Incentives to Africa: Kruger to Cape Town Safari Expeditions

Incentives to Africa: Kruger to Cape Town Safari Expeditions

Incentive professionals understand the importance of rewarding employees in order to drive productivity.

It is also their responsibility and challenge to find the most rewarding destination with which to motivate and excite incentive participants – one that provides the best activities, adventures and amazement which will motivate and drive participants to achieve heightened success.

Long haul destinations offer the promise of the exotic but it can be challenging for incentive professionals to fully understand how to get the most out of the destination when they are situated on the other side of the globe.

This is why working on the ground with a destination management consultant (DMC) of that particular country as well as the local operators on the ground, is so important.

Incentive Travel Tips only Experience can Deliver

South Africa is renowned for its encompassing beauty, natural reserves, world-class wines and safari adventure travel, together with a world-class luxury lifestyle along its vast coastline from its position on the tip of Africa.

What many foreign incentive operators don’t realise is that South Africa is a very large country and all too often lengthly and costly travel logistics can impact both incentive itineraries and client budgets.

Almost every incentive travel group to South Africa looks for the reward of a Big 5 wildlife experience and their first port of call is the world-famous Kruger National Park. However, many factors come into play here which are often not available at first glance to booking agents.

Firstly, moving large groups to and through the Kruger National Park is a challenge and along with the park’s other 1.5 million annual visitors, it is not a high-end luxury incentive activity.

The more upmarket private reserves which edge the park, such as Sabi Sands and the Timbavati region offer an equally thrilling wildlife experience but do not have the scale of accommodation facilities to host big incentive groups, so they focus on catering solely to the free independent tourist (FIT) market.

How to Travel on an Incentive into the Kruger National Park

Getting your group to the Kruger is your next challenge.

Landing at OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng Province, the park is a five hour drive by car and longer by luxury bus. Alternatively, groups can fly into Hoedspruit and the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, which then requires another hours’ drive to reach the Park’s Numbi Gate.

Traveling such distances often requires splitting the group and using costly alternative travel logistics can open up room for error. For the travelers themselves, the journey can turn into one long, hot and boring day… not something one wants to put ‘winners’ through.

Unless of course, they are arriving to something truly spectacular and inaccessible to anyone else.

Bespoke Safari Incentive Offerings

Hayward’s Grand Safari Company, the 2019 Winner of the Best Safari Experience in Africa at the Safari Awards this year, offers a bespoke Kruger National Park Grand Safari experience and is the first private safari operator to be allowed access to this South African wildlife treasure.

Transported to untouched wildlife regions within the 19 485 km² park where there are no public access roads or hotel or ablution buildings, or other tourists in sight, guests are hosted in 5-star luxury tented accommodation which caters to up to 200 people on pristine Park land that has not been touched by a human foot before.

Dedicated game rangers protect, teach and guide groups towards some of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring nature experiences during the day while at night they are wooed by the night sky and entertained by the best chefs, butlers, cigar aficionados, story-tellers, spa specialists and cultural entertainers in Africa.

Immersed in pure natural environments for a week, guests emerge from a world-class luxury safari that is stained indelibly on their memory.

Setting a bespoke 5-star safari camp up in the Kruger National Park can be costly however, for those wanting to spend a shorter time engaging with the country’s wildlife and safari experience, there is something as equally inspiring and closer to ‘home’, or rather closer to Gauteng’s international airport.

Bringing the Kruger Incentive Experience to Johannesburg’s Doorstep

South African Tourism is behind the marketing of the all new Dinokeng Big 5 game reserve in Tshwane, just one hours’ drive from OR Tambo International Airport and one which offers a wildlife experience on a par with the Kruger National Park when it comes to immersing and engaging with South Africa’s natural heritage.

Adjacent to Hayward’s Grand Safari Company Headquarters in Boekenhoutskloof, this Big 5 reserve is also close to the diamond mining town of Cullinan and the Wonderboom Airport which offers direct transfers to South Africa’s second most visited destination, Cape Town, South Africa’s lifestyle and wine-drinking destination of choice.

Here, in Dinokeng, delegates are served an equitable safari experience on a par with the Kruger National Park but where incentive operators have more opportunity to spend travel logisitic costs on activities and entertainment to inspire and woo the group.

These include transfers by Rovos Rail, Diamond Incentive events, cultural entertainment and artisans such as the Ndebele King’s own traditional dancers and the five star services of classical pianists, hot air balloon sky safaris, wine and whiskey tastings and bespoke staged events right in its Big 5 safari camp each and every evening.

To discuss your next Grand Safari big group incentive trip, contact Top Woman in Mice and Hayward’s Safaris’ Production Director Celia du Preez on (South Africa) Tel: 0861 732 583 (International) Tel: +27 12 808 0442.

How to Survive your First Radio Interview

How to Survive your First Radio Interview

Your marketing has paid off. The phone rings and you are invited for an interview on a popular radio show to discuss your field of industry expertise. After your initial excitement, it is natural that you might start to feel anxious, especially if you have never had an opportunity to speak live ‘on the air’ before.

Be aware that anxiety can quickly magnify into paralysing fear. This usually occurs in direct proportion to the degree of experience and understanding you may or may not have regarding public speaking and the immediacy of the radio interview environment.

Before your anxiety builds, arm yourself with the following tips so you can handle your interview with confidence and panache.

Tip #1
Research the station and the interviewer. Each radio station broadcasts to its own unique demographic of listener. Tune into the station and listen to the specific time slot you will be invited to participate in. How does the station ‘talk’ to its audience? Is it very formal in its style of broadcast or does it have a light-hearted and entertaining approach.  If you don’t have time to listen in to the show beforehand, visit the station’s website. You are likely to find links to recordings of previous interviews that have taken place. Understanding the personality of the talk show host and the type of questioning techniques they like to use will also forearm you with how you can best respond.

Tip #2
Research the audience. While listeners may vary to a slight degree in age and lifestyle, there will be a core audience which will participate in listener call-ins and questions. Understanding the listener’s goals, expectations and assumptions will assist in your delivery of information and how you respond to listener engagement and enquiries. Remember that each and every listener may well be your next customer.

Tip #3
You are not going to have time to cover every point on the topic during the interview. Armed with the knowledge of your audience and the tone of the show, make a bulleted list of the main points you would like to communicate. Stay focussed on these main aspects of the topic throughout the discussion and keep referring to them with examples and personal anecdotes. Make sure you have at least one example that illustrates both a problem and its solution.

Tip #4
Establish your credibility with the audience upfront. Open with a strong story or perspective regarding the topic. Use rhetorical questions to match the type of questions the audience might be thinking. Make sure you cover the top five most frequently asked questions from your own customer base. Refer to the audience regularly and keep your information relevant to how it applies to their world.

Tip #5
Your voice is the only thing the audience has to refer to you as an expert. Keep your pace deliberate and your voice deep. Use pauses for effect and to guide your thought processes, so you don’t fall into the trap of the umhs and ahs. If the line of questioning momentarily stumps you, or you lose your train of thought, transition the conversation back to one of the topic’s main bullet points you jotted down at the beginning. Be forearmed and anticipate what might be tough questions regarding the subject.

Congratulations on securing your first radio interview. Be confident that you have all the information and answers to any awkward questions that may arise and approach your interview with focus and clarity.

Mercédes Westbrook is a journalist and editor with an extensive career in the media publishing arena working with top South African brand marketing and management teams over a variety of publications within their aligned industries.

As owner of www.firehorsemedia.co.za she has adapted her communication skills for the digital platform to include content creation, website design, content marketing, social media management, and public relations. She can be reached on mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za

Fast Affordable Websites to Get You Noticed Online

Fast Affordable Websites to Get You Noticed Online

You’ve finally realised that you need a website – well done!

With a fast upload and modern appeal, your new website will provide you with a global platform and a personalised voice to market your products and services to a potential market of 3 billion people (the number of current web users worldwide) – statistics you cannot afford to ignore in today’s digitally connected workplace.

Your website will instantly go to work to highlight your unique selling points, to educate audiences about the benefits of your brand, position you in the marketplace and keep customers connected with the latest news updates and user information through regular posts to your blog and social media sharing buttons.

Warning: We strongly advise that you don’t attempt to build your own website yourself. We have also seen the Wix advertisements and it can be tempting to think you can save a few bucks on some website DIY. Now is the time to remember what your Granny always said… buy cheap, buy twice. Unless you are IT savvy and have lots of time to play around with design ascetics, understand SEO content and have kept up-to-date with the latest security plug-in to prevent you from getting hacked, you are only going to waste precious time and money. Trust us, we have seen way too many customers fail along this route.

We suggest that instead you focus on your core competencies and entrust our tight-knit team of professional entrepreneurs with your website build, monthly back-end maintenance, blogging and social media sharing (where required) for a stress-free and effective reach out to your targeted audience online.

As a core group of tech professionals, we help you get your business online in the fastest and most effective manner without the headaches of trying to understand tech, back-end strategy and current online marketing tactics. And we do it because we care!

What you pay is…

1 page Scrolling Website – R5 500
Basic Website – R7 500
Standard Website  – R9 500
Premium Website – R13 000

What you get…

A mobile responsive WordPress website in your field of specialisation using the latest DIVI Premium theme.

Installation of all necessary plugins for website aesthetics as well as seamless functionality. This includes Security plugins to protect your website against spam and hacking activity.

Set up of new email accounts.

SEO processes offering a Search Engine Optimization plugin that will be populated accordingly, thereby improving the site’s Search Engine Optimization with Google and other search engines. This plugin will also pull through your previous history with Google so as not to lose that from within Google’s Search Console.

Your own branding guidelines implemented over logos, images and design integrity.

Social Sharing buttons for site visitors to share your site on their own Social Media platforms.

Google map to your office premises.

Contact form to build your own database of customers.

A pull through of blog posts on the front page. There will also be a separate blog page where all your blog posts will be easily accessible to site visitors. This blog page will include a signup form.

Video clip Training session to familiarise you with the backend functionally so you can effectively upload your own content and media as and when required.

Monthly updates and security checks to keep your website running effectively.

T&Cs:
The above pricing includes all content and images supplied by the client. Should you need assistance with web content writing and image sourcing, an additional fee will be quoted.
Prices are quoted excluding Vat
Development of your site will only start once content and graphics have been supplied and a 50% deposit paid upfront.

Depending on which website you choose to go with, full functionality and an layout blueprint will be provided to you for agreed before commencement.

Please contact Mercedes Westbrook on mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za to request a quote specific to your needs or call C: +27 789707633.

We look forward to chatting further with you

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How can a public relations company grow your business?

How can a public relations company grow your business?

“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” – Richard Branson

All human relationships are based around communication.  You may have great business ideas, but if you can’t convey them to others, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.  A public relations company knows best how to package and present your story to the media in order for it to get seen and heard without the costs associated with advertising spend.

Each of us has a unique story to tell. A professional public relations company is practiced at breaking through the multi-channel, multi-device marketing noise and helping you to engage with your selected audience with targeted messaging that will raise visibility about what you do.PR grows your business compass

Their sole purpose is to give your business credibility so consumers can gain trust in your product, service or brand.  At all times you remain in control about how your identity, company culture and values are being presented and what is being publicised about your brand.

Not only will a good public relations company be able to attract potential customers and grow sales enquiries and leads, they will assist in establishing you as a trustworthy company that invites interest from  talented future employees and industry investors.

What is the difference between advertising and public relations?

A public relations campaign offers more credibility for your product or service than an advertising campaign. This is because advertising is paid media and public relations is earned media. Your story has to be good enough to be seen as newsworthy to an editor or reporter in order for them to write a positive story about it.  When your article appears in the editorial section of the magazine, newspaper, TV, radio station or website, it is perceived as information being served up by the media title or platform on which is it being distributed. This means the information has been approved by a reliable information source rather than you just paying for it to appear there. Statistically, more people are likely to engage with published content over advertising, giving it an estimated value of between 3 to 5 times more value than its equivalent in advertising.

A public relations campaign is also less expensive than an advertising campaign. There is no need to buy advertising space across numerous publications and news platforms. A well written story will get you there for free.  Too ofPR companies create valueten huge expense is laid out in creating an advertising campaign involving creative design and production processes and the purchasing of space over targeted media titles that will need to be repeated in order to gain influence for your brand.  In advertising this process is known as the effective frequency: the number of times a person must be exposed to your advertising message before they respond and before exposure is considered wasteful. Currently, in the advertising world, this is considered to be between 5 and 7 times. Alternatively, a well written, stimulating article is more likely to be shared virally, emailed, reposted on other sites, receive feedback and comments, and get tweeted on trending topic channels.PR creates business value

An additional advantage for public relations is that as newspaper and magazine readerships drop due to the increased reliance on the Internet, there are less writers and editors being employed. This means titles have fewer resources with which to travel, research or source news the traditional way. Rather, more and more news outlets are relying on citizen journalists, leading research from corporate companies, and industry spokesmen to feed them current news and events.

How does a public relations campaign work?

Public relations is a process of building media relationships and then managing the spread of information about you or your business through news releases, compelling stories, educational articles, tutorials, reports, trending topics, success stories and testimonials of your clients.

The key to building a reputation in the market is for information to be relevant, consistent and easily digestible. This is where a public relations company will assist you with a goal specific, measurable PR plan, backed up with professionally written content in the correct style and format of the media platforms being targeted.

Information may be packaged as media releases, white papers, e-books, media tours, road shows and press conferences, competitions, seminars, speaking engagements and product launches.  Additional tactics might include vlogs, blogs, webinars, and gamification.

A public relations campaign needs to be measurable in order to determine its success. Not only do the results of the campaign need to be measured but also a review of what worked and what didn’t and their attached media value.  This is where a media tracking company such as Newsclip Media Monitoring will assist you in seeing where publicity is being published along with a variety of functions to determine meaningful and measureable media insights and analysis.

In addition to spreading good news about your business, a public relations company is able to provide damage control should a business crises arise or hostile rumours start circulating about your company.  A professional PR consultant can react quickly and efficiently to addressing and dispelling rumours and getting your brand back on track.

Interested in learning how Firehorse Media can help make your company shine? Contact Mercedes Westbrook on C: +27 789707633 or E: Mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za

 

 

African youth account for 65% of the continent’s R10-trillion consumer spending

African youth account for 65% of the continent’s R10-trillion consumer spending

“They read all the time, but not newspapers or magazines,” says Craig Utermark, CEO of Cape Town’s Atmosphere Orange, a programmatic advertising agency. “But they are all zeroed in, whenever and wherever they can, surfing the social freeways on their phones. It is there that advertising brand managers are targeting them among the noise of millions of gigabytes of information.  And it’s possible, with the latest technology, programmatic marketing allows brand managers to reach  95%  of the Sub Saharan African market with 34 global exchanges, giving us access to 70 000 websites that are relevant to the South African market.”

Frukt, an international ad monitoring agency says that 65% of consumer spending is attributable to young people, not necessarily with buying but as influencers too of their parent’s spending decisions. “Unlike their somewhat spoilt Western counterparts, Africa’s Millennial generation is not pessimistic about its future (even with rapidly rising unemployment rates), in fact they are infectiously optimistic about what lies ahead. With the youth population in Africa set to rise faster than any other continent over the next decade, this ‘A Generation’ is one to watch as the next wave of youth pioneers tap into the country’s rich cultural heritage and make their collective voice, and spending power, known.”

Frukt says Africa has “arguably the strongest and most passionate musical culture on the planet,” and that is one way to get attention of the A Generation. They say that by 2020 youth will dominate Africa’s $1.3 trillion (or around R180-trillion) consumer spending.

Utermark concurs, “This generation of youth is incredibly sophisticated. The South African Social Media Landscape 2015 report recently revealed that just in this country Twitter has 6.6 million users and visual platforms YouTube and Instagram have seen a user increase of 53% and 65% respectively over the past year. So our young people, like those across the world want ads with great visuals, ideally set to a great musical beat, something they can share on social media and be seen as cool by their friends.”

The 2015 Youth Psyche report by Branded Youth showed that although social media is important, reposting has lost its allure as young people focus on building their personal brand. “Programmatic marketing, the hottest trend coming from the United States and Europe, allows brand managers to essentially look into the heads and hearts of these young spenders,” said Utermark.  “At present, mobile internet advertising revenues are at R172 million and rising fast with social media accounting for 79% of that according to the latest IAB South Africa ad revenue report.  They’re paying attention to word of mouth on social media, it’s impacting on spending and in 2014 when we had the highest youth voter turnout yet we could see it was even having an impact on politics.”

The Youth Psyche report showed that young people are visual and want to feel an ad has been developed just for them. Youth Marketing Strategist at Branded Youth, Bradley Maseko has pointed out that, “Instagram now has 300 million monthly users, picking up 100 million since March 2014. The photo- and video-sharing app has surpassed Twitter’s official user count of 284 million. 2015 will see a further rise in visual content being shared amongst the youth and this will be aided by the fact that Facebook is also shifting to video due to increased demand.”

Utermark said, “Brand opportunity is strongest when it focuses on empowering youth through content marketing, driving conversations with youth influencers who have an audience of people who trust them.  South African’s tweet a million times a month that has amazing opportunities for clever business owners.

“For creative advertising agencies Youth Day on June 16th offers an exciting reminder of the influence of the young. Backed by the power of digital to enhance its reach and tell a connected, multi-screen and multimedia story across all the different audience generations, brands are using new technologies for big data, especially programmatic marketing, which allows for audience targeting, predictive modeling, optimisation and dynamic creative.

“The future is where it should be, the young are taking control of their destinies and propelling us in amazing and imaginative new ways forward”, Utermark said.

5 Content Marketing tips for SMEs

5 Content Marketing tips for SMEs

content marketing

Content marketing puts the world in your hands

Use content marketing to your advantage when you are see your customers as human beings and not just dollar signs for your bottom line. Content marketing requires that we listen to our customers and respond to their needs in real time.  When we provide solutions to our customers pain points via our content marketing drive we are mobilising our business and gaining a foothold in the thriving online and social media marketplace.

What is content marketing? Content marketing is the creation, publication, and distribution of articles, press releases, images, and video to attract and acquire a target audience.

Every business needs marketing, whether it is a start-up IT company or a tyre manufacturing business. Most of us are already using marketing strategies in some form or another through distribution of our marketing materials, our sales pitch, website and application of a database.

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