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Mary Njoki: Founding a Successful PR Company After Being Humiliatingly Fired Through an SMS

Mary Njoki is the CEO of Glass House PR.

The company describes itself as an independent agency that brings together a mix of services and comes up with a customized approach for each client.

Njoki established the company when she was just 23, when she was fired from her job through a text message.

The company offers a number of services including public relations, brand management digital communications and media relations.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Growing up in the village, Njoki shared that she always dreamt of pursuing a career in technology but it seemed out of reach due to financial difficulties.

In an interview with Nation, she explained that after completing her secondary school education, she settled for Information Technology (IT) as she could not afford to enroll for computer science.

While in university, Njoki also worked part-time at a software company.

“Little did I know that this job would lead me down unexpected path. When I joined the software company, I thought I would work in production programming and software development but I was posted in the marketing department,” she said.

Despite the curve ball, Njoki got an opportunity to interact with small business owners, and ended up joining a networking platform for small businesses.

After spending about two years at the company, she left and joined a company that sold hardware and networking solutions.

“I struggled to do the work and wondered what my purpose in life was. At this point, I discovered the world of Public Relations and image consulting,” she said.

Njoki joined K-Krew Ministries, a Christian outfit that empowers young people to achieve their dreams.

“Although I wasn’t getting paid, I enjoyed the activities at K-Krew more than my paid job because I enjoyed working with young people,” she said.

Through K-Krew, Njoki also met with a woman who owned a PR firm who mentored her as she sought to pursue a career in that field.

Mary Njoki PHOTO/LinkedIn

Founding Glass House PR

Njoki established Glass House PR in 2012 at the age of 23 after being rudely dismissed for her job at the time.

At the time, she noted that she worked in a small company and her boss would routinely fire employees who had poor performances.

Njoki had to take a course in PR; graduating with a degree in PR from Daystar University.

She was later given an opportunity by the woman she met through K-Krew to work at her company, and it was not long before she was put to the test.

“…the real test came when we got an assignment with a Japanese firm and the Nairobi City Council where I was tasked with handling media relations

“As a result, my mind went wild and I started envisioning how PR could be integrated with technology in the fast-growing IT space in Kenya,” she shared.

It was then when Njoki quit her job, and retired to the village where with a laptop and Ksh 6,000 modem, established Glass House PR which focused on social media marketing then.

“Despite facing initial challenges including unreliable internet, I persevered. I leveraged my IT background to establish an online presence and attract clients,” she stated.

Glass House PR has grown to have presence in among other countries Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa.

Njoki has been recognized by FOYA Awards as the Founder of the Year 2016, the Daily Nation acknowledged her as Under 30 and In Charge and she featured on the Destiny Magazine in South Africa as a top PR professional in Africa.

She was shortlisted as an innovative African Entrepreneur during the 2016 New Orleans Collision Conference and later, Network One in the UK featured her as a digital media guru.

Njoki also won the Young African women leadership excellence Award by center of Economics and Development during the 2017 African Women Leadership Summit held in Durban, South Africa.

She was also recognized by Amazon watch magazine in 2017 as Top 40 under 40 women in Leadership across Africa.