Passion, indeed, is essential when starting a business. This entrepreneurial characteristic has seen Bukola Sawyerr Izeogu, a media maven, become one of the driving forces in the Nigerian public and media relations space.
Using her computer science degree, she has built a career in the media space. This has seen her become a renowned on-air personality and later transition into an entrepreneur in the public relations industry. This pivotal move saw her work with A-list personalities and brands, which has thus far earned her over thirteen years of experience in the field.
While her accomplishments are admirable, they were earned through years of hard work and perseverance. Despite the challenges, her knack for solving problems and being a fixer pulled her through.
She said, “There are good days, and there are bad days, and there are some awful days. My day depends on the kind of night any of my clients had. So if my client had a bad night, for example, and is trending when we wake up, that sets the tone for the rest of the day.
So I am either ahead of it or chasing the day. My job is typical of ‘Man proposes, God, disposes. Nobody realizes what it is like to sit here as a person running a public relations (PR) company. It’s not easy at all, but I love it.”
The making of Bukola Sawyerr Izeogu
Bukola Sawyerr Izeogu, the brain behind some renowned celebrities, was born in 1974 to a Yoruba father and an Itsekiri mother. After completing her formative education, she attended the University of Lagos, where she studied Computer science and graduated in 1998.
In 2009, she began her media career at Classic FM 97.3 in 2009. There, she pioneered the show “The Classic Lounge”. With her computer skills, she later became the Lead Programmer for Classic FM 97.3, Naija FM 102.7, The Beat 99.9 FM (Lagos State), The Beat 97.9 FM and Naija FM 102.7 (Ibadan). While managing this position, she became the brain behind some of the unique sounds each station is known for.
The following year, she became the director of Chocolate City Group. With the new position, she doubled as an on-air personality (OAP), lead programmer, and director of Chocolate City Group. She held the position until 2014. Although she stopped working at Chocolate City Group, she continued with her OAP and lead programming role until 2018.
While still working at the media companies, her multi-tasking ability saw her take up personal jobs that led to creating her own public relations (PR) company — BukiHQ. She believes “PR and media have always worked very closely. Our industry can’t exist without the media. Are the PR people going to write the stories? We can’t work without the journalists, who are extremely important.”
The making of public and media relations expert
Bukola Sawyerr Izeogu conceived her PR business idea while she was an undergraduate at the University of Lagos. However, it was not until 2014 that she founded her brand, BukiHQ, a Public and Media Relations Consultancy in Nigeria.
With her years of experience, she has steered her company through every business storm to become what it is today. This, however, is not without its fair share of hiccups. Her first experience as a PR professional revealed that, contrary to her expectations, it was not a walk in the park.
She said, “I must have spent six hours convincing them. It was a very long session – breaking down and explaining all the different things that I would be able to do for the GRIP BOYS. That is, Yung L, Endia, and Chopstix.
Technically a bright-eyed rookie with a clear path and conviction, it was a tough day convincing these three guys that there would be a remarkable difference if I handled their PR, and they agreed in the end. They were convinced, and we got the ball rolling. Being my first believers, they remain close and dear”.
From her first success, the 48-year-old public and media relations expert went on to have different celebrities and brands in her portfolio. This includes Burna Boy, Asa, 2Face, M.I, Seyi Shay, Adekunle Gold, Mr Eazi, Timaya, Kaffy, Lagos Jazz Series, and Hennessy Artistry.
As the founder and Chief Executive Officer of BukiHQ, she also runs Edge Solutions Company, a content communications company.
he thus advises aspiring PR entrepreneurs with her experience. She says, “It is tough! … PR requires a lot of sacrifices for which you must be prepared. I can not promise heavy monetary rewards in this field right now, but job satisfaction can be guaranteed. Hopefully, monetary gain is imminent with the growing relevance and awareness of this field”.
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