Folasade Abimbola: The Multifaceted Storyteller
Folasade Abimbola is an entrepreneur and founder of Prime88 Concepts, a Public Relations Firm in Lagos, Nigeria, where she works as lead strategist.
She shares with Allure Vanguard her journey so far, challenges and vision for Prime88 Concepts.
Why are you referred to as a multifaceted storyteller?
Because all that I do resolves around story-telling, from film to digital marketing to Public Relation and beyond.
Can you tell us about your journey from being a screen and stage actor to becoming a multifaceted storyteller and PR professional?
Acting oh, acting! That was the foundation for everything, the Genesis that led to the revelations in Digital Marketing, Media & Public Relations.
Acting seems like a life time ago sometimes but I am grateful that it all started from there. Being a Theatre Arts students opened my eyes to literature, culture, history, language and so many important things that helps to mold a person in the media.
We will meet someday again, dear old acting.
As a PR and Communications Strategist, how do you approach building and managing the public image of individuals and businesses?
The first step is to know and understand what makes this person or business thick. What makes then standout, what is their unique story.
Once that is sorted, it often give direction to how to approach the rest of it and the information that is put out.
You’ve been involved in various aspects of the media industry, from acting to TV presenting to filmmaking. How do these experiences influence your current work?
I guess you mean Public Relations. I like to say there is a path where all these things meet. PR is about communicating, building relationships, telling stories etc and i could say the same for film and TV too although it is to a different end.
There are also some skills and differentiations one picks up. For example asides acting, I worked a script supervisor / Scripty on film sets, they called it continuity back then.
When I worked as a TV presenter I often had to write my own script which was technically different from the screenplay in film.
Sometime while working on a campaign, you need to come up ideas for campaign videos and scripts for them too, so even if i am not the one writing, nobody can “pe aja lobo” for me (Yoruba’s proverb for call a dog a cat for me) Other times it is a podcast etc. I will always be grateful for these experiences.
Could you share some insights into the power of storytelling and its impact on cultures, traditions, leadership, and human connections, as you mentioned in your bio?
As africans we have a rich cultural heritage and they have been passed on by stories, stories tell you who your fore-fathers are, what they have done.
If stories help you know you, it then follow that it also help people connect with you.
It helps people see you in the light that they should and you get a chance to be an active participant in the making of the legend that you are.
Can you tell us about some of the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Hmmm, that maybe hard to choose but I would go for when I got my acting debut with a UNESCO film called “Still in Bondage” as a teenage and every time a person’s life changes for the better because the work we have done with them.
You recently worked on MTV StayingAlive Foundation and the global listening project’s workshop for upcoming content creators. Tell us about that experience.
My experience was really exciting, I would not lie. It was so beautiful working as BTS producer and also teaching the attendants how to leverage on personal branding to becoming successful social conscious content creators.
It was very emotional for me to see how lives were touched at that workshop. The attendants did not only get knowledge, they were also given gadgets.
We laughed, we cried, we dinned, we created and I really look forward to more of that.
What can we expect from your upcoming podcast, and what topics or themes will it explore?
Hmm, that is still under raps for now, but expect something exciting, something human and interesting. Would it have something to do with PR? Kinda, but you will have to wait and see.
As someone who will be teaching PR and personal branding for filmmakers at IP Business Capital’s Film Development Program for Africa, what key advice do you have for individuals looking to build their personal brand in the film industry?
Awon “my work will speak for me” geng, this is definitely for you. The real reason a lot of amazing film makers are not getting the recognition, finances and accolade dues is because of a lack of proper branding or PR. WE will be shaking tables and changing lives at this workshop.
I would also be teaching a free personal branding / PR class for business owners, professionals and public figures in the next few weeks.
What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about PR?
People really confuse PR for Advertising and when it is not advertising it is it is spinning baseless stories and getting publicity at all cost. Meanwhile it is far a way from that. PR needs to have a source, have substance while telling stories. It is painting pictures, building relationships, it is research, it is documentation and so much more.
Finally, what are your long-term aspirations and vision for the future of Prime88 Concepts and your own role as a storyteller and media professional?
It is really about changing lives, building leaders and helping brands reach their full potential. If we can do that, then we have been successful.