Launched in the run-up to the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Week, the free downloadable toolkit is an initiative by Microsoft and partners, designed to help entrepreneurs increase their visibility, build a talked-about business and attract investors.
Launched as part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, the SME (small and medium enterprises) Public Relations (PR) & Communications toolkit is built to serve as a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs across the African continent and other emerging markets to get started in building an effective, impactful, measurable and repeatable communications strategy. The 52-page interactive document was created in response to a survey conducted with SMEs across Africa to determine their communication needs.
The toolkit is designed to help smaller or starting businesses, working with smaller budgets, to create maximum impact and set and achieve realistic goals to see results. The downloadable e-booklet equips SMEs with guidelines, tips and tricks, links to extra information, video interviews with local experts and downloadable templates.
Entrepreneurs can download the toolkit for free, by registering on the Microsoft Biz4Afrika platform at www.biz4afrika.com.
The toolkit is available in both English and French.
“PR and communications is such a valuable tool in effectively and clearly responding to the market in a way that also aligns with your business strategy,” says Kaakpema Yelpaala, founder of start-up access.mobile and ClinicCommunicator. “We have found that as our company grows, businesses, consumers, analysts and other stakeholders in our focus markets want to know our story. They want to understand the value of our products and services and learn more about our current and future priorities. Through PR, we can tell these stories. We look forward to benefitting from the toolkit.”
The toolkit takes SMEs through all the fundamental building blocks of communications: from creating an elevator pitch to writing a press release and getting started on social media. It also features a series of video tutorials from local communication experts, including journalist Tom Jackson, award-winning blogger Liron Segev and founding editor of Vanguard Magazine, Panashe Chigumadzi.
Speaking on the creation of the toolkit, Kunle Awosika, Country Manager of Kenya says: “When putting this toolkit together, our team spent a lot of time with partners and small business owners, learning about their needs for us to custom-build a resource that meets the exact communication. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, and hence these series of toolkits are doing exactly that – helping not only SMES, but also our partners to build and scale their businesses with greater impact.”
Microsoft will also be launching Marketing and Human Resource Toolkits for SMEs in the upcoming months.
To download the PR & Communications toolkit, SMEs can visit: www.biz4afrika.com.
SMEs can also watch tutorial videos from the toolkit on the Microsoft Virtual Academy: https://mva.microsoft.com/en-us/training-courses/pr-communication-toolkit-14347?l=1kMcbregB_3005192797