. The final 3 shortlisted finalists will be honored at a gala dinner in Johannesburg, South Africa in October in front of media, the headmasters of 100 of the leading schools in Africa, and other dignitaries. The winner of the award will also win a cash prize of $10,000. Nominate an outstanding African secondary school teacher- by the 31st of March, 2013 to teacheroftheyear_at_africanleadershipacademy.org.

Aga Khan Foundation: International Scholarships – scholarships and loans for postgraduate studies in 2013-14 to outstanding students from the developing world. The Foundation assists students with tuition fees and living expenses only and half of the scholarship amount is considered as a loan, which must be reimbursed with an annual service charge of 5%. Application deadline is 31 March.

(Edit) Anzisha Prize 2013: Has $75,000 in cash prizes for youth entrepreneurs. Details here and deadline for the @anzishaprize is April 1.
BAKE: Kenyan Blog Awards 2013 awards aim to reward and recognize exceptional bloggers creating content in technology, photography, creative writing, business, food, environmental / agricultural, style, politics, corporate, sports, lifestyle, travel, new blog and others.  Deadline is February 1.
Big Brother Africa: BBA 2013 kicks off in May. To qualify, participants have to be above the age of 21 and speak fluent English.
Blackberry: Developers may apply for Built for Blackberry reviews and the $10,000 Developer Commitment before February 18.

(Edit) CNN Multichoice African Journalist 2013 is open to African nationals, working on the continent for African owned, or headquartered, media organisations and with work that has appeared in printed publications or electronic media that is primarily targeted at and received by an African audience. Deadline is 17 April 2013.

(Edit) The 10th edition of Diageo’s DABRA awards is now open. The Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards will recognize journalists and editors who provide high quality coverage of the business environment in Africa in ten categories including ICT, finance, infrastructure, agribusiness / environment, tourism, best business story, business feature, newcomer, media of the year, and journalist of the year. Deadline is March 15.

(Edit) East Africa Philanthropy Awards: The 2013 EAPA awards from the East Africa Association of Grantmakers is now open for nominations in philanthropy categories for individuals, youth, faith-based, community, social entrepreneurs, and corporate philanthropy. Deadline is 30 March.
Egg Hatching Incubators are being lent to individuals and groups on credit, and with no interest charge. 
Faithful Frames: Win a free wedding photoshoot worth Kshs. 15,000 (~$175). Deadline is  Jan 28.

(Edit) Film Mentorship Program: Opportunity for talented young African filmmakers involved in directing, scriptwriting, production, camera, production design, sound design and editing, to enroll in a workshop where they will meet professional filmmakers from all over the world in September 2013. Details here and deadline is 1 May.

(Edit) The International Academy of Journalism 2013/2014 Fellowship program Journalism in the Digital World is now open.  Deadline is May 3, 2013.

Kings Pool Challenge League: EABL’s Pilsner brand is sponsoring a national pool tournament that runs from 21 January to May 4 2013.
(Edit) The 2013 edition of Mobile Web East Africa  is on later in February in Nairobi. Read more about the event.

Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value (CSV) seeks innovative programmes, businesses or social enterprises that innovate with impact in water, nutrition, or rural development. Deadline is March 31

(Edit) PivotEast: The third edition of this mobile startup showcase competition takes place on June 25-26 2013 in Kampala, Uganda, and it is open to  all companies in East Africa including South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Competition will be in five categories of mobile finance, mobile enterprise, mobile society, mobile utility, mobile entertainment – and this year companies can submit a product in more than one category. The deadline for entries  is 15 April.


(Edit) Poptech: The 2013 Social Innovation Fellows program. Details here and deadline is 2 April.

(Edit) The Rockefeller Foundation Next Century Innovators Award series is now open. Nominate people or organizations that can win up to $100,000 for solving entrenched social problems. Deadline is February 28

Squad Digital: The digital agency is seeking an experienced digital business director with  knowledge of social SEO, Mobile (e.g. M-banking) 
TAHMO: Design a sensor that measures a weather or hydrological variable (temperature, wind, dust or lightning) and is both inexpensive and robust.  Deadline is 1 March 2013.
Tony Elumelu Foundation: Is seeking companies to place interns with for periods of  8-10 weeks. They should have revenue of $250,000 – $5 million per year and agree to pay for stipends while the Foundation will  cover the cost of recruitment, travel, and accommodation  
Toyota: Dream Car art contest dubbed “Your Dream—The Car of the Future” aims to create an opportunity for children (in 3 categories) —through drawing pictures of their “dream cars” —to develop their interest in cars. Deadline is January 31. 
Tullow Oil: The Group Scholarship Scheme will offer up to 114 scholarships across its countries of operation (10 for Kenya) for the 2013/14 academic year and these can be in engineering & tech., oil & gas economics, business journalism, law, and others. Deadline is 13 February. 
World Bank Africa: Social media internship – apply by responding to the phrase: #iwant2work4africa because..

Is Social Media a Career?

There have been a few jobs advertised of late for social media positions including at diverse companies like the Kenya Airports Authority, Nation Media Group and now Squad Digital (for Rwanda). 

But there’s more to these jobs than just being on Facebook or Twitter, and ultimately they are about communications – being aware & monitoring of what’s being said or written, then communicating a company position to the public, communicating product features, changes  & news, or communicating with customers in customer service – and to communicate properly, entails an understanding of media, marketing, campaigns, product cycles, consumer behaviour etc. This  Citizen news piece gives a behind the scenes look at the currently widely-acknowledged corporate leader in social media engagement – Safaricom.
Not all companies are ready for social media, nor should they all be online – and while the current mediums are blogs, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, they may next be on others such as G+, Whive or Mxit, having come from engaging on company websites and email. But ultimately, it’s about communications, not social media, and as @kaboro said – if all you know is Facebook & twitter, you’ll be out of a job before long.