Mary Nnah writes that using the ‘Wonder Women’ campaign, Mojisola Saka, Chief Operating Officer of Soulcomms Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading Strategic Communications and Engagement companies, has increased the role of women in building organisations, beyond their traditional norm of building homes
The theme for the celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day with the hashtag, #BalanceforBetter, is designed to draw global attention to the call for gender parity at the workplace. This theme finds practical expression at Soulcomms Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading Strategic Communications and Engagement companies, where a deliberate policy of gender balancing sees women occupy commanding positions that have enabled them unleash their expertise on the execution of some of the high profile campaigns involving the biggest brands in Nigeria.
The Chief Operating Officer of Soulcomms Limited, Mojisola Saka said this is a policy that has worked for the company in the 15 years of its existence, and has been partly responsible for its high flying success and favourable rating in the industry.
This also informed the reason why Soulcomms, earlier this month, launched what it tagged, “Wonder Women” campaign in commemoration of the International Women’s Day celebrated globally with various activities.
The Soulcomms Wonder Women campaign is obviously an avenue to reflect on the incredible women in the workplace and all they have done to further women’s rights and equality. There’s no shortage of those stories floating around right now -from the women who have won the Nobel Prize to companies empowering women-run businesses and helping women excel in their various field.
“In a rare display of ability to juggle responsibilities at home and in the workplace, the women at Soulcomms, who could be correctly described as Wonder Women, have been able to effectively play their roles as wives, mothers, daughters and sisters while at the same time striving to continually raise the bar of their performance at work”, Saka said.
Speaking further she said, “It is proof of the extraordinary strength and capacity of these women that they are able to meet domestic obligations early in the morning of each day and would be in the office timely and still be physically and mentally equipped for the day’s tasks. Yet, they may not leave the office often times until much later.
“Anyone living and working in Lagos understands that the bustling metropolis contributes substantially to the low life expectancy rate in Nigeria, because of the nightmarish stress of wading through chaotic traffic that is considered among the worst in the world on a daily basis.”
She stressed further that, a major factor that has aided the work of the Soulcomms women is that they have understanding, considerate and cooperative families who have come to terms with the demand of their job, and actually assist in whatever way they can to make them perform better.
“The women’s ability to effectively combine official and domestic responsibilities has been made possible by a combination of education and training in some of the best institutions within and outside the country, and many years of hands on experience in developing top brands that have remained household names in the country. It has been a case of positively impacting workplace experience on the home front, and vice versa.”
Saka affirmed that Affirmative Action has remained a culture at Soulcomms, where there are equal opportunities for growth and development, adding however that, this does not take away emphasis on competence and performance.
“This explains why women have the freedom to express themselves through their expertise in the various areas in which they have core competencies. They have been able to add value to a company that has come to be reckoned with in the nation’s integrated marketing communications industry”, she noted.
The position of Saka, lead business driver as Chief Operating Officer, has nothing to do with her gender. This is to say that she was not engaged to fill a gender gap that existed in the company in a deliberate manner; rather, it was essentially because she fits the bill of the expert that is required to drive operations at the top-rate consultancy firm.
With experience that cuts across advertising, experiential, direct and social marketing, as well as the financial services industry, she has been able to lead a team of highly qualified and talented professionals in the past eight years to execute some of the most exciting campaigns that involve both local and international brands that are household names in the country.
She does this effortlessly from strategic and execution perspectives, the reason she is regarded as an amazon in the industry.
Saka, who is at all times guided by her personal philosophy to “stand and be known for the best”, is imbued with inter-personal skills that are considered quite exceptional and outstanding, the reason she is able to manage diverse interests at home, in the workplace and among different clients. Excellent in rapport with her team, she is seen as a leader who carries everyone along in official and unofficial matters.
The string of successes recorded by Soulcomms in its executed projects within Nigeria and the West African sub-region can be ascribed to her deft knowledge of strategic communications, engagement and messaging. It is an experience she has garnered over time through trainings that have global dimensions.
A holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, she has a Diploma Certificate in Issues and Crisis Management and an Advanced Certificate in Social Media Management, from the London School of Public Relations and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), in the United Kingdom.
Saka’s expertise in building and managing relations goes outside her official engagements in the projects she leads Soulcomms to execute for clients. It also includes volunteer services she renders selflessly to her country.
In the past five years, she has volunteered her services as a member of the Event Planning Sub-committee of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, an evidence of the high esteem with which she is held in the marketing communications industry. She is also currently in her third tenure as Executive Treasurer of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) and now a member of the Communications, Media and Publicity sub-planning commitment for the Nigeria Economic Summit (NES) at 25. It is no wonder she is regarded as a leading light among the new generation of strategic communications and consumer engagement experts in the country today.
Saka is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, CIPR and an alumnus of the International School of Communications, London.
Praising the efforts of her other female colleagues who have helped in moving the company forward, she noted, “The perfect blend of highly qualified women in different backgrounds, coupled with the flexibility of the style of running Soulcomms, gives Yemisi Oyekanmi the latitude to unleash her competence as a creative and passionate brand developer. Bringing into her position as Engagement Lead, inspirations by legendary copy in campaigns for global brands like Ford, Volkswagen and Guinness, her passion for creativity was nurtured by her ability to analyse campaigns involving some top names”.
Saka noted further that for her colleague, Oyekanmi, with years of quality experience working with a leading ethical fashion retail brand in the United Kingdom, her career path has grown to become all embracing and covering all aspects of marketing communications.
“Her creative flair and uncanny ability to engage in tactical thinking are reflected in the ease with which she handles strategic institutional communication involving the public, government and organisations, as well as expert execution of media relations projects involving crisis, perception and reputation management for internal and external publics.
“This expertise is also present in her tactical delivery on strategies for social media/SEO management, in addition to her innovative execution of projects related to consumer marketing, events, branding, project marketing and management. Yemisi’s dexterity has come into play in the implementation of various high profile projects that cut across sectors which include telecoms, financial services, oil and gas, education, Information Technology and FMCGs. Others are tourism and hospitality, luxury goods, as well as government, stakeholders and community relations”, Saka said.
A look at Oyekanmi’s educational attainment and training would reveal a rich pedigree that explains why she is unarguably well equipped and best suited for her role at Soulcomms. She has a Bachelor’s degree (combined honours) in Advertising and Media Communications, as well as a MSc. in International Marketing from the Lincoln Business School, England.
A developmental membership, training and certification from the International School of Communications in the United Kingdom further puts her in good stead for the onerous task of leading engagements at Soulcomms. This is in addition to her membership of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria and PRCAN.
Oyekanmi has great aptitude for providing sustainable tactics in strategic communication and cutting edge consumer engagement strategies for local and international brands and is also committed to lending her voice in ensuring social justice for all and to women and human rights. She is passionate about Leadership, particularly for women.
Saks revealed further that Soulcomms has a reputation for providing the conducive environment women need to hone their skills, regardless of their fields of study. This, she said explains why Omonigho Agbator-Momodu, a graduate of computer science from the Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, is one of the high flying women driving the success of the company.
“Omonigho, who is Manager, Engagement at Soulcomms, has a specialty that is backed by proficiency and proven skills in experiential and direct marketing in areas such as events and project marketing, as well as operations development and management. Her deft knowledge in operational development and execution strategies account for the remarkable successes she has recorded on projects in which she has played leading roles. This dates back to her days at Neo Media and Marketing where she cut her teeth in the industry”, Saka noted.
With a certification in Administrative Management from the London Academy Business School, Agbator-Momodu’s passion for cutting edge project execution has seen her deploy her ability for strategic thinking into highly successful pan-Nigerian campaigns with incredible results in various sectors. These include telecoms, financial services, FMCGs, as well government, stakeholders and community relations.
Saka also mentioned another successful woman, Janet Adizua, the Media Executive, Strategic Communications at Soulcomms.
“She joins the distinguished list of women that are making invaluable contributions to the success story of the company that is highly sought after in the public and private sectors. With core competencies in media relations, brand strategy, as well as experiential and events management, she expertly applies innovative strategies to execute media relations for top brands across all sectors, with identifiable and measurable results”, Saka revealed further.
A graduate of marketing from the University of Calabar, Adizua’s passion for event planning and flawless execution comes into play in the highly commendable manner she has executed tasks that are related to her areas of core competence. Her love for humanitarian work comes into focus against the background of the fact that she currently works, pro-bono, as a media consultant for several leading not-for-profit organisations and charities