Princess Olufunke Adebonojo, a humanitarian at heart who transforms the lives of the youth

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Princess Olufunke Adebonojo, a humanitarian at heart who transforms the lives of the youth

Olufunke, also known as Princess, is President of Princess Communications, a global consulting firm, advising corporate executives, government leaders, sports personalities, celebrities and entertainers on strategic marketing initiatives, image branding, public relations and communications. She is an accomplished communications and marketing executive, corporate advisor and a global consultant with more than 20 years combined experience in public relations & communications, image branding, community outreach & awareness campaigns, forging strategic partnerships and special events planning. Currently, she also serves as director of communications and public relations for Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN).

Princess has been involved in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. She is an international judge for the 2014 Namibian Annual Music Awards; created the public relations and marketing strategy for the Nollywood/Hollywood film Doctor Bello; worked as Senior Manager with BET Holdings in the U.S. and U.K. where she played an instrumental role in the start-up of BET’s international department in the early 90’s; consulted for TRACE TV; and has been involved in other TV and music-related projects.

As a humanitarian, through Princess Cares, she is committed to providing support and helping transform the lives of children by providing them with quality education, to help lift them out of poverty and put an end to the vicious cycle of poverty, hunger and disease so that they can become productive members of their community. She supported Behind the Bench (BTB), The National Basketball Wives Association to develop programs focusing on empowering youth and strengthening communities; worked at Rose Elder & Associates to develop an educational program, Elder Sports Management and Instructional Institute (ESMII); and facilitated strategic alliances/partnerships for scholarships to provide free jazz education to children in Eastern Poland.

Princess is also an events planner who continues to plan and promote cultural and special events, conferences and workshops globally, including Little Malaika International Boys & Girls Leadership & Cultural Pageant which promotes multi-cultural exchange and provides scholarships and logistical support for children with Autism in Africa. She was also one of the organizers of the Coca-Cola Ebony Festival, a three-day festival, held in Dakar, Senegal, that celebrated the hope, spirit and culture of the African people.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Public Relations with a minor in Political Science from Howard University. She is a member of the United Nations Association National Capital Chapter serving on the African Affairs Committee.

-Who are you and what drives you?

Personally, I am generally an outgoing person who loves people. I love meeting new people, interacting with them, getting to know them. I can be anywhere, in a hotel lobby, riding in a taxi, or even in a shop, but by the time we finish chatting, I will know your name and a whole lot more about you — we would have spoken about a wide range of topics. On the other hand, those who know me well know that I can also be a very quiet observer and not talk at all. There are those times I just like peace and quiet.

Professionally, I am borderline perfectionist and take pride in everything I do and believe in nothing less than giving my best and striving for excellence and at the same time, give people the ‘royal treatment.’

I am driven by the fact that each day is a precious gift given by God and an opportunity for me to make a difference in the lives of others. I am driven by my passion to work with youths and underprivileged and vulnerable children. God has given me a heart of compassion and nurturing spirit, therefore, it is easy for me to give to those less fortunate. It is hard for me to see anyone in need, especially a child, and not be moved to do something to help make their lives better. This makes me feel like I have done something worthwhile.

-Tell us about Princess Communications. What do you do and what services do you offer?

Princess Communications is a global communications/public relations consulting firm which specializes in public relations, image development, community outreach & awareness campaigns, forging strategic partnerships and special events planning. We create a unique experience for our partners through publicity campaigns and pitch the right message to maximize media placements and present our client in the best possible light by image branding. Our services range from publicity, media relations, media training and personal branding to developing partnerships, grassroots PR and planning special events. I still work on projects within the entertainment industry and also serve clients/partners with projects in international development and advocacy awareness on issues related to HIV/AIDS, extreme poverty and hunger throughout Africa.

-What is the most exciting part about your job?

My job has many facets because I am involved in many different projects. The most exciting part is meeting interesting people from different industries be it international development, entertainment, sports, music or event management. If the project calls for travel, then experiencing the different cultures, values and interacting with the people is what makes it fun.

Depending on the nature of the project and the client, there is a never a dull moment. I am in a people-to-people industry where networking, cultivating and maintaining relationships is very critical to my business. This is what I do with ease so it makes my job more enjoyable.

The icing on the cake is my day-to-day work with the youths, who are scattered all over the world. Being in contact with many of them on a daily basis puts a smile on my face. They are extremely smart, hard- working and enterprising so sharing in their experiences is gratifying.

-What are some of the challenges you face in the business and how do you overcome them?

I would not say I encounter many challenges. I look at my challenges as my greatest opportunities. Managing a global business sometimes comes with its own set of issues like cultural differences and the language barrier. However, after a while, you learn how to deal with the obstacles, overcome them and move on.

-How do you handle your relationships with your clients and keep them happy?

We are relatively small; therefore, we tend not to take on a too many projects during the course of the year. This allows me to spend time cultivating the relationship with client and giving them quality time. Every client’s needs varies therefore, there is a different strategy for everyone. As long as you can identify their needs, the rest becomes easy.

I do not take what I do as just a job. It is my passion. Therefore, you have to learn how to be patient at all times, even with the most difficult clients. There are those who are easy to deal with who tell you what they want and let you get on with it. Then there are those who are not so easy to deal with but you have to find a way to work through it with finesse in order to win them over.

It takes little effort on my part to make a client happy. As long as you meet their expectations with excellence and give them the ‘royal treatment’ you have completed your task.

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