Telling Untold Stories: Streaming service ‘Hissbox’ launches with a grant of $25,000 for young filmmakers

A brand-new streaming service Hissbox, is set to launch on the 11th of September 2020. With a focus on ‘telling untold stories,’ the streaming service offers over 400 pieces of content including world-class originals, blockbuster films, series, documentaries and much more.

According to the Nigerian born, Los Angeles based CEO Chinecherem Eze, “The concern with streaming services today is that despite an extensive volume of offerings, there is still a lack of diversity in available content. We are very excited to say that Hissbox is here to fill this gap.” She said.

“Our focus from inception has been a platform where everyone can find content that reflects their uniqueness. We are telling, sharing and searching for exceptional stories from every corner of the world; there is a waiting audience for those stories and Hissbox will reflect that reality.” She added.

To kick off their search for ‘unique stories’ across the world, Hissbox has also announced ‘The Hissbox Grant’, funded by the Hissbox Diversity Film Fund (HDFF) which gives producers up to $25,000 in funding for the production of TV series, Feature Films and Documentaries. The HDFF looks out for filmmakers from diverse backgrounds with emphasis that stories are expected to be exceptional: stories with creative risks, which inspire dialogue, and are rarely seen on public media. More information about the grant can be found on https://www.hissbox.com/.

Starting with free 1 month access on the platform, Hissbox provides a tiered offering that gives subscribers broad access to Hissbox across web, mobile and connected-TV devices. Hissbox is also very pocket friendly with monthly subscriptions from $3.99 only.

About Hissbox

Founded by Nigerian born, L.A based serial entrepreneur Chinecherem Eze, Hissbox is a streaming platform, film production and distribution company primarily focused on projecting untold, neglected and less told stories. The platform aims to change the narrative of how stories are told by funding original content, collaborating and networking with industry leaders, filmmakers and relevant organizations. It is supported on all devices including connected Television screens Desktop, Laptops, Tablets and on Mobile devices.

Nigerian musician, two change activists on Glo-sponsored African Voices Compilation edition

The compilation edition of African Voices Changemakers, Globacom-sponsored magazine programme on CNN, airs this weekend. It will feature two Nigerians, ace musician Mr. Eazi and an equal-opportunity agent, Orondaam Otto, as well as South African beauty queen, Zozibini Tunzi.

Banku music exponent, songwriter and music star, Oluwatosin Ajibade, popularly known as Mr Eazi, will acquaint viewers with the story of how he pioneered Banku music, a collage of Nigerian rhythms and Ghanaian highlife.

A Mechanical Engineering graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, Mr. Eazi started his musical career in 2012 with his rhythm and blues single titled “Pipi Dance”. He has had collaborations with other A-list acts including  Ghanaian R&B star, Sarkodie;  Lil Kesh,  and Burna Boy who are both  successful Nigerian music  merchants. His hit singles include “Leg Over” and “Tilapia”

 The second feature on the programme is 32-year-old Nigerian, Otto, a Human Anatomy graduate of University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria who is committed to seeing an African continent whose potentials are maximized and one which will be celebrated for the innovations and uniqueness of her people. He is also focused on seeing that every African Child gets good education.

 A social reformer and development enthusiast, Otto leads as executive director, a team of 40 managers and hundreds of volunteers at Slum2School Africa which provides equal opportunities for disadvantaged children in every nook and cranny of Nigerian slums.

 Lastly, Zozibini Tunzi, South African model and beauty pageant who is the current   Miss Universe, has a National Diploma in public relations management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The 26-year-old teaches and encourages young girls and women to assume leadership positions in order to extend their frontiers of influence in South Africa’s national life.

The 30-minute magazine programme comes up on CNN on DSTV Channel 401 on Saturday at 9.00 p.m; Sunday at 4.30 a.m., 7.30 a.m., 12.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m with a repeat broadcast on the same channel on Monday at 5.30 a.m

Global malaria partnership urges countries to act during ‘window of opportunity’ to save lives from Malaria and COVID-19

Geneva, 23rd April 2020 – Ahead of World Malaria Day on 25th April, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria is calling on countries to act now to save almost 400,000 additional lives from malaria as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RBM Partnership to End Malaria, along with global and regional partners, including World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, is urging leaders of malaria affected countries to take advantage of the critical window of opportunity they now have, before the rainy season, to save lives and prevent over-burdening health systems.

The call comes in response to a new modelling study from WHO, which suggests that severe disruptions to insecticide-treated net campaigns and in access to antimalarial medicines due to COVID-19 could lead to a doubling of malaria deaths, potentially resulting in up to almost 800,000 malaria deaths in 2020. According to last year’s World Malaria Report, approximately 400,000 people died from malaria, the lowest level ever in almost 20 years.

Countries urged to ‘move quickly’

Whilst the ongoing pandemic places extra burden on low-resourced health systems, particularly in Africa, which carries 90% of the global malaria burden, as well as parts of Asia and Latin America, the malaria community is calling for these countries to safely continue life-saving malaria interventions that accelerate diagnosis and treatment at the community level. These interventions include the distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated nets and preventative treatments for pregnant women and children, who are most at greatest risk of dying from a mosquito bite, and integrated community case management as part of essential health services.

Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, Chief Executive Officer of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, said: “As COVID-19 spreads across the globe we must ensure that efforts to contain the virus do not compromise access to life-saving malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services. In 2018, investments in the malaria fight saved almost 600,000 lives and prevented nearly 100 million new infections each year compared to 2000 levels. Divert this funding or place holds on malaria interventions that could be safely carried out now and we could see an exponential increase in deaths from malaria this year. In the face of COVID-19, countries must act now to save lives, protect hard-fought progress, and strengthen health systems—our first line of defence against existing and emerging threats to public health.”

Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria at the community level is vital to preventing cases from becoming severe, which often require hospitalization and lead to death. In 2018, children under five accounted for nearly two thirds of all malaria deaths worldwide and 1 in 3 pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa were infected with malaria.

Global investments in the malaria fight have helped to save 7 million lives and prevent more than 1 billion cases of malaria since 2000 – gains which are now under threat from COVID-19. These investments also helped build the health care capacity of malaria burdened countries, enabling them to fight malaria and other diseases and new threats like COVID-19, by:

  • training tens of thousands of health care workers to conduct early diagnosis and treatment and integrated community case management of people with malaria/fevers;
  • increasing access to life-saving treatments, rapid diagnostics and preventive interventions;
  • building data systems to improve real-time surveillance of infectious diseases;
  • improving supply chains and availability of effective medicines and medical equipment; and
  • building in-country lab capacity.

Countries mobilize in response to COVID-19

Several countries have already heeded the call to continue their planned malaria programmes while taking precautionary measures against COVID-19, including Benin, Chad and Niger, which are going ahead with their mass distribution campaigns of insecticide treated mosquito nets, as well as Kenya, Malawi and Ghana, which are continuing to immunize children against malaria through a pilot malaria vaccine programmes announced on World Malaria Day last year.

Meanwhile, several countries in the Asia-Pacific region are approaching elimination. Amidst COVID-19 outbreak, Malaysia, which has registered zero indigenous malaria cases since 2018, provided a guidance on tailoring malaria response in the country to avoid resurgence. The Pacific nation of Vanuatu has brought its national elimination targets two years forward, to 2023. Meanwhile, M2030 Private Sector Partners stepped up to respond to COVID-19 and mitigate impacts to existing malaria programmes in Myanmar and Indonesia.

Relapsing malaria (P.vivax), which can reappear without warning, is the predominant form of malaria in the Americas, where it causes 75% of cases. Globally, four countries, including Brazil, have now approved the first single-dose radical cure for P.vivax that eliminates the dormant form of the parasite in the liver, which will be crucial to achieving malaria elimination. Furthermore, Haiti has put in place a COVID-19 response plan and is working to secure adequate resources and ensure that malaria activities are not interrupted.

World Malaria Day goes online

With the theme ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’, this year’s World Malaria Day reaffirms that it is everyone’s power and responsibility – no matter where they live – to ensure no one dies from a mosquito bite. The theme aims to remind citizens everywhere, and particularly in malaria burdened countries, of the personal responsibility we all have to protect communities from the disease and hold governments to account for ending this preventable disease.

To mark the global awareness day, a series of online activities are taking place to educate the wider health community on the fight to end malaria, including:

  • A “virtual applause”, on April 25th uniting people around the world on social media to thank health professionals working on the frontlines of the fight against malaria, COVID-19 and other diseases.
  • A live takeover of the RBM Partnership social media channels with Dr. Elvis Eze, a Nigerian-born and raised physician who has practiced in the NHS. Dr Eze will discuss the global malaria challenge, his role as an ambassador for the global malaria community, and his experiences suffering from and treating malaria in Nigeria.

The theme ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’ is inspired by the pan-African movement of the same name, which engages and enables political leaders, the private sector, communities, and other members of society to take actions that will protect their families and help communities and countries thrive. People around the world can join the conversation on social media by using the following hashtags: #WorldMalariaDay, #ZeroMalariaStartswithMe, and #endmalaria.

WE ARE EXCITED! MERCY JOHNSON RELEASES HER FIRST FILM, THE LEGEND OF INIKPI, AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Award-winning actress Mercy Johnson Okojie has announced another milestone in her life as she is set to be a first-time executive producer in the new movie, “The Legend of Inikpi” which is set to hit the cinemas in January 2020.

The star actress took to her Instagram page to make the announcement. In her words “I have always wanted to tell Nigerian stories, particularly stories about women who did great things and who are even still doing greater things which is why the story of ‘The Legend of Inikpi’ is dear to me.”

Here’s the teaser of her upcoming historical drama “The Legend of Inikpi” which hits cinemas in January 2020: https://youtu.be/VbGgq3byEwg

Set in the ancient Kingdoms of Igala and Bini, ‘The Legend of Inikpi’ tells a compelling tale of two kingdoms on the brink of war. When the Oracle informs King Attah of Igala Kingdom of the human sacrifice demanded by the gods, the king plunges into despair; haunted by the ghosts of his past, this is a sacrifice he is not prepared to give!

Directed by Frank Rajah Arase, “The Legend of Inikpi” features popular Nollywood actors like Odunlade Adekola, Sam Dede, Paul Obazele, Mercy Johnson Okojie, Saheed Balogun and newbie Nancy Ameh. The film is distributed by Silverbird Film Distribution. Media partners include Pulse, Bella Naija, Legit, Ynaija, Naijaloaded, YabaleftOnline, TVC, Goldmyne TV, The Beat 99.9FM, Ameyaw Debrah, African Movie Channel, Sodas and popcorn and Nollywood Reinvented

The Ben Enwonwu Foundation: Point of View

The Ben Enwonwu Foundation in collaboration with the Society of Nigerian Artists and supported by Alliance Française /Mike Adenuga Centre Lagos, will on November 22, 2019 present the third edition of its monthly series talks Point of View. It will hold at Alliance Française/Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Drawing from other creative disciplines and experiences to take a broad helicopter view of the art scene in Nigeria and Africa, Point of View aims to encourage support and funding for the visual arts through public and private sector partnership while ensuring continuing artist’s professional development and empowerment.

Conceived as a collaborative platform, the third edition of Point of View titled Museums, Tourism and Urban Development will address key issues, trends and challenges in Nigeria’s cultural tourism sector.

Leading architects will share their insights on the most innovative construction and design trends, using completed, on-going and upcoming projects as examples. In addition, museum specialists will shed light on improving museum experiences, preservation and conservation activities, as well as the challenges they face while government authorities will highlight investment opportunities and speak on museum development and destination marketing.

Speakers are; Jumoke Adenowo, Principal, A.D. Consulting will present on Elements of an African Museum; Seun Oduwole, Principal Architect SI.SA, who will talk about the J.K. Randle Centre for Yoruba History & Culture, Pool & Arcade: A Case for Tourism and Destination Marketing; and Jess Castellote, Director, Yemisi Shyllon Museum at the Pan Atlantic University, who will speak on Yemisi Shyllon Museum: A Study in Innovation, Latest Construction and Design Trends.

The theme of the panel session is The Cultural Tourism Sector: Funding, Visitor Experiences & Technology. Panellists for the evening are; Aderenle Sonariwo, Consultant to the Ogun State Government on Arts, Culture and Tourism, and founder, Rele Gallery, Lagos; Tosin Oshinowo, Director, cmDesign Atelier (cmD+A) and Omotayo Adeboye, Curator, National Museum, Lagos. Jumoke Adenowo will moderate the session.

This event is supported by Business Day, Hundids Magazine, Connect Nigeria, WildFlower PR, Society of Nigerian Artists, The Sole Adventurer, Onobello and Omenka.

ILLBLISS AND WIFE SHARE THEIR EMOTIONAL JOURNEY OF 7 YEARS OF CHILDLESSNESS ON MERCY’S MENU EPISODE 7

One of Nigeria’s finest rappers and musician, Illbliss and his wife, shared the story of their journey towards getting a child on Mercy Johnson Okojie’s kitchen talk show ‘Mercy’s Menu’.

According to Munachi, the wife of rapper Illbliss, “At a point, I had to ask him, are you sure you want this? I felt the pressure more during my pregnancy that during the moments I was without a child”.

Watch video here

The couple, who are currently married for 10 years, said that for 7 years, they were without a child and they advised couples that tests should not be only for the woman, but the man as well. “You must be there (be her support system), and then you have to approach God as one team, as one family”, Illbliss said.

Speaking on the challenges with In-laws, Munachi explained that she was lucky to have a good mother-in-law who was understanding and supported her during the years. She is now a proud mother of a beautiful baby girl.

Mercy’s Menu is a kitchen talk show by award-winning actress Mercy Johnson Okojie where she cooks and talks to different guests about life issues over a pot of food. Mercy’s Menu airs every Saturdays on Africa Magic Showcase by 5.30pm (WAT).

LOLO TALKS LOVE, MARRIAGE AND BEING A SINGLE MUM IN EPISODE 6 OF MERCY’S MENU

In the latest episode of Mercy Johnson Okojie’s kitchen show, Mercy’s Menu, Omotunde Adebowale David, popularly known by her on air personality name Lolo1 and her role in Jenifa’s Diaries as Adaku, shared her opinion on marriage, love and domestic violence.

She said this while making the “Black Soup”, a food popular to the Uromi people where Mercy Johnson Okojie’s husband hails from. The actress told the host that she “would not describe marriage as hard, I would rather describe it as challenging, because when you have challenges you can work on it and surmount it; you have your victories and failures”.

Watch episode here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNxi1B0HQME

The mum of four who is a divorcee explained that her life revolves around her children, she advised young girls going into the institution to “know yourself and shine your eyes. Marriage is like a school you never graduate from”, she explained. She also stated that being a single mum was challenging and spoke about domestic violence and other issues.

Mercy’s Menu is a kitchen talk show by award-winning actress Mercy Johnson Okojie where she cooks and talks to different guests about life issues over a pot of food. Mercy’s Menu airs every Saturdays on Africa Magic Showcase by 5.30pm.

WOMEN TAKE THE LEAD ON DAY 2 OF THE US CONSULATE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

It was a day of intense emotions, crying, laughing and sharing of different experiences as different groups of people especially women came out to share their stories on body shaming, mental illness, the need for inclusion of all people, and human trafficking on the second day of the US Consulate Documentary Film Festival which held on the 20th of August 2019 at the Silverbird Cinemas in Lagos.

The women who were the major players in the discussions for the day had a lot of emotionally filled messages and insightful discussions to relay to the audiences. The stories ranged from loving your body no matter the size and shape in Jenny Macquire’s documentary film, ‘Straight/Curve’, to human trafficking and child abuse in Mary Mazzio’s documentary film, ‘I am Jane Doe’.

The first screening of the day was Jenny Macquire’s documentary film, ‘Straight/Curve’, immediately followed by a panel session featuring Dija, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Jane Michael Ekanem, Alice Kingsley, Matthew Gordon, hosted by Latasha Ngwube. The all women and one man panel discussed issues of mental health and how the stereotypes about body sizes affected each individual especially women. An awareness was created about the need for designers and Africans to love all shapes no matter what size and to create the appropriate clothing for all sizes so that whether you’re big or skinny, you can fit in to the fashionable world without fear or shame.

The second screening of the day was Mary Mazzio’s documentary film, ‘I am Jane Doe’, immediately followed by a panel session featuring Mary Mazzio, who joined in via Skype, Comfort Sanni, Tobore Ovuorie, Chioma Afe, Mary Joseph hosted by Kemi DaSilva-Ibru. The panel was very emotional as the women discussed issues of human trafficking, rape, murder and child abuse especially as it affects women in the society. Two women shared their stories of their experience in the hands of traffickers and how the trauma had affected them such that it had a lasting effect. The message passed was that the traffickers may come in disguise and promise all sorts of bogus claims to get people to leave the comfort of their homes to travel for a better life; however what is out there may be worse and can lead to severe suffering or even death. It was decided that there is a need to continue the conversation and the Nigerian government was called upon to intervene and help aid in preventing the prevalence.

The film festival runs from the 19th to the 22nd of August at the SIlverbird Cinemas in Victoria Island, Lagos. It is presented in partnership with Ascend studios and supported by MTV Base, WARIF, IMagneto Dance company and WildFlower PR.

US CONSULATE KICKS OFF INAUGURAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL IN LAGOS

The US Consulate in Nigeria launched its inaugural 4-day Documentary Film Festival from the 19th to the 22nd of August 2019 in Lagos. The festival brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries, independent narrative films, and storytelling know-how to its audiences in order to highlight the value of film in fostering understanding and cooperation.

Declaring the event open, the US Consulate Public Affairs Officer Russell Brooks stated, “Film offers a powerful tool for people to people engagement. We hope that these films help us to recognize that what we share in common is so much stronger than that which attempts to divide us.”

The first screening of the festival was Robin Hauser’s documentary film, ‘Bias’, immediately followed by a panel session featuring Debola Williams and Dr Maymunah Kadiri-Yusuf hosted by ‘Oma Areh.


Dr Maymunah Kadiri-Yusuf , Debola Williams and ‘Oma Areh

Speaking on the event, the festival director, Inya Lawal, said, “We are excited to bring this to Lagos. “These stories all have elements of social familiarity across different cultures from the USA to Nigeria.  The audience should expect to laugh, cry, be moved and get motivated from the exceptional stories these films will tell” she added.

The inaugural launch had in attendance, media partners as well as prominent guests including Debola Williams, Group CEO Red Africa; Dr Kemi Dasilva-Ibru, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Dr Maymunah Kadiri-Yusuf, founder of Pinnacle Medical Services Limited; Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Nigerian Film Maker and Managing Director of Brickwall Communications Limited; Chef Fregz, Nike Majekodunmi and a host of others.

The film festival runs from the 19th to the 22nd of August at the SIlverbird Cinemas in Victoria Island, Lagos. It is presented in partnership with Ascend studios and supported by MTV Base, WARIF, IMagneto Dance company and WildFlower PR.

WOULD YOU STAY IF YOUR HUSBAND CHEATS? OMAWUMI DISCUSSES MARRIAGE, IN-LAWS AND HER OUTSTANDING CAREER IN EPISODE 4 OF MERCY’S MENU

Award winning singer, Omawumi, revealed that she was not going to leave her home if her husband cheats on her, in the recent episode of Mercy Johnson Okojie’s kitchen talk show, Mercy’s Menu.

The musician made this known while cooking a delicious meal of “Ukodo” and discussing with Mercy Johnson Okojie about marriage and the issues concerning the institution. “I can’t leave because of one error”, she exclaimed.

When asked if she would prefer if her in-laws tell her about her cheating spouse or educate her partner, she explained emphatically, “They have to educate him about cheating, because if they tell me, I will kill him”

Watch Episode here

Omawumi who has been married for 5 years revealed to Mercy Johnson Okojie that she had issues with communicating in the past and she has since then learnt how to overcome it. The star further stated about cheating “You will not want me to cheat on you, so why would you cheat on me? Because if you cheat on me again, you can be sure that I will cheat on you”.

Omawumi recently launched a PR firm, Hermanes Media, with partner Waje, following their foray into movie production. The singer spoke about her career and business on this episode of Mercy’s Menu.

Mercy’s Menu is a kitchen talk show by award-winning actress Mercy Johnson Okojie where she cooks and talks to different guests about life issues over a pot of food. Mercy’s Menu airs every Saturdays on Africa Magic Showcase by 5.30pm.

“Because I am female, I am seen as a Weaker Person”, Maraji talks feminism, Instagram and food on Episode 3 of Mercy’s Menu

Instagram Influencer and Comedian, Gloria Oloruntobi, popularly known as Maraji, in episode 3 of Mercy Johnson Okojie’s Kitchen talk show, Mercy’s Menu, talked about her career as an influencer, her opinion on feminism amidst cooking with the Nollywood actress.  

The 23 year old influencer emphasized the need to be seen as an “Influencer” first before being tagged as a “female”. She explains, “A lot of people feel like feminist are fighters but I feel that feminism is all about fighting for equality… just because I am female, I am seen as a weaker person, I am not! I am actually equally as strong as a man. I am an influencer before you see me as a ‘female’”.

Watch episode hereh   

Mercy’s Menu Season 1 Episode 3

While speaking on her job as an Instagram influencer, Maraji revealed that “I always used to think that I will have a lot of trouble picking a talent that I will settle on, but I realized that I could do that. With technology and social media, I can create different personalities and creativities, just put them into different people.”

Maraji thrilled fans with her jovial personality while cooking ‘Rivers Native soup’ with Mercy Johnson Okojie. There were so many educative and funny moments where the two stars showed their fans how interesting their personalities are; from Mercy Johnson Okojie teaching Maraji how to add fish in the pot in a romantic manner, to Mercy showing Maraji how to suck out a periwinkle, the episode was indeed an exciting one.

“DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS” – CHIGUL DISCUSSES COPING WITH CHRONIC PAIN IN MERCY JOHNSON’S DEBUT EPISODE OF MERCY’S MENU

Popular comedienne and actor, Chioma Omeruah also known as Chigul has revealed that she has been living with a chronic pain condition for while during the course of her work. She made this known in the first episode of Mercy Johnson Okojie’s kitchen talk show ‘Mercy’s Menu’ while preparing a sumptuous meal of ‘Banga Jollof rice’ with the movie star.

The funny woman spoke about her daily struggle with chronic pain, explaining that she has been taking medication to help cope with it. She encouraged people who are also going through the struggle,  “Don’t just look at the glory, also look at the story, maybe you might want to stay in your lane … don’t be afraid to allow yourself to dream, don’t settle for less, let the reality live in your head and let your life catch up to it.”

It was also a hilarious episode with Mercy Johnson and her guest sampling the different names for food items and ingredients.

Watch the full Episode here

Mercy Johnson Okojie launched the first season of her kitchen talk show “Mercy’s Menu” where she invites different celebrities as well as her fans to her kitchen to discuss issues that affect each individual. The show which launched on July 20, 2019 airs every Saturday at 5.30pm on Africa Magic Showcase.

Tips For Handling Negative PR

RSooner or later everyone has to deal with negative publicity, perhaps a competition releases or sponsors a negative report or an angry customer releases a bad review about your business. The popular saying goes “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”, but we know that negative publicity not properly handled can adversely affect anyone or business. It is vital to handle bad press with poise so it doesn’t spiral out of control and when handled properly you can turn it around for your benefit.

Here are three (3) effective tips in handling negative publicity:

1.  Be honest and welcome feedback:

Where there has been a misdoing, acknowledge the error, apologise or restitute where necessary and welcome the opinion of others. It helps to take a reconciliatory approach as this also helps connect with your audience and rebuild trust.

2. Respond, don’t react:

Reshape and refocus the conversation by countering with good publicity. Drown out your detractors by releasing press statements, social media posts etc. that show your accomplishments. This helps to control the narrative in your favour.

3.  Fix the problem:

Trace the source of the issue and make the necessary decisions to address it. This also helps the public know that you are listening and can be trusted.

It is important to know that any brand can have a positive comeback from a negative press, the difference between those who do and those who do not is in how they handle and respond to it.

HOW TO MAXIMISE YOUR PRESS RELEASES.

A press release is an official statement given to the media to give information about an organisation’s official view or stand on a topic. Press releases have various uses, which range from correcting public information to getting people buzzed about a brand’s new direction and products etc. Press releases are important for any organisation serious about its public perception especially in the social media age where information spreads quickly and public opinion swings like a clock’s pendulum, an apt example would be GTB which recently released an official statement to clarify that they were not asked by the Supreme Court to pay an Automobile company any amount so as to correct an ongoing public rumour about the takeover of the bank.

In the past, brands have relied on print house and traditional media houses to pass across official information to the public, however, in the wake of social media the world has evolved to also using social media influencers and popular social media channels to also push press releases.

Here are tips for maximizing your press releases:

  • Use a catchy topic and introduction.

Your topic and lead paragraph should be interesting enough for the audience to want to read your statement and should also provide a “hook” for the journalist and contain information about the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why” and “how”.

  • Don’t bore your audience.

Studies show that people prefer to get information as concisely and accurately as possible, so keep your information short, simple and straight to the point. You could refer to this tip as the triple S.

  • Include a quote from the organization.

Make use of at least a quote from a top executive as this lends credibility and legitimacy to your release and this convinces the public of the legitimacy of the official document.

  • Make use of Social Media Influencers.

Influencers have a loyal following and this would help you reach their audience without much convincing needed. It is however vital to make sure the influencer’s brand story aligns perfectly with yours.

  • Honesty still sells.

There’s no substitute for truth. The audience has to trust that whatever comes from you can be depended on as accurate and factual, always.

Overall, keep evolving with the times and ensure that you stay relevant and in touch with innovative ways to reach your target audience.

Chimamanda Adichie joins Bill Clinton, Mother Teresa and Christiane Amanpour as the first African to address the Harvard University Day Speech 

Chimamanda Adichie joins Bill Clinton, Mother Teresa and Christiane Amanpour as the first African to address the Harvard University Day Speech 
 
 
 
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie just became the first African ever to deliver the Harvard University Class Day Speech which is a major feature of the university’s annual graduation events. Class Day speakers are selected by the students themselves.
Previous speakers include last year’s speaker, former US Vice President under President Obama, Joe Biden; former President Bill Clinton; Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa; legendary music producer Quincy Jones; Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke; CNN Host Christiane Amampour; and Corretta Scott King, the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who delivered the very first Class Day speech in 1968 (Dr. King accepted the invitation before he was assassinated in April of that year, and his wife spoke in his place.)
Chimamanda’s speech on Wednesday at Harvard, included the importance of seeking to tell the truth in today’s world. She also spoke about while it is very important for people to be outraged, that it is crucial for one to understand the context in which an event took place or a statement was made- and the intent of the protagonist or speaker- before becoming offended or outraged. She exhorted the graduating students to be courageous in speaking the truth, as it may often mean that one is criticised for it, but that they will be able to gain true satisfaction from having maintained their integrity.
‘There is nothing more beautiful than to wake up every day holding in your hand the full measure of your integrity,’ she said. She received a standing ovation from the audience of approximately eight thousand people. 
Click the link below to watch full video