Thursday, 29 December 2016

#Fiercely walking my journey through 2016

Just like many others, we start the year off with very high energy and listing all the New Year resolutions. As a personal conviction, I stopped writing New Year resolutions about 2 years ago. My simple reason was because I realized it’s not about just writing the things to do but eventually doing them. I don’t need to wait till New Years before I start doing what I ought to do. I note them down, and start planning for them. (My simple principle though).

I started 2016 with very little energy as I have had many disappointments in the previous years and had most of my aspirations quashed hence a bit of uncertainty because I did not know how the decisions I take will eventually affect my life. I was geared for many things and wasn’t ready to get pulled down by anything or anyone. “Fiercely face” them was my mantra.

In April, I turned 30. I summed up my 30 years with a blogpost here It was a mixed feeling turning that age but what can I say. It came anyway and I had fun, partied hard and fiercely took off like a speed jet.

In May, I made a tough decision to leave my job as an account manager at Global Media Alliance to join a young fashion brand called Totally Ethnik while I re-build my boutique PR company, E'April PR. It was also to re-strategize my career path and have enough time to learn and build a much stronger foundation as a Fashion PR Girl.

In April-May, I handled PR for the first ever Accra Mens Fashion Week. PR efforts garnered gave the event several media reach and attention on both Traditional and social media even weeks after the event. I am certainly looking forward to the 2017 edition. Nana Mensah and your team, you guys were simply amazing.

In June-July, we launched Evangel Magazine Beta Edition in partnership with Royalhouse Chapel International. This was a successful launch and we thank God we managed to expand our readership with the word of God.
Evangel Mag Team/Royalhouse Chapel
In July, I had the opportunity to write for the Business and Financial Times Newspaper as a Columnist. I shared my weekly thoughts on fashion brands and events in my little corner called “Fashion and More with Faith Senam”. It’s been an exciting journey combing every little corner for content to share on a weekly basis. I am glad I pulled through 6 months and I am looking forward to the many opportunities that awaits in 2017 with it.

In October, i joined six (6) other PR ladies of African Descent across the globe to begin a weekly PR Chat called #PRChatAfrica hosted by each lady every week. I have learnt and made many contacts through this chat platform. 

In October- November, I attended the Lagos Fashion and Design Week and really learnt a lot from that event. Hopefully, our fashion events in Ghana could get better in the coming years.
All year through, I managed to attend most of the major fashion events such as the Glitz Style Awards, Ghana Fashion Awards (Judge), Ghana Fashion and Design Week (Took over their twitter Handle), Glitz Africa Fashion Week among others.

I also had the opportunity within the year to speak to young students from my former school University African University College of Communications (AUCC) and 2nd Image Beauty College. It was such a pleasure.
I became certain of what I wanted to do in 2011; “Fashion PR”. Since then, all I have gradually done was to position myself in that field. It’s not been an easy one knowing it’s not a popular profession here in Ghana. But I am glad how people attempt to describe what I do when they see me. Bits by bits I know we will get there.

I found my niche in PR and that is Fashion PR. Expect more of my journey in 2017. I know it won’t be easy, but I know I will surpass them.

To the brands I handled PR for and manged; Totally Ethnik, Evangel Magazine, Accra Mens Fashion Week, Daily PR Africa, Women in PR Ghana, I  know 2017 will be a bigger platform we will step on.  

Personal Life
I rarely talk about my personal life on my blog. This time, I will share a little and few happenings in 2016. As I mentioned earlier, this year was uncertain for me. I wasn’t sure what will happen. One of the hardest thing one could easily get over is finally ending a nine (9) years relationship. Starting all over again is no small joke. But society, family and friends who are not privy to this info won’t let you be.
I remember the countless voices that whispered into my ears and asked when I was getting married. Knowing the society in which we live in and the family we have, I know I am never going to get away until I present them with the parcel of a man they have wanted. They don’t care who or what kind of person one ends up with. As I said on my 30th birthday blogpost, until love finds me again, I will be busy pursuing other goals in life. My life won’t be at a standstill because it’s time to get married and the ‘guy’ hasn’t popped up yet. I won’t be cajoled into societal pressure. Not to say it doesn't bother me but I have faith in God’s appointed time.

Hopefully in 2017, I will have more “Me” time, know myself better, more hobbies, more money, execute those “Ideas” that have lingered on for a long while, do things that will make me happy, eliminate negativity, read and learn more and take up more challenges.

Friends of 2016
Special thanks to you Catherine (Kate). You have been this girl who has been the shoulder I cry on. All the long hours you have to stay up to listen to what is keeping me awake at night, I can only thank God for your friendship and pray we stay closer in the coming years. Fifteen (15) years of friendship and counting. I appreciate your love and wish 2017 bring smiles to you too.

Klenam, as I said on your birthday on facebook, I don’t know how our friendship started but the fact that we shared many commonalities is enough to bring us together. I am grateful for your friendship, time and strength you have.
Ese, Sadat, Bridget  and myself
Ese, my big sister in disguise. My pillar. She gives me the push. Looks out for me; physically and everything. I know I have you and can wish you same dear. Sadat, the first guy I can call a best friend.  You have been there with me throughout this year. Your time to listen and share with me, your advice, your push has brought me here. Millicent, I know I have your love as a sister and thank you for this year. Even if I have never mention it to you, I am fond of you and really glad to be your friend. I have just been stubborn Gertrude, you have been awesome this year. Bridget, you know you are a darling. Yayra, thanks for cheering on all year through.

Evangel TeamSolomon, Randy, Peniel, Yayra, Klenam, you guys have been amazing. I want to thank you for all the support. We really had a blast in 2016. 2017 can only be better.

Thanks to you Bernard Ashiadey (Business and Financial Times) Gameli Hamelo (Livefmghana), Ebenezer Anangfio(Ghanagist) for the support all year through. 

And to you all for reading my blog and for every like, retweet, reshare and repost.

I wish I can mention all the names but I remember each one of you who have given me all the feedback and support in 2016. Those who were unable to, I understand because I wasn’t been there for you too. When God gives us another chance, let’s make it better in 2017.

Its been obvious I have had a very busy year. Packed with one thing or the other. But there have been challenging, sad and lonely moments where I wished things were a little different too. Where I stayed in bed to shed a tear. All these also gave me strength, hope, faith and love to still move on. I thank God for his mercies and pray 2017 will be a fresh start to a new story.

Thank you all for being wonderful. I love you and pray for you.

#FierceFaith 2016

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas to you from my Fashion PR World

2016 has been an awesome year and I know many fashion brands and entrepreneurs and fashionistas have also had great times all year through. From creative designers who have worked at designing new collections to fashion bloggers and media who have shared and brought these works to us, to the events that gave us all the opportunities to meet and network with like-minded people, this year has been one of a kind.

Firstly, I will like to commend the people/events I have come into contact with as a Fashion PR Specialist throughout the year. Bloggers, Fashion Event Organizers, Creative Designers, Fashionistas and many other people I have connected with.

With Social Media being a great influencer in 2016, many of us have had great opportunities through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. They have influenced many brands by giving them voices to promote themselves to millions of people.

Fashion Bloggers and Media
As a columnist with the Business and Financial Times Weekend, I can’t do without bloggers and the media. I constantly work with them by writing and syndicating my write-ups to them and also that of the brands I represent.  For some, I frequent their pages to read and know what is happening within the industry. The likes of Bra Perucci, Debonair Afrik, TrendsandBlends, AuntieOboshie, Fashion Ghana and YaaSomuah Daily have provided me with great fashion, lifestyle news and information all year through both local and international. I urge them to work to keep their content competitive and unique. Looking forward to a new year full of energy and great contents from these media platforms.

Fashion Weeks and Events
This year wouldn’t have been successful without some of these big events. The year started off with the first ever Accra Men’s Fashion Week which was successful. Later in the year, we had Glitz Africa Fashion Week, Ghana Fashion and Design Week and then Accra Fashion Week. These events provided us with opportunities to meet and know our favorite designers, models, buyers, stylists, and other fashionistas. Other events included the Fashion Forum Africa, Auntie Oboshie Presents and Shopping Festival, fashion graduation from Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design and Radford University.

Fashion Awards
Awards events could not be left out of some of the exciting times in the year. The Glitz Style Awards, Ghana Fashion Awards and Afroma Awards all had a fair share of attracting various personalities and fashionistas to a night of glitz and glam to award several creative individuals within the fashion industry. Deserving or not, I will urge many others who did not make a cut this year work at earning their place at next year’s event for any of these awards.

Be it as it may be, 2016 had also been a challenging one. Having major events scheduled at the same weekend in the capital should be something I hope won’t happen in the coming year. I also look forward to cohesion within the fashion industry and also focusing more on sustainable ethical fashion in order to make an impact with what we produce here in Ghana. With all these, I strongly believe 2017 will be a super fabulous year for us all.

With Christmas here with us again, I wish all B&FT readers a wonderful season. Thanks for being an ardent reader and I look forward to sharing more news, features and personal thoughts on “Fashion & More with Faith Senam” column with you in the coming year.

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to you.

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

10 Fashion Brands in Ghana that pushed the PR Button in 2016

As I did last year, I shared my 10 fashion brands in Ghana I thought have pushed various aspects of the communication mix to get their brand out there. This year has been not been an impressive one for many fashion brands. 

That notwithstanding, some few brands have still managed to push further and keep working to create some visibility for their brand. Some established brands are fading off whiles some emerging brands have made good in roads this year and 2017 could only get better for them.

Below are my 10 Fashion brands in Ghana that have worked pretty hard this year to put their brand on the radar and create brand presence both online and offline through fashion events and shows, lookbook/collection launch, product/celebrity  placements, media features, awards amongst others.

1.    Sima Brew
This brand has become the go to for many female celebrities. There was no single major event in 2016 that won’t see a celebrity in a Sima Brew Gown. Celebrities such as Selly Galley, Zynnell Zuh, Berla Mundi, Becca, Joselyn Dumas amongst others have been seen in one Sima Brew dress or the other.
The brand also won Red Carpet Designer at the Glitz Style Awards 2016 and Designer of the Year at the Ghana Fashion Awards and also showcased at the Glitz Africa Fashion Week 2016. With such remarkable brand positioning, 2017 can only get better for this brand.

2.    Abrantie The Gentleman
This brand is almost becoming one of the strongest brands in Ghana. They have remain consistent over the last couple of years. They launched 2 collections in the year; AYEYI and GMAN Collection with a buzz on both traditional and social media.
ABT The Gentleman showcased at the SA Menswear Week, African Fashion Week Amsterdam, Durban Fashion Fair and Mercedes Benz African Fashion Festival. The brand was also nominated as Designer of the Year at Glitz Style Awards and Ghana Fashion Awards and won Designer of the Year at Afroma Awards. Their brand visibility this year is commendable.

3.    Totally Ethnik
Totally Ethnik one of the top fashion brands in Ghana have launched 2 collections this year; Dolce Vita and Colors of the Earth which gained several features in top fashion blogs and also generated several media buzz.
Totally Ethnik showcased at the Mercedes Benz African Fashion Festival and Glitz Africa Fashion Week. They were also nominated for Glitz Style Awards and Afroma Awards as Designer of the Year.

The brand have worked in creating not just presence in Ghana but also in Lagos, Abidjan, Kampala, Kigali, Paris, Geneva by stocking their pieces in shops and also organized private sales events in several cities. Celebrities such as Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Bolinto, Sandra Ankobia, Toke Makinwa have been spotted rocking a Totally Ethnik dress. I see this brand making greater strides in the coming year.

4.    Atto Tetteh
This brand is one of the emerging brands that have made great inroads this year. They started off the year participating at the Accra Men’s Fashion Week and then at the Glitz Africa Fashion Week. Their 2016 collections Tohazie and Artisan have been really impressive.

They were nominated as Emerging Designer at the Glitz Style Awards and won Emerging Designer at the Ghana Fashion Awards. Celebrities such as Stephen Appiah and Okyeame Kwame have been spotted in an Atto Tetteh outfit. With such progress made already, we can look forward to better 2017.

5.    Christie Brown
Being one of the ‘role models’ in modern day Ghanaian fashion, Christie Brown has managed to still keep up with being on the list of top fashion brands that have still been pushing hard to keep up with their brand presence. Even though this brand did not participate in any fashion show all year through in Ghana, they however launched 2 collections which created a buzz among fashion lovers all over including a feature in the Teen Vogue.

6.    Charlotte Prive
Charlotte Prive this year worked on making their brand visible at most trade and exhibition events held all year through as this earned them great brand presence within the fashion space. They won Designer of the Year at Glitz Style Awards and also participated at Flower and Garden Show event organized by Stratcomm Africa.

7.    Studio 189
This brand which recently opened its shop in Accra launched its first collection in 2013. They recently showcased at the Lagos Fashion and Design Week, being the only brand from Ghana to have participated at that event. They have gained several media features among which were a feature in vogue.

8.    Selinabeb
One of the very few accessory brand, Selinabeb has continued to create visibility for its fashion brand by introducing a collection called the Stars Collection which featured several top Ghanaian celebrities such as Sandra Ankobia, Joselyn Dumas, Berla Mundi, Kokui Serlomey and Victoria Michaels.

They participated at the African Jewelry and Accessory Fashion Week and Glitz Africa Fashion Week and also won High End Fashion Accessory at the Feminine Ghana Achievements Awards and also participated at several trade fairs among which was the annual Guba Expo event in London.

9.    AfroMod Trends
Being a ready to wear line, Afromod Trends brand’s marketing strategies have made it the go to brand for many smart and easy going women. Their collections for 2016 Elegance Fugu and Canvas of Dreams gained some media attention.
Celebrities such as Sandra Ankobiah, Naa Ashorkor, Yaayaa are mostly seen wearing Afromod Trends at different events and created some visibility for the brand.

10.  Brommon Bespoke Menswear
Brommon Menswear is one of the top handmade suits based in Ghana.  The brand has become a strong force within the menswear space. Prior to its launch and after its launch mid this year, the bespoke brand has position itself as a go to for menswear style inspiration. Personalities such as Nana Asante Bediatuo and Bola Ray, Stephen Appiah have been seen severally in a Brommon piece.

My expectations for 2017
Going into 2017, I wish designers and creative entrepreneurs be more creative through research, learning and investing in building strong and recognizable brands that match global brands.

By Faith Senam Ocloo
The writer is the founder of E’April Public Relations, a boutique PR firm. Senam is a fashion public relations specialist with interest in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She can be reached on +233272686959,, @senamapril on Instagram and @faithsenam on Twitter.

Kindly note photos used here are not my personal photos

Monday, 12 December 2016

Gaining Press Coverage for your Fashion Brand and Event

Getting press coverage as a fashion designer for your brand or event is a big deal for your brand as it opens several opportunities for the brand. In as much as some designers have great relationships with editors and journalists in getting their brand featured at one point in time, it is also important you take note of the following points below in gaining media coverage for your brand.

Press coverage is important as it creates a lot of positive momentum around your brand. It also opens up to you opportunities that exist that you might not know about, creates visibility for your brand amongst others.

Your Brand or Event must be Newsworthy

Not all events are worth pitching to the media. Truth is, editors are always looking for new and exciting brands and products to feature.  They will be glad to have a newsworthy information from you. Let’s say the launch of your new fashion brand, new collection, new product line, fashion show participation etc. All you ought to do is ensure that they are have been captured in the right way that will get their attention hence it should be done the right way. So ensure that your brand has that one new and exciting that will make editors want to have it featured.

Know the Timing to Pitch for Feature or Coverage

Timeliness is very important when pitching your brand to be featured. Fashion content also thrive on timeliness to see to it that your story is featured at the right time be it for traditional or digital media. In pitching your brand or event story to the editor, make sure it is done considering the timing of the brand, the editorial calendar of media especially for magazines. Timeliness also means ensuring that the kind of story you are pitching to the editor at the time. This guides you on when to pitch and when not to pitch.

Pitch to the Right Editor

Content interest varies from one media house to the other. Same as one editor to the other. There are different editors who have different subject interests. For us in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle space, we need to focus on pitching rightly to the fashion and lifestyle editors who will gladly welcome our content.  But first, you need to fit into their formula in order to catch their attention, because they surely have a house style and editorial policy they work with. Focus on building good relationship with the right fashion editor over time.

Whereas gaining press coverage for your fashion brand or event creates several opportunities for your brand through visibility and awareness, it does not directly generate sales for your brand. You need to further employ various strategies such as marketing and social media drive to compliment your feature and coverage and drive people to action.

This post was originally published by the Business and Financial Times Weekend Paper.

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts