[Interview] Melissa Ruggles, Managing Director, Africa-America Press Center
A veteran of international development and communications, Melissa Ruggles has channeled her expertise into connecting American companies with the African Media.
Her interview with Africa Business Communities:
Would you please introduce the Africa America Press Center?
The Africa America Press Center is a new press release service that supports American companies and organizations in creating and publishing their press releases in African media outlets. The service combines customized press release writing, editing and distribution service with communication through social media.
In which industries would the Africa America Press Center focus on?
Any industry currently working in Africa or interested in starting operations in Africa.
Why did you start the Africa America Press Center?
Africa is rising and the world is taking notice. For quite some time now, U.S. companies and organizations have shown a growing interest in undertaking – or expanding – operations throughout Africa. These companies want to share their news and the way to do that is naturally through the African media. That is exactly what we are going to do – share companies’ and organizations’ stories in diverse African media outlets. And we will do it in a new way.
What did you do before starting the Africa America Press Center?
I have worked in international development and communications for the last 10 years. Taking this knowledge and experience, I want to support more business development throughout Africa. This begins with communication and knowledge exchange, which I plan to support through the dissemination of press releases all over the continent.
What can be done by entrepreneurs and governments to facilitate better communication between American companies and African markets?
Entrepreneurs and governments should write very clearly targeted press releases – aim for a specific industry, theme (subject) and country/countries. The more targeted it is, the better.
What will the Africa America Press Center deliver in 2016?
Expert press release writing and editing, with publishing in an extensive network of more than 6,400 journalists throughout Africa. Further dissemination among 1.2 million business professionals working in or with an interest in African business and affairs.
What would you like people and companies that read this interview to do?
Contact us to get started! Now is the time to connect more companies and organizations to people and opportunities throughout Africa, and vice versa.
Which African countries do you predict will perform best in 2016?
I’ll mention three.
Ethiopia – due to infrastructure development, increase in innovation and market access, bringing greater economic growth.
Mozambique will do well too. They are advancing quickly in infrastructure development, credit expansion and emerging extractive industry.
Tanzania has been impressive in economic and structural reforms, diversity of viable economic industries in the country.