Aside from LinkedIn, African businesses and leaders do not have an online social network of their own that they can use for professional networking. That’s why when Peter Jallah (Account Director, Newsweek & The Daily Beast Company LLC) came to us in April 2012 to help create a launch moment for Africans in the Media and Creative Industries (AMCI), a membership-only social networking platform dedicated to promoting African journalists, publishers, and creative professionals, we jumped at the opportunity.
Our objectives from the moment we took on AMCI as a client, was three-fold, to:
- Cast AMCI as a game changer that will transform Africa through investments in professional and social networks
- Cultivate a launch-pad for exploring the professional and social impact of Africans in the media and creative sectors
- Develop a platform for professionals to mentor students interested in learning more about their industry
Our first step was leveraging founder Peter Jallah’s decade-long reputation in the media industry to enhance AMCI’s credibility. We then designed and staged a launch event at New York’s iconic landmark, the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel. This prestigious kick-off, hosted by Peter Jallah, was the first mega-networking event in New York City dedicated to connecting African media and creative professionals and organizations through collaboration, networking, and sharing ideas. The affair attracted the best and brightest in the media and creative fields.
There was no predicting the remarkable response we would receive from the launch event. The publicity we created resulted in a series of partnerships with globally renowned news publishing companies like The Newsweek and The Daily Beast Company. In October that year, AMCI founder Peter Jallah and Tina Brown, editor in chief of Newsweek & The Daily Beast, convened a breakfast panel discussion exploring trends in the African media sector. The Today Show’s Lola Ogunnaike moderated the panel while panelists Teresa Clarke of Africa.com, Omoyele Sowore of Sahara Reporters and Mark Walton of The Africa Channel discussed the dynamics of the African media sector, including details about specific trends in political reporting and the role of Africa’s changing media.
Through these two events, AMCI has grown its membership base. MUIPR is now working with AMCI to develop a dynamic site that will host user profiles and provide African media and creative industry professionals and students with the opportunity to connect and interact with each other.