DigitalNews Today: September 2015

Responsive Ad Slot

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Verses From Edith






Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 No comments

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Very hilarious. A baby boy starts using the internet as soon as he’s born in the new commercial for MTS India’s 3GPLUS™ network. Are you digital savvy?


Volkswagen Damage Control Kicks Into High Gear Worldwide

Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 No comments

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Even as Volkswagen’s board and remaining top managers scurried over the weekend to get to the bottom of Dieselgate, send more executives packing, reassure dealers and customers, and otherwise cope with immediate fallout from the crisis, a deeper realization began to set in: Volkswagen as a company and a brand is in huge trouble worldwide, and the extent of the damage is still unfolding.

And there may be no way to restore it to its former luster—ever.

Market by market, VW’s brand family is trying to comprehend what has happened. In Ireland, for instance, up to 80,000 vehicles may be affected by Dieselgate, as the country’s Minister for the Environment seeks an urgent meeting with Ireland’s head of the Volkswagen Group to discuss the situation. But even worse, the Irish Times reports that countrymen are “backing away from the brand.”

Some industry observers are sizing up the magnitude of the crisis for VW. The company “has been rattled to the core by a scandal that threatens to batter the VW brand around the world, hand a golden opportunity to its main rivals in Europe—Ford and Opel—and all but destroy a long, hard and so far fruitless effort to become a major player in the US,” opined Automotive News.

Others describe the iceberg of a challenge that Volkswagen and new CEO Matthias Mueller face going forward. “If your focus is on the brand, the issue comes down to trust,” Andrew Gilman, president of CommCore Consulting Group, told the New York Times. “How much damage has been done to trust that existing consumers, dealers, shareholders have in the company? How long will the trust issues fester? What can they do to prevent further trust erosion?”

And for those who have been trying to figure out what seems to make Dieselgate more insidious than the 2010 unintended-acceleration debacle at Toyota or last year’s ignition-switch recall fiasco at General Motors—both of which involved either loss of human life or grave safety concerns—a Detroit Free Press commentator seemed to put his finger on the offense.

“Premeditation,” wrote Mark Phelan. “That’s the difference between Volkswagen’s faked diesel emission tests and earlier auto scandals … Volkswagen set out to cheat emissions tests and sell cars that would damage human health and the environment. The other automakers seemed legitimately baffled and eager to address their crises.”

But while the long-term future of VW will take time to sort itself out, there’s plenty of action as Dieselgate lurches from one phase to the next.

Mueller wasted no time asserting the authority that he was given on Friday by the VW board to attempt to right the ship. The new boss and board reportedly ousted several top executives including the R&D chiefs of VW, Audi and Porsche.

He also has promised investors and customers a thorough investigation into Dieselgate, according to the Wall Street Journal, and in a letter to employees, vowed to ensure that such misconduct “never happens again.” He also closed ranks with Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s powerful labor council and a board member, promising, “We will be relentless in getting to the bottom of this—fast, open and as decisive as possible.”

Meanwhile, German prosecutors launched an investigation into Mueller’s predecessor, Martin Winterkorn, who resigned last week amid his own promises that he had nothing to do with any misdeeds regarding Dieselgate. There also are reports that Robert Bosch GmbH, a major German-based supplier of engine components to Volkswagen and many other automakers worldwide, had warned VW reps as long ago as 2007 that its plan to doctor emissions test would be illegal.

Also, Audi, the VW-owned luxury brand, admitted that 2.1 million of its A3 clean-diesel cars worldwide—including 13,000 in the US—had been fitted with the emissions-rigging software that is at the heart of the crisis. It’s likely Volkswagen will do everything possible to protect its hot-selling luxury brand from being tarnished by Dieselgate. And Skoda, VW’s low-end brand, said that 1.2 million of its cars were involved.

American owners of VW diesel-powered cars are still waiting to find out how the company is going to take care of their substantial concerns in the wake of Dieselgate. For now, VW pulled all marketing related to its diesel-powered cars, which also affected other campaigns such as the ad blitz with spots starring actors Adam Scott and Michael Pena for VW’s App Connect infotainment platform debuting on its 2016 model-year lineup, according to Advertising Age.

“Ongoing press coverage and negative consumer social sentiment in the marketplace has effectively drowned out any positive messaging from our national App Connect campaign,” Vinah Shahani, VW’s US marketing chief, said in a memo obtained by Automotive News.

However, Volkswagen will maintain some of its branding properties including its sponsorship of post-game coverage on NBC’s Sunday Night Football—as it did last evening. After all, some things are even bigger than Dieselgate.

Source: brandchannel

Global Digital Media - The Unstoppable Video Streaming, TV and Entertainment Industries

Posted on No comments
Multiple viewing platforms compete for consumer attention

The global digital media entertainment market continues to go from strength to strength in 2015. This highly competitive industry sector is flourishing on the back of improved mobile and broadband infrastructure and consumers continue to embrace being entertained and connected via gaming, social media, video streaming and music. Advertising models are expanding in order to capture revenue from an industry where direct revenue-generating business models are not well received by the broader public.

The video media industries continue to evolve and consumer habits are shifting from broadcast TV to on-demand content – especially streaming. Traditional TV viewing is increasingly facing competition from other viewing platforms such as smart phones, tablets and Smart TVs.

Choice is the key. Broadcasters are no longer in charge of the global viewing habits of consumers, who have the choice of, and the ability to access, an enormous amount of movie and TV series content through internet broadband.

Pay TV across the various platforms – including cable TV, IPTV, and satellite TV – continue to rise in popularity and this trend is reflected in the market’s increasing service revenues. IPTV is the fastest-growing pay TV platform from a global perspective.

Video streaming already makes up the largest component of internet traffic and is set to continue growing faster than other digital formats. Video streaming over mobile networks is forecast to grow strongly, although not quite as dramatically as initially expected. Due to poor data allowance and steep prices, users tend to watch mobile video over WiFi more than over a cellular network.

With the rise of digital platforms, the media industry is rapidly changing. In newspaper and book publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, film, music, and other forms of media, we see that the national walls that protect local organisations within traditional models are crumbling. In other words, it is no longer an issue of local market share. It is now about international market share.

Key developments:
  • In 2015 the number of apps available from the Apple, Google and Amazon app has reached around 3 million.
  • Mobile TV is a key growth area for global mobile entertainment for at least the next five years.
  • The revenue derived from global digital music sales has finally equalled the amount derived from physical formats.
  • Nintendo’s proposed entry into the mobile gaming market in 2015 may certainly shake-up this emerging sector and increase competition significantly.
  • Online video advertising is one of the key digital advertising growth areas - and spending on this medium is currently growing at around 20% per annum.
  • In 2015 Netflix has over 60 million subscribers to its service globally – however the majority are still in the US.
  • Five countries – China, USA, India, Japan, and Brazil – together account for nearly 60% of the world’s digital TV households.
  • The market for 4K TV sets and content has started to gather serious pace.
  • IPTV operators in Japan and Korea are expanding their IPTV offerings to include games, e-books and shopping.
  • The market for on-demand audiovisual services in Europe is developing rapidly.
  • Revenue streams will shift in North America due to the ongoing migration of viewing habits from satellite and cable TV to online and on-demand content.
  • Developments in digital TV and digital connectivity across Africa have been swift in recent years.

Global Digital Economy - E-Commerce and M-Commerce Key Trends and Statistics

Posted on No comments

Based on the growth of internet and mobile users alone, it is hardly any wonder that e-commerce and m-commerce are thriving. Despite the economic downturn, online spending is proving resilient and even buoyant in most markets. The Asia Pacific region, in particular, is considered a key area for future growth. New communication and software developments are making it increasingly possible for retailers to offer a seamless shopping experience using all the available shopping channels – mobile devices, computers, bricks-and-mortar, television, radio, direct mail, catalogues, and so on.

In our existing climate of digital interaction, the concept of a ‘Sharing Economy’ is gaining momentum. New developments are following in the footsteps of those entrepreneurs who created sites where people share their houses and car spaces. We are now increasingly seeing sites aimed at people who need people for odd jobs, at short notice. Uber was perhaps the first on the scene here. It is still operating in a narrow market (taxies), but other companies are entering the much broader job market.

Mobile shopping is one of the hottest topics, and the m-commerce market is growing at a staggering rate. While this boom will of course taper off eventually, m-commerce will remain one of the leading growth areas for some years, driven by the younger generation and its mobile-centric lifestyle. With consumers relying more and more on their smartphones when shopping online, m-commerce will continue to grow faster than overall e-commerce, therefore accounting for an ever-increasing portion of the e-commerce market.

The enormous success of m-commerce is linked to apps, which are becoming more and more popular. Apps are convenient, safe, quick, and simple to use. In the global m-commerce market, shoppers are already using apps in preference to browsers. Increasingly, commercial models will be linked to these apps – which will lead to further spectacular growth in m-commerce. BuddeComm sees the development of m-wallet apps, in particular, as a major breakthrough for the m-payment sector.

The digital economy has brought about huge changes in the publishing industry – from digital printing presses, to indie authorship, to e-books. One of the downfalls is that self-publishing has become too easy, so that the market is flooded with low quality, poorly edited books. This has given self-published e-books a bad press. The dilemma is a thorny one, with many different interests at war. In the end, the consumer must be the one to rebalance the market.

In early 2015, the press was filled with reports that the physical book market had made a comeback and that e-books had had their day. But according to statistical data, while sales of print books rose slightly in 2014, e-book sales rose even more, further increasing their share of the overall book market.

This BuddeComm Intelligence Report provides industry insights, statistics and information on the e-commerce and m-commerce sectors. The report includes selected information on the leading trends in this sector, supported by examples where available.
Key developments:
  • Online banking continues to grow in popularity with North American users the most prolific.
  • E-commerce is booming in China, especially m-commerce, with Alibaba group firmly in the lead.
  • Although Foursquare continues to grow in revenues and users based on statements by company officials, total traffic across the company’s US site has been declining, according to comScore.
  • In September 2014, Apple launched its m-payment system based on NFC and Samsung plans to launch Samsung Pay in 2015.
  • Apple app store and Google Play are the two largest app stores in the world, with a growing Asian user base particularly from Japan, South Korea and China.
  • The global indoor Location Based Service (LBS) market is rocketing, having more than doubled year-over-year in 2014.
  • In the UK, the internet as a source of news has overtaken printed newspapers, and more and more people are receiving news on their mobile phones.
  • In 2015 eBay and PayPal announced they would split and become separate companies. 
Source: Budde Research

‎‎Key Report Backs Smile VoLTE Service to Thrive

Posted on Monday, September 28, 2015 No comments

Monday, September 28, 2015

Changing consumer needs are creating a new demand to overcome Inflexible data plans and slow download speeds flagged as reason for only 27% of Nigerians stream videos.

According to a new Ericsson ConsumerLab first ever TV and Media report for Nigeria, ‎36% of the time spent watching TV and video content is done on television screens making it the single most popular platform for TV and video consumption in Nigeria. ‎

The report comes on the heels of Smile Communications Nigeria Limited rolling out the first 4G LTE voice calls services on LTE Samsung Galaxy S6; first LTE compliant smartphone in the country.

‎Alero Ladipo, chief marketing officer, Smile Nigeria and Emmanouil Revmatas, director, Information Technology and Mobile, Samsung Electronics West Africa, underscored the need for both companies to enhance the customer experience through their product propositions.

They said the service relies on the noble pedigree and innovative streak of both companies which they are determined to harness in serving the best interest of their customers.

According to the Ericsson’s ConsumerLab which representative views and habits of over 24 million people across the country, 51% of consumers want to choose when they watch TV and video content rather than follow a set schedule.

A key finding of the report is that TV and video content consumption is no longer tied to the traditional TV screen.

Though television screens remain the single most popular platform for TV and video consumption, it only accounts for one third of the total time spent watching videos. 64 percent of the time is spent watching videos on a mobile device: smartphone, tablet and laptop.

Ericsson also found that today’s viewers of TV and video content in Nigeria do not want to adhere to a specific device or schedule, and seek the freedom and flexibility to choose what they watch, when to watch it and on which device.

Out of the regular TV viewers in Nigeria in the survey, only 37% are satisfied with the choice and variety of available content. They prefer to choose and pay for the channels that they want. Current pay TV services offer limited customization capabilities.

Johan Jemdahl, Managing Director, Ericsson Nigeria said “The proliferation of mobile devices and availability of mobile broadband has significantly altered the consumption patterns of TV and video content in Nigeria. With the ownership of smartphones significantly higher than that of television and PCs (which include desktops and laptops) and more Nigerians demanding flexibility in their viewing schedules, the opportunities for mobile television cannot be overstated.”

While the survey revealed that only 27% of Nigerian consumers stream videos more than weekly, compared with the global average of 76%, Ladipo added, “The customer experience at our shops should create a lasting impression with the customer. A customer must enjoy the simplicity of the service and leave ready-to-go. Our partnership with Samsung gives the customer the opportunity to own the latest Samsung LTE compliant smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S6 edge with a Samsung complimentary clear cover), a 5GB bundle Smile plan for a fixed price”.


Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 No comments

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

AAM President, Omife.I.Omife (2nd Right), Nnorom Charles, Legal Consultant (2nd left), Celestine Achi, PR Consultant (extreme right) and Odion Alebor (Extreme left).

A human rights organization Alliance Against Monopoly (AAM) has decried what it termed the spate of orchestrated onslaught on its image and integrity. These attacks, which have escalated in the past few days, the organization claimed, are intended to misrepresent it and impose on it phantom officers and activities that are alien to it.

Speaking at a press conference held in Lagos, the President of Alliance Against Monopoly Mazi Omife I. Omife specifically referred to stories in some newspapers one of which was on page eleven of The Guardian of Friday September 11, 2015 captioned "SON Under Fire Over Policies". Omife opined that “these apparently sponsored stories were conceived to hoodwink and mislead the unsuspecting public.” He stated that, contrary to erroneous impression created, AAM did not at any time, in the recent past, indicate that it would hold demonstration in any part of the country.

Omife categorically denied that a certain Mr. Mohammed Aliu Usman as reported in the said story in The Guardian of Friday 18, 2015 was a member of AAM or its Publicity Secretary. He alleged that those who created the non-existent Mr. Mohammed Aliu Usman were the same people who have consistently spinned the lie that AAM was either fronting for a multinational in the construction industry. To him; nothing could be further from the truth as ‘’his association is non partisan and wholly independent. Our goal, he stressed, is and remains the public good.’’

Omife restated that members of AAM would remain committed to their constitutional duties to seek the welfare of fellow citizens òf Nigeria and shall continue to denounce the cement standardization and pigmentation policy of the Standard Organization of Nigeria as illegal, anti-people and calculated to send Nigerians to avoidable economic servitude.

AAM, Omife assured, will continue to support every well meaning move by those in authority to entrench best practices in the construction industry as long as this move was transparent. He lamented that the raging crisis in the cement industry was needlessly ignited by the Standards Organization of Nigeria. AAM, he emphasized, would continue to resist all overt and covert attempts to enthrone monopoly in the cement sector. Omife therefore enjoined the Buhari government to, as a matter of urgency, call the Standards Organization of Nigeria to order so as to forestall its avidity to pursuing enlightened self-interest in the guise of public good.

Smile Partners Samsung to Launch First LTE Voice Service on Smartphone in Nigeria

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 No comments

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

From left, Director, Information Technology and Mobile, Samsung Electronics, West Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Remvatas, Managing Director, Smile Communications Limited, Mr. Michiel Buitelaar, Managing Director, Samsung Electronic, West Africa, Mr. Brovo Kim, Chief Marketing Officer, Mrs. Alero Ladipo and Chief Corporate Service Officer, Mr. Tobe Okigbo both of Smile Communications Limited at a Media launch of Smile's Voice Over LTE in partnership with Samsung held at Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi on Monday in Lagos

Smile Communications Nigeria Limited, the first authentic 4G LTE provider in Nigeria, in partnership with Samsung Electronics West Africa, has launched the first LTE voice over broadband service on smartphone, first in West Africa. Today is another proof point that the LTE ecosystem is set to become the global standard for delivering voice over LTE networks, revolutionizing the way mobile communication is enabled in Nigeria and West Africa.

Part of the promise of the new technology is high quality and improved voice and video communications, enabling faster, better video calls, faster music, video streaming and conferencing, faster downloads and more pictures. A bonus for consumers to do more and an end to the frustration of drop calls. The 4G LTE mobile network will also allow faster Internet on the S6 Edge.

According to Smile, the giant stride is in line with Smile's vision of providing superfast and reliable internet service to Nigerians leveraging Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

Managing Director, Smile Communications Nigeria Limited, Mr. Michiel Buitelaar, while speaking at the service and product launch on Monday in Lagos September 21, 2015, described the partnership as historic and will benefit millions of Nigerian telecom subscribers.

Mr. Buitelaar said after securing US$365 dollars funding, Smile is repositioned to transform Nigerians' telephony experience.

He said, "This partnership is significant to us in an effort to transform subscribers' telephony experience. It's is going to change the face of broadband to assist Nigerians in their different endeavours.

"With the US$365 dollars funding, we are ready to double our network output; spread to different cities and continue enhancing our network capacity by next year. So, we are excited to work in partnership with Samsung which invests in R&D, understands the market and has unleashed the first LTE compliant smartphone in Nigeria.

Also, Director, Information Technology and Mobile, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Emmanouil Revmatas, underscored the need for both companies to enhance the customer experience through their product propositions.

According to Revmatas, the Galaxy S6 edge has the world’s first-ever dual curved edge display, which distinguishes the device as the ultimate premium Smartphone.

"This partnership with Smile on S6 edge is the first of its kind in Nigeria, offering consumers the opportunity to drive productivity with a unique smartphone coupled with the 4G experience that Smile LTE network offers.

‎A joint statement signed by Alero Ladipo, Chief Marketing Officer, Smile Nigeria and Emmanouil Revmatas, Director, Information Technology and Mobile, Samsung Electronics West Africa, there is the need for both companies to enhance the customer experience through their product propositions. The statement underscored the noble pedigree and innovative streak of both companies which they are determined to harness in serving the best interest of their customers. The offer will be available at all Smile Stores and some selected Samsung stores.

Speaking on the partnership, Mrs. Ladipo stated that Smile Communications is specifically focused on the importance of partnerships of this nature to deliver on the end-to-end needs of the customer. “The customer experience at our shops should create a lasting impression with the customer. A customer must enjoy the simplicity of the service and leave ready-to-go. Our partnership with Samsung gives the customer the opportunity to own the latest Samsung LTE compliant smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S6 edge with a Samsung complimentary clear cover), a 5GB bundle SmileOn plan for a fixed price,” Ladipo added.

About Smile
Smile Communications Nigeria Limited was founded in 2007 with the transformative objective of using the best and most innovative technologies to provide its customers with high quality, easy to use and affordable communication services.

Its vision and mission is to be the broadband provider of choice in Nigeria and enable its customers to fully benefit from the Internet world. Smile launched West Africa’s first true 4G LTE network in Ibadan in 2013 thereby revolutionizing the way people access the Internet.‎

Smile owns and operates mobile wireless 4G LTE broadband networks in the 800MHz band in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. By the end of 2015 Smile will offer clear voice services and have national coverage comparable to the largest 3G network in each of its current countries of operation.

Smile will launch its broadband network in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) early in 2016.‎


Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2015 No comments

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Digital disruption has in more ways than one interrupted traditional ways of communication and social interactions. Digital is starting to find its way into every industry and to stay relevant into today’s digitally-focused world, Communication and PR professionals must make sure clients know they, too, are evolving with the times. Social Media has drastically changed the role of PR and it is no longer sufficient to rely on your ability to issue a great press release.

As the world becomes increasingly digitalised, the audience has become ubiquitous and their expectations is evolving accordingly. It has become a threat to traditional organisations in an industry ripe for transformation and yet it presents golden opportunities for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs that are leveraging technology to create and build businesses that challenge the status quo and present opportunities to reach and engage more audience, to gain the better voice share, positive sentiments and influence at rates never seen before.

What are the implications of this disruption to the traditional communication or public relations professional; in a digital world that has redefined all we used to know as communication and public relations? PR goes beyond media relations and coverage; it has evolved to include so much more – from curated content to syndication, amplification and influence marketing that can make all the difference in winning the attention of the desired audience.

There is no doubt about it, the organisations that sit by idly hoping that digital disruption will not come knocking will be in for a rude awakening. It is important to understand that most digital disruptions don’t happen suddenly: they take place over time.

Presented in this content are a few of what the PR professional of the future must have. To learn more and get a hands-on-knowledge of the right skills and techniques, I recommend that you join us in the Digital PR and Social Medis Communication Masterclass coming up in October 14 to 16, 2015 to have a critical understanding of the basic Digital PR skills and tools you need to master fast, for the sake of your clients, employers and your career. 

Here are just nine basic tips to help give your information a winning chance in a content-saturated world and also help you remain relevant in the future and get the attention of your intended audience.

Be Digital PR Savvy: Digital PR provides the means to reach target audiences directly, with or without participation of the news media. It also provides great analytical insights and metrics. No PR professional can afford to ignore Digital PR or outsource it to specialists; it is an essential part of the skill set all PR professionals must have. It’s as fundamental as writing, pitching and building relationships. So, what must you know to thrive in this ever-changing online environment? If you’re like most public relations pros, you need a broader knowledgebase, greater online skills – and perhaps, a new mindset. PR pros are doing a better job with social media than keyword research and SEO, which much change. To define Digital PR simply as social media is short-sighted and will lead PR pros astray.

Master Keywords: Google has become a reputation engine and one of the most powerful tool in a PR professional’s arsenal. In order to keep up in today’s fast-paced PR landscape you must be able to find the information you need and insights on new trends, you must learn to master the right use of keywords. The key is that you have to understand how keywords work, where and how to optimize your content to be findable and shareable.

Be the Media: A big part of a PR professional’s job is pitching bloggers and other online media. The only way you can truly understand how to drive traffic to your campaigns, how to make content go viral or what pitches you should prioritize is by managing your own blog. Managing a blog is the only way you can really understand the process of writing a blog post, how bloggers organize their editorial calendars, and what you can include in your pitch that will make them want to write about you. Every time a new social network launches or Google changes their algorithm the way that traffic works changes and your PR strategy could shift.

Own your client’s messaging: PR pros must own the client’s messaging so it works well with marketing materials, ads, social media, press outreach, website development, etc. Messaging should stay consistent across all areas of an organization.

When there are too many people owning too many messages for an organization it creates confusion. Evolving as a PR pro means you know how to set the tone for an entire company, across the board. Not all pros can take on this task, but we should start.

Know where your customers are: Find out what online publications and bulletins they read, which social networks they're on, and which influencers they follow. Coverage in the right places is the first step toward getting your content curated and shared elsewhere. Finding the top sharers and curators can be helpful info when crafting a communications strategy.

Prioritize media targets and relations techniques: Where do the sites that your customers read get their news and info? Be sure to include content curators, syndicators, social influencers and bloggers Yes, you can—i.e., pitch curators. First take the time to read and better understand the outlet. Then, contact the editors to learn about their criteria and pitch your news if appropriate.

Tap social sharing: Make your information easy to share: for example, can your press release headline easily fit in a tweet? Does your blog have social sharing buttons? Sharing is another form of curation.

Think like a curator: The top curators have their own formula and approach. They often look for stories trending on social, and pick news from reputable outlets. Connect your content or news with causes and timely topics.

Write for people, not algorithms: The top curators also often rely on algorithms, and you may be tempted to crack the code and optimize content accordingly. That's a mistake. If you live by the algorithm, you can die by the algorithm. In the world of SEO, for example, we've all heard the stories about Web traffic fails following changes in Google algorithms.

Instagram opens advertising to all

Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 No comments

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Facebook appears to be trying to recoup some of the $1 billion it spent three years ago to acquire the wildly popular photo-sharing app.

When Instagram first started allowing advertising on its platform, it was limited to a select few clients that had to shell out a hefty sum. But starting this month, Instagram advertising is open to all manner of advertisers. The company announced the new ad units through its Instagram for Business blog:

With technology that leverages the best of Facebook’s ads infrastructure, it’s now easy for advertisers on Instagram to target their message more effectively and reach people based on what they care about—whether it’s fashion, sports, cars or food. Advertisers also have access to new ad formats that help them achieve a variety of objectives, allowing people to learn more about something that interests them or even shop for a product right from Instagram.

Instagram further explained the following new options:
  • Landscape photo and video to unlock new creative opportunities and give ads a more cinematic feel
  • Video ads of up to 30 seconds in length, so brands can engage in richer storytelling
  • Marquee , a new premium product that helps drive mass awareness and expanded reach in a short time-frame—perfect for events like movie premieres and new product launches
  • Delivery and optimization tools to manage and drive the best performance of campaigns across Facebook and Instagram

These ads are available for everyone in 30 countries around the world, and additional countries will have access by the end of September.

For marketers, the message is clear: Instagram is now a major player in the social media advertising game.

Meanwhile, users should get used to see an increased number of ads—and from advertisers that may not exactly understand what users want to see in paid placements.

This story was originally published by Regan.

Smile Diversifies, Plans Voice Telephony Service Offering in October

Posted on Monday, September 14, 2015 No comments

Monday, September 14, 2015

Chairman of Smile Communications Nigeria Limited, Dr. Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi

Following the recent raising of $365 million (N87.6 billion) of debt and equity financing from local and foreign banks, and from its shareholders, for its network expansion across its three operations in Africa, which include Nigeria, Smile Communications, a broadband company, has announced its intention to begin voice telephony business in Nigeria next month.

Chairman of Smile Communications Nigeria Limited, Dr. Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, who disclosed this during an interview session with THISDAY in Lagos recently, said 80 percent of the $365 million debt and equity financing, which amount to N70.08 billion, would be spent on Smile's operation in Nigeria for network and services product expansion, while the remaining 20 per cent, which amounts to N17.52 billion, would be spent on its other African operations, because of the large size of its business in Nigeria.

"With N70.08 billion investment in the Nigeria operations, we will be able to finance our new project of voice telephony and expand our existing data communication service offerings in Nigeria," Azudialu-Obiejesi said.

The funding would be used to expand Smile’s existing 4G LTE networks and services, such that, by the end of 2015, Smile will offer clear voice services, in addition to mobile broadband, and will have national coverage comparable to that of the largest 3G network in each of its current countries of operation, Azudialu-Obiejesi added.

According to him, "The 4G LTE technology, which we operate in the 800MHz frequency is very powerful and can penetrate buildings and walls with high speed connectivity, which guarantees the opportunity for Nigerians to enjoy clear voice telecommunication service that we will be offering from next month."

For us, this money is the key for the expansion of our existing data business and for the development of our new service offering in voice telephony. Nigerians will enjoy clearer voice quality with Smile voice telephony because the 4G LTE technology we are deploying in Nigeria, is superior to the 4G LTE technology in London and America, in terms of speed, voice clarity and connectivity, even though it is the same technology, Azudialu-Obiejesi,

Asked if Smile intends to compete with the likes of MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat in voice telephony, Azudialu-Obiejesi said "we are not rolling out voice telephony to compete market share with existing core telecoms operators, because voice is not our core business, but since we have the broadband capacity as a result of our 4G LTE technology, we decided to venture into voice, in addition to our core data communication service, to enable us provide total communications solution to our customers and allow them enjoy the benefits of 4G LTE technology deployment. What we are trying to do is to use some of our free network within the broadband space to provide voice over."

Last week, Smile Communications announced that its parent company, Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd (Smile), which owns and operates mobile wireless 4G LTE broadband networks in the 800MHz band in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, has raised $365 million (N87.6 billion) of debt and equity financing for its network expansion across its three operations in Africa, which includes Nigeria.

The funding is comprised of $50 million of equity, raised from the Public Investment Corporation on behalf of Government Employees Pension Fund (PIC), and a $315 million multi-tranche, multi-jurisdictional debt facility led by Africa Export-Import Bank with participation from the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Diamond Bank PLC, Ecobank Nigeria, the PIC, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited and Standard Chartered Bank.


Posted on 7 comments

The wife of Mike Bamiloye, the founder of Mount Zion Faith Ministries, Gloria turned 51 on Wednesday.

The pioneer of Nigeria's gospel film industry took to the social media to honour his wife. He also narrated how the two met about 27 years ago.

The tribute reads:


(Tribute to My Wife – Sister Gloria Bamiloye)

Proverbs 31:10-12, 23, 28, 30 NKJV
[10] Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
[11] The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.
[12] She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
[23] Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
[28] Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:
[30] Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

February 4th, 2015, was my wife's 51st Birthday. And this year would be the 27years since 1988 the year we got married, when she was only 24 years old and I was 28. Since then, we have travelled through the thicks and the thins together, we have climbed the mountains and descended into the valleys together. We have faced adverse physical and spiritual situations together. We have both confronted together, daunting challenges that have stood and those that are still standing against our lives and ministry.

She was 51 and she got phone calls and congratulatory text messages on phone and on Facebook page through out yesterday till late in the night. Our two sons brought her gift – two digitally painted pictures of her early years on film set. And I also bought her a small teddy bear. The several phone calls and congratulatory messages of the birthday made us feel a large crowd of well-wishers had attended our birthday party. Thank you all.

But what is special about this great woman is when I remember how we started and how we have been journeying this journey since then. And when I recall some of the things that happen today among our single and marriagable sisters, I can not but give praises to the Lord God who brought this simple and humble sister my way several years ago.

I have written this story in some of my write-ups and in one of my books, however, there is need to recall some of it for the benefit of some of our single sisters who might need to learn from it. I graduated from higher institution in 1983 and served in 1983/84. Right from the Campus days, I had been involved in drama ministry, all through my Youth Service, I was sending drama scripts back into the fellowship for drama presentations and I would travel down from Plateau State to direct the rehearsals and participate in the major drama presentation on Drama Night.

After my Youth Service in 1984, I was involved fully in campus drama evangelism with the fellowship drama group, travelling to other campuses and churches outside the campus for drama presentation. And Sister Gloria was among the new members that joined the drama group.

In 1985, sometimes in early July, I proposed to her to marry me and she told me she would pray over it. On August 4th, 1985, she revisited my proposal and said "Yes" to it. So, our journey began. Now, the real issue was that, I had nothing. I had nothing physical or material that any lady could be proud of. I had only one single room, with one bed, one table and chair, a standing hanger where I hanged my few fading shirts and only one suit which I used to iron from time to time and red tie from special occassion.

Inside the single room was my cooking stove and a dilapidated standing fan, which had lost its foot and the head was tied facing the bed. And of course, a precious item – my bookshelf serving as a small library.

So, when Sister Gloria visited my abode for the first time, these were all I had and she saw. My physical and material possessions could never be compared to what I was on the campus. "Bro Mike" was famous among the fellowship as a "gym-gym" brother full of zeal for drama and drama only.

And the drama group of the fellowship became the most influential of all the sub-groups of the fellowship, because almost all the executive officers became members of the sub-group, including the President and the Vice-President and the General Secretary of the Christian Fellowship. So I was so rich in spiritual substance and full of great visons, but had no enviable physical or material possessions any young lady could be proud of.

But, when Sis Gloria entered my room, one afternoon, she never saw all those things I mentioned but only one thing arrested her attention: my bookshelf containing several spiritual books, including the books of Kenneth Hagins, Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborne, Osward J. Smith, etc. She hasten to the shelf and shouted "Whao!", and she sat by the bookshelf and began to look at those precious books she had longed to have and read. Ah!.

I was happy I had what she wanted and desired. She wanted spiritual books that would make her grow. And I had just that! All other things never mattered to her.

I had nothing physical, but I had a great vision of the future and she embraced that vision with all her heart and might. When her senior brothers and her parents were demanding from her to know the work that her fiancee was doing that could qualify him to marry her, she stood on my behalf to defend me before her people that I was into drama ministry and there was a great future ahead of us.

The people could not see what she was talking about, because I was already on full-time drama ministry and I had no physical enviable thing they all could hold on to. They were furious with her and thought she must be out of her mind to have decided to marry "a man who has no job and no physical possession and no appreciable future".

When we informed them we wanted to get married three years down our courtship, they revolted and my Mummy ( my elder sister), led the war to Sis Gloria's parents to warn them never to give their daughter to me in marriage because I had no job to take care of their daughter. She stood by what God had told her about me, that there was a great future ahead of us.

The Lord convinced them all and they supported us and we married in 1988, three years after the Mount Zion ministry launched. And our journey to that future began.


Now, to my Dearest Single Sisters, a lot of us are missing it today. A lot of us have been seriously deceived and misled by erronenous marriage teachings and lectures of confused marriage counsellors and teachers. A woman was once invited to one of our sisters' conference, invited to come and minister to our single sisters. She mounted the pulpit and shocked us by saying, no sisters should marry any brother who is not materially capable of being a husband.

She said she also counselled her daughters to be gather as many materials as possible before getting married; that her daughters must go into mariage with enough self-sufficiency. She ought to have got a lot of things like fridge, electronic gadgets, dinning sets and other things that could make her stand tall as a self-sufficient lady. I told my wife, that the woman would never be invited to any of our conferences again. The teaching was confusing.

I heard some marriage teachers taught their single sisters to check the Bank Account statement of the man who come proposing to them before they consider their proposals. If the Bank Account is very lean, then, they need not bother themselves considering the proposals. Some sisters would go and pay visit to the houses and apartments of the men who proposed to them, before they could begin to consider their proposals.

A young brother who had waited for almost a year before the sister finally said "Yes", later came back to me after almost one year of courtship, to tell me that the lady suddenly began to ask some strange questions about his projections for the future and what he hopes to achieve and possess in a year's time and what he hopes to acquire in two years' time; the amount he hope to have saved for the wedding in two years. And when he told the sister that he was not sure of the amount he could save for the wedding neither does he have any future projection, but he is a minister of God and she could see all the works he has been doing for the Lord and he knows the Lord has a great future for him as he keeps serving Him.

This made the sister began to reconsider the relationship. Then, she said later, that she didn't think they were compatible, because she thought he had no future plans.

Meanwhile, such sister would readily believe a lie. If the brother had began to blow an invisible trumpet of himself and began to paint an unrealistic picture of his future for this same sister, she would have believed everything.

If the brother had said something like "making a saving that would enable him acquire a jeep in a month to their wedding; and how he would tender a business proposal before an oil company or come up with a business idea that could fetch him some millions, which would afford him an opportunity of purchasing a duplex apartment in Lekki part of Lagos, the sister would readily believe that he had a future plan. She would take him for a very serious-minded marriagable brother.

We have come to a strange generation where lies sell heavily than the truth. We are now in a season when our young sisters believe a man by what they see of him physically or how sweetly he could run his mouth by saying big and boastful plans and not by what they spiritually perceive of him. This is a season when, it is the way you package yourself that many sisters take you, even if the fine shirts and suits with shoes were borrowed to be returned later.

Some sisters' choice of who to marry would depend on where the man is working: Bank?, Oil and Gas? Real Estate? Insurance? Constructions? And some sisters' readiness to consider a proposal rests on the family status of the man who proposed: is the family rich and wealthy? Are they based in US or Canada or Germany or Asian nations? Famous and Influential?

Today, a lot of brothers love to live on lies and falsehood, because this is what many sisters want. I once read on the What-sap page of a young brother in Christ whom I happened to know. He wrote under his name, CEO of a Motivational and Purpose Group company and under this are about two or three website of his Motivational Purpose company. In one of his write-ups, I read where he said: One day, as I was coming from my office, I saw....."

When I read that, I wondered which office he was talking about, because, I knew him to be working as a shop attendant or sales man in a shop. I look at the picture he posted in his profile, he dressed up like a Director of a corporate organization, but he is a sales boy working in a shop. These are the type of lies many of our sisters love to hear before they could consider a proposal.

What does the Bible say about responding to marriage proposals:
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
[5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
[6] In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

A christian lady who would have a great future and pleasant home would commit her ways, the proposals into the Lord's hand. I THINK THIS IS THE ACTUAL SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM: MANY SISTERS CAN'T WAIT BEFORE THE LORD TO KNOW THE MIND OF GOD CONCERNING WHO TO MARRY AGAIN.


If Sis Gloria were to consider my physical, material and financial possessions when I proposed to her, I would have been outrightly disqualified, because I had nothing but the burning visions to evangelize the world through Drama ministry. And if She were to consider my proposal based on my future plans or projections, she would never have considered me, because, I had no financial, material or physical future plan or projections at that time, but was only armed with evangelistic visions of the work of God.

And what are the unpleasant results of all these fake future plans and projections: because no life is secure except the ones hidden in Christ and entrusted in His care. Many of these future plans and projections flopped and they are castles built with sea-sand on a sea-shore, they crumbled fast when the foundation is not laid on the leading of Christ and the home is set on fake foundations and false projections.

The banking industry is not what it used to be. The oil and gas industry is no longer like before. Considerations of your response to a proposal should never be based on anything physical or materials, but Godly leading and convictions after a lot of heart-searching prayers and humble waiting upon the Lord to know His heart on the man who proposed.


So, physical or material status should never be paramount in considering marriage proposals, but the voice of the Lord who knows tomorrow. If you desire a peaceful home and fruitful marriage that will afford you the opportunity to be ministerially fulfilled, don't let any physical, material or financial things give you your husband, let the spirit of the Lord lead and convince you of who to marry.

You are blessed,
Mike Bamiloye


Posted on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 No comments

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


A lot has changed with press releases over the years, particularly in the last few months thanks to Google's algorithm updates. While the press release is still alive and well, not to mention very useful, it's undoubtedly in a period of transition. That's why I thought it'd be a good idea to come up with a set of guidelines to keep in mind as you write your press releases going forward. Some of these rules are new, and others date back to the press release's origins.

So, without any further ado, here are the new 10 commandments of press releases:

1. Thou shalt be newsworthy and engaging - A few years ago, press releases were one of the best tools for improving search rankings. As you might remember, people started abusing this fact by dumping out tons of low quality, meaningless press releases to free directories all across the web. Needless to say, it didn't take Google long to crack back against these manipulative practices. Today, press releases are no longer a pure SEO tool. Today, press releases are only effective if they are newsworthy and provide a great user experience.

2. Thou shalt not stuff keywords - The days of stuffing keywords into your press releases to drive rankings are long gone. With recent changes, Google is more concerned with conversational search and user intent than it is with just keywords. Focus on creating content your audience wants and needs, and you'll be just fine.

3. Thou shalt use links to provide information, not for SEO purposes - It wasn't long ago at all that press releases were great for building inbound links to your website. But now, press release links don't carry any true SEO value. In fact, Google wants you to use nofollow links in your press releases, treating them like paid links in advertisements. That means no more using keyword-rich anchor text in your press release links. Only include informational links that add to the user experience.

4. Thou shalt keep it tight and to the point - No one wants to read a long, meandering press release. Keep your releases concise and lean, including only the most important information. One thing you can do is to use numbered lists or bullet points to highlight key information in your press release, making it easier to quickly scan through.

5. Thou shalt make your press release easy to share - If you want your news to really get noticed, you need to develop a social sharing strategy. You want your press releases to spread across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. So, make them easy to share. Include social sharing buttons in your press releases. Use short, Tweetable headlines. Add visuals that people want to share.

6. Thou shalt include visuals - I just mentioned it, but I'll say it again: Include visual aids whenever possible in your press releases. Things like infographics, videos, and photos can make your press releases more eye-catching and more engaging. It's all about dressing up your press release to make it as appealing as possible.

7. Thou shalt tell a story - Incorporating storytelling into your press releases makes them more engaging, memorable, sharable, and re-tellable.

8. Thou shalt expand your distribution - It's time to increase the visibility of your press releases. You need to expand your distribution. Use social networks to report important news. Use your blog as a news distribution channel. Do whatever you can to get your news noticed!

9. Thou shalt not use stale quotes - The quote is one of the most neglected parts of the press release. Too often, generic quotes are placed in the release as a mere afterthought. What many people don't realize is that quotes can be great tools for spicing up your story. They can add new layers to your story, so use them wisely.

10. Thou shalt focus on building relationships - PR still really boils down to relationships. You need to build relationships with journalists, bloggers, and your customers. That's how you'll get people to notice and care about your news.

This informative piece of content previously appeared in PR Fuel (, and was written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the home of affordable press release distribution.


Posted on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 No comments

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Irene Charnley, Chief Executive Officer of Smile

Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd (“Smile”), which owns and operates mobile wireless 4G LTE broadband networks in the 800MHz band in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, announced that it raised USD365 million of debt and equity financing (“the funding”). The funding will be used to expand Smile’s existing 4G LTE mobile broadband networks and services, such that by the end of 2015, Smile will offer clear voice services and have national coverage comparable to the largest 3G network in each of its current countries of operation. Smile will also launch its broadband network in Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) early in 2016.

The funding is comprised of USD50 million of equity, raised from the Public Investment Corporation on behalf of Government Employees Pension Fund (“PIC”), and a USD315 million multi-tranche, multi-jurisdictional debt facility led by African Export-Import Bank with participation from the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Diamond Bank PLC, Ecobank Nigeria, the PIC, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited and Standard Chartered Bank. Smile’s shareholders now comprise Al Nahla Group, a Saudi Arabia-based company, which is the majority shareholder; Renven Investment Holdings, a pan-African investment vehicle, in which Nigerian investors, including the Obijackson Group, are the majority; Verene, representing Smile senior management and social entrepreneurs from South Africa; Telecom Investments, a Saudi Arabian-based investment company; Capitalworks, an active alternative management company, specialising in investment in the African mid-market”; the PIC; and Smile employees.

Under the terms, the funding will be used to accelerate national network roll-out, including equipment and services provided by Alcatel Lucent and Ericsson, a full MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network, a London Point of Presence and expanded international backhaul services, and to fund operational expenditure and working capital.

Smile’s objective is to become the broadband provider of choice for super-fast data and clear voice in each of its markets and to provide over 300 million potential customers in its four countries of operation with a fast, reliable and high quality platform to accelerate development and wealth creation. There is persuasive evidence linking broadband to job creation; the Brookings Institution states that "for every one percentage point increase in broadband penetration, employment is projected to increase by 0.2 to 0.3 percent per year.” Furthermore, according to the Broadband Strategies Handbook by The World Bank, “a 10 percent increase in the penetration rate of broadband in developing countries is associated with a 1.4 percent increase in GDP per capita.”

The funding is one of the largest capital raises ever for a telecommunications operator in Africa and brings the total funding committed to Smile since its founding in 2007 to approximately USD600 million.

Irene Charnley, Chief Executive Officer of Smile, said, “Now that we are fully funded to deliver national coverage of unrivalled super-fast internet access and clear voice services, our priority is to ensure that our customers experience and benefit from the power of high speed mobile broadband compared to the narrowband services available to date, including how to effectively manage the superior experience in terms of data consumption.”

Sheikh Mohammed Sharbatly, Deputy Chairman of Smile, said, “I have recently had the joy of using the Smile network in Nigeria, and the quality is better than what we experience in the United Kingdom and in Saudi Arabia. By licensing 800MHz spectrum for commercial use at an early stage relative to many other countries, including high-income ones, the governments of Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and the DRC have each demonstrated commitment to be at the forefront of the broadband revolution and to accelerate development and GDP growth, and we commend them.”

Dr. Ernest Azudialu, Chairman of Smile Nigeria, said: “the availability of a reliable high-speed, broadband internet service in the country will help businesses and individuals become more productive and efficient, and this in itself is an economic enabler. I am pleased to be part of a company that has the potential to improve the lives of the people in Nigeria, and the other African countries that we operate in, as well as create employment opportunities.

”Founded in 2007 and incorporated in Mauritius, Smile is a pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria (Smile Communications Nigeria), Tanzania (Smile Communications Tanzania), Uganda (Smile Communications Uganda) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Smile Communications DRC) and has an associate company in South Africa. Smile has a single transformative objective of using the best and most innovative technologies to provide its customers with fast, reliable, high quality, easy to use and affordable communication services.

In 2012, the company launched Africa’s first 4G LTE commercial network in the 800MHz band (ITU “band 20”) in the East African market, starting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and then Kampala, Uganda. This was followed by the launch of West Africa’s first 4G LTE commercial networks, also in band 20, starting in Ibadan and then Lagos, Nigeria.

Smile’s vision and mission is to be the broadband provider of choice in all its markets and enable its customers to benefit fully from the Internet world for data and voice.


Posted on No comments

Digital influence has been widely defined as the ability to create an effect, change opinions and behaviors, and drive measurable outcomes online.

Digital disruption has brought about an end to mass advertising in one hand and played up the importance of consumer engagement on the other hand.

Techopedia explains Digital Influence as the result of three conceptual cornerstones.

Reach: How far information will travel across the social continuum. More popular topics will travel farther. Think of it as the size of the wave of a tsunami.

Relevance: Alignment to interests of the moment. Relevance is situation sensitive; what is relevant to someone after taking a vacation is quite different to what was relevant before booking that trip.

Resonance: The ripple effect of information. It determines how long a conversational thread will remain topical or how many people feel compelled to offer their opinion in the matter.

These three considerations must be in place to describe digital influence but that is not enough.True digital influence must contribute to some sort of change or effect.

Here are 7 steps to build your digital influence


  • Brand yourself alongside your business to create a personalized digital experience.
  • Create a memorable brand "slogan" that represents what you stand for.
  • Share your story. Your story builds trust and your ideal clients want to know who you are. 


  • Who is your ideal client? Define that person!
  • Relentlessly research your ideal client to understand their deepest desires and pain points.
  • Craft digital content to help your ideal clients get
  • Smarter, solve a problem, or feel validated.


  • Invest in a professionally designed website platform.
  • Use clear language that will connect and resonate with your ideal clients.
  • Keep your website clean, clear, and simple.
  • Upgrade your digital image with current professional and personal photos.

  • Clarify your unique philosophy and build a digital "content curriculum" around it.
  • Publish your content to your blog consistently.
  • Connect your content with your digital network by incorporating personal stories, insights, and lessons.

  • Replicate your existing offline network by connecting online via social networks.
  • Build an organic, qualified email list by offering a high value "free" gift on your website.
  • Connect with those who are already in front of your ideal clients.
  • Build your network influence through generosity.

  • Practice Proximity; Be in the right place, at the right time, with the right message, in front of the right people.
  • Create a systematic approach with digital tools that allow you to stay consistently visible and valuable.
  • Go 1-to-1 and serve your network through your digital marketing activities


  • Identify and develop marketing partnerships with professionals who can reach your ideal clients.
  • Strive to get interviewed or quoted by the media and sprinkle througout your digital presence.
  • Repurpose and syndicate your content to popular websites and content platforms.

Don't Miss