Lawrence Gikaru is the Managing Director of Apex Porter Novelli (APN), a full-service Public Relations and Strategic Communications agency, which he founded more than 15 years ago.
Over the years, Lawrence has overseen the design and implementation of strategic communication and public relations programmes for clients in the private, government, non-profit and international sectors, that have tackled complex corporate and national issues.
Some of the clients that his firm has worked for include; the European Union, Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, Trade Mark East Africa, the National Treasury, the Kenya Bureau of Standards, Google, Philips, Vivo Energy, Bamburi Cement, Sanofi Aventis, Kenya Commercial Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank.
Drawing from his vast experience, Lawrence now concentrates on bringing clarity and structure to clients’ business challenges. He achieves this by coaching the APN leadership team to build alignment between APN’s resources, talent and capabilities and the challenges faced and opportunities presented by clients. This he believes helps integrate communication as both a strategic input and a steering wheel to deliver what matters most to client organizations— results directly linked to their business goals.
Lawrence draws from a rich multi-disciplinary base of education combining the sciences, business management, strategic communication, social impact/sustainability and responsible business practices. He has an equivalent of an MA obtained under a Fulbright Fellowship programme at the University of Minnesota in the US, a bachelor’s degree in science and education from the University of Nairobi as well as a post-graduate diploma in mass communication from the same university. A life-long learner, Lawrence has undertaken executive education courses at the Harvard Business School, Strathmore Business School and the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in the US among others.
He has served as an independent board director in two national government institutions through appointments by the respective governments of Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta and draws from this experience, realities and insights that he brings to client challenges.
Before setting up APN, Lawrence had previously worked in Kenya, Tanzania and the United States. He worked for the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Commonwealth Regional Health Community Secretariat in Arusha, UNICEF in New York and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs Regional Office in East Africa. He is also a social entrepreneur and co-founder of a social enterprise—Doctors for Healthy Living.
Lawrence is active in preparing the next generation of professionals and has served as an adjunct faculty at the United States International University – Africa where he co-created and taught a case-based module graduate course on strategic communication based on practical work undertaken by APN.
He is also the founding chairman of the Association of Public Relations and Communication Management Firms (APReCoM) that brings together more than 30 communication agencies in Kenya. He has been a featured conference speaker in Kenya, South Africa and the UK. Lawrence is also active in humanitarian service and has served as the president of the Rotary Club of Milimani.