Mitchell Prather | The Innovator 25 2016
Charting the future of public relations
18The Innovator 25:

Mitchell Prather

Managing director


Djembe Communications

Dubai


"
I find inspiration in people who make a difference in other people's lives"

 



In  a little over three years, Djembe Communications MD Mitchell Prather has transformed a three-person business based in in Zurich into a world class PR agency with presence in four continents, with over 40 employees and a multitude of awards. Even more impressively, perhaps, he has done it in regions where bigger firms still fear to tread, building an African network that includes offices in Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana. Djembe's work reflects Prather's vision, often focusing on significant reputation challenges for senior government departments, sovereign wealth funds, central banks, government ministers and investment bodies. All of which saw Djembe shortlisted among this year's African Consultancies of the Year, reflecting a passion for the region that other firms would be wise to emulate.

How do you define innovation?

Cheaper, faster, and better.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?

Djembe Insights (Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, and Nigeria).

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?

From an impact perspective, UNICEF in Africa.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’

When I decided to build a team based on their passion for Africa, as well as their professional experience.

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?

Planning & analytics

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?

About the same as other marketing disciplines.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?

Content & creative

Who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is?

CEO

Who is your mentor and why?

Both my parents continue to be my mentors to this day. From an early age my dad instilled in me the value of public service while my mother demonstrated the importance to drive for results.

How do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in people who make a difference in other people's lives.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?

By adopting core values such as being respectful, open-minded and result driven. This value approach allows people to have a greater impact within an organisation and affords for personal growth as well.

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world?

The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Lunch time when I get together with my team from various Djembe offices.