When we heard about the Microsoft Toolkit for SMEs, we were excited, not just the Nairobi Garage team but the whole community at the space comprising of entrepreneurs, startups and creatives.

The toolkit is a much needed resources for companies at the space who are all in the business of getting their message out there are trying to communicate why their product is worth your attention.

The workshop today was about introducing the toolkit to the community and giving them chance to feedback to the Microsoft team. The event began at 9 am this morning and was conducted by Director of Communications at Microsoft, Janelle Poole, who gave an amazing presentation on the do’s and don’ts when developing a communication strategy.

The toolkit will be officially launched at the end of April and will be available online from various portals, including Microsoft’s Biz4Afrika portal.

In her presentation Janelle shared that the toolkit has 4 major areas;

1. Fundamentals

It is advisable to use as few words as possible. Also startups are advised to ‘be human’ to use memorable language to get people to easily understand what the company is about and what exactly it is that is being communicated.

2. Publishing

It is important to consider whether you will use owned or paid channels; your personal blog or website or paid adverts. All in all get the message out to the masses; from social media to your blog and finally website.

3. Digital Media

Digital Media is evolving and gadgets are now within reach of millions of people. Use these to tell compelling stories, personalized stories about you business that will generate buzz and more customers.

4. Storytelling

It’s important to identify what interesting stories are going around regarding or related to your startup. Use these to make interesting stories and link them to you company. You can start by identifying the problem and show how you product/service will and can solve this.

In explaining this Janelle really opened up the eyes of startups within the space. The question and answer session was also very interactive and gave companies an opportunity to tell their challenges and get advice on how to go about them.

It was great session in the space and we are grateful to Janelle and the entire Microsoft team for such an amazing toolkit.

Let’s get selling!

For those who would like the slides from the presentation, here they are:

SME Communications Roundtable_Nairobi Garage