As a qualified and proficient journalist, I have enjoyed an extensive career in the media publishing arena in my role as both an Editor and a Managing Editor responsible for producing 22 titles per annum, working with top South African brand marketing and management teams.
With in-depth experience covering a variety of industries, I have since adapted my communication skills to encompass the digital platform. These include content marketing, social media management, and public relations.
Enthusiastic and receptive to new ideas and methodologies, I am currently looking for a challenging position which aligns with my professional abilities.
Berea Girls High Matric
Journalism Higher Diploma: Natal Technikon 1990
Anton van der Post: Effective Speaking
Targeted Account Selling (TAS)
Professional Selling Skills I
Professional Sales Negotiation II
Best Autodesk Reseller Award (x 5)
Transformational Writing 1 & 2
Four PICA Magazine Awards from the Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa (MPASA).
Hiring and Management of teams over multiple titles/projects, interfacing with high-profile accounts and company directors, sales negotiation, sales and lead management, marketing, and reseller channel principles.
Digital content, knowledge and experience with online social media marketing, website, and digital content management.
Public relations and media liaison across various national brands in South Africa.
Content, copywriting and press release writing support for Jhb-based PR and media companies Media Ink and iCandiCQ working with clients: Nielsen, Investec, immedia, House of Brave, KFC, Crosse&Blackwell, SA Institute of Welding and the Stainless Steel Association for both external and internal communications channels (current).
PR Account manager for GrandWest, consulting to The Mailroom PR: Sun International account (a period of two and a half years ending June 2017).
Consulting Communications Manager for digital media buying agency Atmosphere Orange (www.atmosphereorange.co.za). Responsible for Content Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media Management (Hootsuite), User Engagement over multiple digital platforms, Email Marketing, Website Content, Newsletters and Copywriting.
Publicity, project management, editing, proofing, copy writing, blogging and ghost writing of digital ebooks for a portfolio of both local and Jhb based clients and consultancies.
(Jan 2010 – March 2015)
Stationery, Home & Office Products Association of Southern Africa (SHOP-SA)
Office Manager in charge of Advertising, Membership, Events & Publications (5 staff reporting to me)
Editor & Publisher of a monthly print publication My Office magazine, an Annual Office Products Directory, Member E-mailers and Crime Alerts, Strategy sessions with 12 Board Directors, Event management which included an annual Golf Day, monthly Annual General Meetings and Minutes, regular Member Infotainment Events and Industry Speakers
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the association across all platforms. Recruited three staff members. Attended and presented at regular board meetings with the 12 board directors regarding revenue streams, opportunities, and membership management. Together with the accountant as a co-signatory, we acted as stand in for the then absent Executive Director organising, managing, motivating, and mentoring the five other staff members. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Hosted events. Worked with Events and Membership staff to expand commercial focus areas to ensure membership and readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for Leaving: Following my divorce, I requested a transfer to Cape Town to open and manage a Cape agency for the shop-sa association. This was approved and I established myself here in Cape Town. Two years later, new management within shop-sa requested I return to my Editorial role in Jhb. Wishing to stay in the Cape, I declined the offer and resigned from the company.
(Oct 2004 – Jan 2009)
Push Media Solutions: Independent Publisher
Position: Managing Editor
Clients & Products:
Publication Editor: International Marketing Council (IMC) of South Africa – Journal of Trade & Industry (monthly business magazine distributed internationally to foster trade into and with South Africa).
Publication Editor, Website Management: Link Pharmacy Group – Editor Life & Family monthly magazine (health and wellness).
Publication Editor: Wit’s University – Arena monthly magazine for Wits Alumni.
Publication Editor: Sun International – Editor Privé monthly magazine (gambling/lifestyle).
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the five brands, and online platform of two of the brands. Recruited two editorial staff members. Worked closely with the publisher Grant Viljoen. Attended and presented at management, marketing and sales meetings internally and with client brand team members regarding revenue streams, opportunities and brand initiatives. Managed, motivated and mentored staff members. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Made a consistent and effective brand statement across all client brands. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for leaving: Publisher Grant Viljoen closed the company when the International Marketing Council of South Africa did not renew their publishing contract.
(Sept 2001 – Sept 2004) Cadplan: Autodesk reseller of Architectural Design software, a family-owned business.
Position: Marketing & Sales working within the Autodesk Reseller Channel.
Our company received 5 awards by Autodesk South Africa as the top South African Reseller in the South African marketing channel.
Duties: Over the many years spent working in my husband’s business I covered all departments of the business including management of front office and the architectural training centre, accounts and bank recons, events and public relations promotions, marketing research and the publication of success stories, sales targets and sales teams within the Autodesk reseller channel. I concurrently ran corporate accommodation at Westbrook Suites for incoming architects who were booked on Autodesk software training at Cadplan.
Reason for leaving: I left my husband’s reseller business Cadplan to return to the publishing world and earn an independent means of income.
(Feb 2001 – August 2001) Owlhurst Communications
Position: Executive Publicist
Clients: 702 Talk Radio, Decorex SA, Delapse, Plascon Paints, VWV and worked in tandem on accounts: Association of Marketers, Red Nail Advertising, and AMASA for which I compiled and produced the Loeries Annual for the Annual Loeries Advertising Awards. We also hosted the AdVantage Ad Mag Awards for Primedia.
Duties: all written work and press releases as required, attended client and association meetings, copy-editing and publication of the Loeries Advertising Awards Annual.
Reason for leaving: Retrenched
(July 1998 – Dec 2000) Redsand Interactive (Pty) Ltd:
Position: Editorial Director:
Clients & Products:
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) – monthly AA Motorist magazine.
National Tourism Departments for Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana – produced four annual country directories: Namibia Focus, South Africa Focus, Zimbabwe Focus, and Botswana Focus.
SA Golf Association – Golf Focus sport and travel magazine.
Launch of the first edition of Maxim men’s magazine into South Africa.
SA Rugby & Football Union – SAFU bi-monthly magazine.
International Marketing Council (IMC) – South Africa: Journal for Trade & Investment.
South African Bureau of Standards – SABS Standards Directory.
SA Independent Builders Association – Home magazine (building/interiors).
**Four PICA Magazine Awards received – Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa (MPASA).
Duties: Managed the content and profile of all the client brands across 12 publications produced either monthly, bi-monthly or annually. Recruited three editors and managed and maintained relationships with satellite editors nationally and worked with international syndication libraries. Attended and presented at regular board meetings regarding revenue streams, opportunities and client brand management. Managed, motivated and mentored four in-house Editors and Sub-editors. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product together with the Production manager. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Attended international events such as World Travel Market in London. Worked with client marketing and management teams to expand commercial focus areas to ensure brand facilitation and growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for leaving: Redsand Interactive was bought out by the Core Group and was eventually liquidated.
(March 1998 – June 1998) CBM Publishing: Independent Publisher
British Airways Comair – Air Tales magazine (monthly in-flight publication for BA Comair airlines).
Bon Vivant Food & Travel magazine – Johannesburg.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of Air Tales magazine and contributed copy and columns to Bon Vivant magazine. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Worked with sales staff to expand commercial focus areas to ensure readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers both nationally and internationally. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals.
Reason for Leaving: Personal/Family reasons.
(Oct 1997 – Feb 1998) David Barritt & Company: Public Relation/Photographic Library Services
Position: Head of Publishing Clients & Products:
Sun International – Winners newspaper and Gaming Gazette tabloid.
Standard Bank – Editor of Standard Bank’s Plus magazine
The Blue Train coffee table book and various pamphlets and promotional brochures.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of all client publications and books. Recruited a sub-editor. Organised, managed, motivated and mentored the Editorial and Design department staff members. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador with clients. Hosted and attended events with the owner including the M-Net Face of Africa pageant in Zimbabwe. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms. Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for Leaving: Owner was downsizing with a view to immigrating so I accepted a position in a publishing environment.
(May 1996 – Oct 1997) Panorama Publications: Independent Publisher
SA Airlinkairlines – monthly Skyways magazine (in-flight publication).
African Panorama bi-monthly magazine (wildlife).
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the brand. Oversaw the design and production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Worked with internal staff and external consultants to expand commercial focus areas to ensure readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for leaving: The company was experiencing financial difficulties. I was offered an advertising sales position or retrenchment package, I accepted the latter.
South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) – SA Conference Guide monthly magazine and Annual Directory.
Security Association of South Africa(SASA) – monthly Security Focus magazine.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the associations across all platforms. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Attended and presented at local events and attended travel events and media tours internationally. Worked with sales, design and production staff to expand commercial focus areas to ensure readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals for the printed products. Facilitated with marketing and advertising sales where required.
Reason for leaving: I was asked by the Durban-based Publisher Godfrey King to open a Jhb-based office which I accepted and ran for two years before deciding to extend my career opportunities with other publishers in Johannesburg.
Caption: mage: (L-R) Representing Hayward’s Grand Safari Company on the night and seen here receiving the award is publicist Mercédes Westbrook of Firehorse Media with Michela Balpiaz, owner of Ayama Wines and wine sponsor of the evening, together with celebrity emcees Josie Eveleigh and Tracey Lange.
Cape Town – At the 3rd Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2017 which honours key players in SA Tourism and Hospitality, Hayward’s Grand Safari Company has been named the Winner in the Five-star Lodge category across southern Africa.
The Sanlam Top Destination Awards was hosted at the Kelvin Grove Club in Cape Town. 35 winners from 9600 nominees walked away with the sought after title of ‘Top Destination’ in their respective categories and star grading.
Hayward’s Grand Safari Company provides private groups of 40 to 200 VIP guests with an authentic 5-star mobile tented safari camp experience in pristine wilderness reserves across the African continent. Each luxury camp guarantees corporate and celebrity clients’ total event exclusivity and superior guest comfort.
Rated as the only 5-star mobile Safari in Africa, hosts Peter Hayward and Celia du Preez, are appointed by leading multinational blue-chip companies, royal contingents, presidents and renown celebrities alike. Owner Peter Hayward said, “I am absolutely delighted to have received such high accolades from the Sanlam Top Destination Awards.
“As custodians of global Sanlam Wealthsmith investments, what better establishment to represent how to turn money into meaning and set the standard for a future vision of tourism and hospitality in South Africa and for the continent. “Together with Discount Traveler, this award is a testament to the skill and vision of its creators and sponsors.”
“Hospitality and tourism is a large driving force in our economy and we want to continue to recognise and reward one of our country’s most influential industries,” commented Jonathan Pepler, managing director of Discount Traveler and founder of the Sanlam Top Destination Awards.
– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.
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 email@example.com to request a quote specific to your needs or call C: +27 789707633.
“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.
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 often 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.
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