Benjamin Mampuya is the co-founder of Clipse, an online platform that supports agencies and professionals in their press relations communication operations on the African continent. With 15 years of experience in this sector, Benjamin Mampuya wanted to develop an innovative solution to facilitate the communication campaigns of his clients in Africa, by offering several press relations tools grouped together in a single application.
14km comes back with him on the genesis of Clipse, and on the usefulness of this type of tool for press relations in Africa.
I am the founder and president of the agency Compagnie Générale de Communication (CGC), an agency specializing in communication on the African continent. And also the co-founder of Clipse.me, a startup that is developing an online solution to support communication players on the African continent in their campaign.
I have always worked in communication, whether in agencies or on my own. Among my experiences in agencies, I spent most of my career as a consultant, then Africa and Middle East director at the Parisian agency Rumeur publique. A 7-year experience, with a large client portfolio, particularly in the Maghreb and Central Africa, mainly in the political and economic sectors. This adventure was interspersed with a first entrepreneurial experience and other shorter periods in an agency.
Then, in 2017, I decided to create my own agency, which I wanted to be 100% African and which would only deal with actors who have business or political interests in Africa, while also supporting African companies and institutions in research. visibility in the Western media.
I had the chance to fulfill communication missions in about twenty countries in Africa, English-speaking or French-speaking. In particular, I participated in four African electoral campaigns, accompanying governments and private or public institutions in their communication campaigns.
I draw two conclusions: the first is that very few players understand the importance of having a real communication strategy with a clear positioning and actions that refer to it. Then, concerning my colleagues, the market and the communication professions are not structured and even less professionalized. Everyone can define themselves as a communicator, without real business expertise or speciality.
There are very few schools or institutes in Africa that train in communication professions. Most local communicators are former journalists or “self-made men/women”. But unfortunately, very few of them have been trained in communication strategy and the levers of influence. One might think that this is a problem that concerns public policies or the education system, but, from the moment when communication remains a buoyant market, which generates a lot of income, the private sector can also organize itself to better train and promote their professions. We, the local or foreign communication agencies operating in Africa, also have our share of responsibility for the current state of the communication sector.
Clipse is a tool dedicated to communicators, whether they are within an agency or internally in a company or an institution. This platform was born from our desire to help improve our working methods and the communication sector on the African continent. Clipse combines five communication tools in one: it allows you to write a press release, send it to targeted journalists, depending on the theme, monitor media coverage, carry out press reviews with audiences of the media, and finally, to access a database of more than 15,000 journalists. It is an innovative and efficient tool that brings real added value to communicators in terms of saving time, because the actions are automated. This ensures continuous quality in communication actions.
The lack of a database of African journalists can be explained by two factors.
The first is that the profession of journalist is not structured in all African countries, with an organization or association in charge of referencing them, allocating press cards and defending their rights. The other factor is that press communication – what is called “PR” in the West – was not really considered by local communication agencies, which rather focus on event or advertising services. Targeting the press was secondary. We were content only to see it under the prism of the per diem.
Today if you want to have a database of Cameroonian journalists for example, you will not find it. You have to build it yourself with the little information you can find on the internet, or by soliciting contacts you have here and there. Thanks to Clipse, communicators can now benefit from a directory of journalists and media. We have created it thanks to our communication actions in the field and our networks on the continent. We update it regularly and add new media, regardless of the country. This database also includes foreign media from France or Canada dealing with Africa.
Our next steps will be to continue the development of the Clipse platform. We are only on the first stage of the rocket and there are still many services to come. We still have work to do on our database, expand our network and our links with all the media on the continent. Regarding our sector of activity, I consider that our challenge also results from our ability to popularize the right methods to structure and establish communication operations, and to succeed in sharing our knowledge of the field with as many people as possible. We must also continue our commitment to Africa, by trying at our level to find solutions to the glaring problem of the lack of training in communication professions on the continent.
Aurélie Kouman – Journalist