MATTHEW DELLA CROCE is the global president/chief client experience officer of Allison+Partners, a global marketing and communication agency. In this interview, he speaks on the company’s expansion drive in Africa and the acquisition of Africa-focused PR agency, C. Moore Media PR. JOSHUA BASSEY brings excerpt:
What does this acquisition of C. Moore and expansion into the African market mean for businesses in Africa?
As the African business landscape and tech ecosystem grows, so has the demand for robust, sophisticated, and data-driven public relations. Bringing on the team from C. Moore Media International Public Relations (CMM) brings a host of new global resources, expertise, and expands our network, and visibility to the African business and tech ecosystem, alongside an even deeper global footprint. Allison+Partners, in turn, brings access to our bigger network in Europe, Asia, and The Americas.
Additionally, Allison+Partners’ brings an incredibly wide number of capabilities, including corporate communications, thought leadership, business-to-business communications, media relations, crisis communications, public affairs, consumer marketing, strategic content marketing, CSR, creative, digital, influencer marketing, market analytics, and DE&I communications, which we apply to all of our clients globally, will now be available to Africans and organizations focused on Africa.
What factors were considered for Allison+Partners’ expansion into Africa, and how does the acquisition of C. Moore Media International PR fit into this African expansion move?
Client demand is the primary driver of our expansion into Africa. Allison+Partners is privileged to have a lot of international brands among its clientele, and these brands are increasingly looking for one agency to represent them within the African continent.
We are positioning ourselves to fulfil this requirement since we believe that many governments, multilateral institutions, development agencies, and corporations are always looking to centralise their communications efforts through a single agency with a local presence in the markets that matter to them.
It is also important to note that C. Moore Media International Public Relations (CMM) has focused on public relations in African markets for over a decade and has worked with some of the continent’s most well-known and well-funded tech startups ranging from Series A to Series E, including WorldRemit, Copia Global, Lori Systems, Konga, AFEX, WorldCover and more. CMM’s founder, Claudine Moore, has also worked with a diverse roster of Africa-focused and U.S. organisations, including The Africa Channel, Arik Air, The Africa Progress Panel, Heirs Holdings, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Louis Vuitton, Johnson & Johnson, HP and more.
The addition, Claudine and her team move us further in this regard and give us significantly deeper capabilities in DE&I as well as reach into Africa, a complex, pivotal, and increasingly influential marketplace that requires a network, true expertise, and bespoke offerings in line with how Allison+Partners works throughout the world.
How does this African expansion align with Allison+Partners’ global growth strategy, and why now?
We have always been a growth-minded agency, looking to bring further reach to support our clients around the globe. In the past 21 years after our founding, Allison+Partners has expanded from two original offices to building a network of offices and partners across The Americas, Europe, The Middle East, and APAC regions. Entering Africa is the next important area of continued expansion. Bringing the CMM team into Allison+Partners is a natural next step in our growth strategy.
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Given that you currently have a Nigerian-based African regional consultant, is Nigeria considered a primary market in Allison+Partners’ Africa expansion plan? What other African markets are of interest to Allison + Partners?
As one of the international public relations industry’s fastest-growing and most innovative global agencies, Allison+Partners’ growth in the region will be focused on guiding Africa and Africa-focused brands and organizations to engage authentically with key stakeholders across Africa.
Additionally, the continent is giving rise to African businesses and startups that are expanding into markets in Asia, The Americas, and Europe. As a result of their business development and communications needs in these new markets, they will need access to global resources, expertise, potential investors, a network, and visibility, which Allison+Partners provides.
With a focus on five practices—consumer brands, corporate, reputation risk + public affairs, health, and technology—and a presence in more than 50 markets globally, Allison+Partners is well-positioned to serve the communications and business development needs of these African businesses.
Our work in Africa is led by Claudine Moore, who is now Allison+Partners’ managing director, Africa and DE&I, a newly created role. She will work to expand our capabilities in African markets and oversee the Allison+Partners’ diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for clients.
While we do not yet have a physical office in Africa, this is on the horizon. We currently serve our African and Africa-focused clients through the CMM consultant network in Lagos, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana, who join us due to the CMM acquisition.
What is Allison+Partners’ vision for its African expansion move?
We see the African region as the next stage of our global expansion plan. Due to the continent’s growing business activities, population growth, urbanisation rates, and rapid internet and mobile connectivity adoption, Africa’s emerging economies provide great prospects for expansion across a wide range of sectors. Through senior-level counsel and hands-on team expertise, we aim to provide clients with a unique national, regional and global perspective to support their business objectives while leveraging Allison+Partners’ global footprint, network, and extensive resources to serve the growing African market.