Title Image

Adeola’s Insights: Transitioning from Specialist to Generalist in African PR Leadership

Adeola’s Insights: Transitioning from Specialist to Generalist in African PR Leadership



We distil the essence of Adeola’s research, which explores a pivotal decision faced by PR consultants in Africa: the choice between specialization and becoming a generalist as they advance in their careers.


The African PR Landscape: Unique Challenges:

The African public relations (PR) industry is vibrant but also presents unique leadership challenges. One ongoing debate center around whether PR professionals should specialize or broaden their expertise. Here, we argue for the transition from specialists to generalists as a key step toward effective leadership in African PR.


Specialization vs. Generalization:

Specialization in PR equips professionals with in-depth expertise in specific areas, but it can limit their ability to manage diverse PR aspects. In contrast, generalists possess a comprehensive understanding of PR, making them proficient in handling diverse projects and teams. This adaptability is vital for senior PR professionals aligning PR initiatives with broader business goals.


The Role of Generalist Leaders:

In Africa’s evolving PR landscape, generalist leaders are indispensable. With lean teams and limited resources, PR practitioners often face various challenges, requiring a deep understanding of multiple PR domains. The digital age further emphasizes the need for adaptable PR leaders.


Strategies for Transition:

For PR specialists aspiring to become generalists, consider these strategies:


  • Seek diverse experiences.
  • Build a strong professional network.
  • Stay informed about industry trends.
  • Enhance communication skills.
  • Develop a strategic mindset.
  • Embrace continuous learning.


The Path to Success:

Transitioning from a specialist to a generalist is essential for PR professionals aiming for top management roles in Africa. The ability to tackle diverse challenges, adapt to industry changes, and align PR efforts with business objectives is key to success in senior PR positions.


About the author

Adeola Ibiyemi is a Project Manager at The Holding Opinion and Public, the Francophone Africa group of agencies delivering communications services to brands, organizations, governments, and individuals.


First published on PRCA UK