The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media. As South Africa entered lockdown, businesses closed across the country. But the media will continue to do its job, and The Media Online will continue to report on the sector. #StaySafe.
This week’s BIG move: Avatar launches specialist Resilience Practice to help organisations steer business priorities post COVID-19
As businesses on the continent face challenges that are unique to those faced by its global counterparts, Avatar Group has launched its specialist practice, Resilience at Avatar, to help leaders navigate these unprecedented times.
In an Africa-first offering, the practice comes at a crucial time when businesses are looking to develop tools and strategies for recovery after the pandemic.
“COVID-19 presents significant challenges to people and organisations around the globe and the disruption continues to evolve,” said Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, CEO of Avatar Group. “This Practice builds on Avatar Group’s acumen in building brands and businesses, as well as its proven creative ingenuity.”
The practice will be led by chief strategy entrepreneur, Mzamo Xala, as managing director who has a solid reputation and a formidable track record in brand innovation and the business of marketing. He has led Insights and Innovation projects for Unilever Africa and brought to life new drinks as Innovation Manager at Diageo.
“This practice exists to help leaders think and act on resilience. We see this as a unique problem that requires a unique approach. It necessitates creativity and innovation as businesses are faced with challenges post the pandemic,” Xala said.
In addition, the Practice will assist qualifying entrepreneurs in South Africa by hosting free consultation sessions through online engagements. “We know that entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. As a proudly homegrown business ourselves, we would like to contribute towards getting South Africa back on its feet,” ends Mkhwanazi.
Merissa Himraj joins GroupM executive committee
A pioneering strategist and exceptional leader, Merissa Himraj has served as the chief strategy officer (CSO) of Wavemaker South Africa since early 2019. Now, just over a year later, she has been appointed to the executive committee of Wavemaker’s parent company, GroupM.
Himraj first joined Wavemaker South Africa in August 2014 as a business unit manager, where she led the Vodacom account for five years. Her CSO appointment brought with it the provision of strategic and solutions-driven oversight both internally at Wavemaker and among its many clients. Himraj will continue to hold this role as she takes on her GroupM responsibilities.
“I am still new to the GroupM team, so my short to medium-term goals involve assessing where I can add value and driving synergistic projects that propel GroupM’s agencies forward,” Himraj says. “In the long term, as always, I want to do meaningful work that benefits the group and its clients, and offer support to our internal teams in any way I can.”
SABC sends condolences to Loyiso Lloyd Sitsheke’s family
The South African Broadcasting Corporation has sent its heartfelt condolences to the Sitsheke family, following the passing of Loyiso Lloyd Sitsheke.
Sitsheke was born in Qumbu, a town in the Eastern Cape and commenced his radio career at Unitra community radio also known as UCR-FM in 1996, before joining the SABC.
Affectionately known as Bra Llyod, he was one of Umhlobo Wenene FM’s talented sport personalities. He presented various sports shows including the sports bulletins and headlines on the station’s afternoon drive show Masigoduke and Ezemidlalo sports show, from 19h00 to 20h00, Mondays and Fridays.
He also presented Ezemidlalo Nolonwabo, a very popular show with Umhlobo Wenene FM listeners and the nation at large on Saturday mornings from 07h00 to 09h00. Among his notable radio career highlights was growing his weekend show from 780 000 listeners to the latest figure of 1.8 million listeners.
The station and its listeners will remember him for his great ideas, remarkable knowledge and warm personality.
Pulpit Media staffers take on industry chairs
Kedibone Rayner, programme manager of African Languages at Pulpit Media, has been appointed vice chairperson of the Association of Christian Media. Wilma van Schalkwyk, senior manager of radio, has been announced as chairperson of the National Association of Broadcasters’ community radio committee.
M&C Saatchi Abel recognised in Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Global Awards
A simple idea born on the streets of Cape Town has catapulted a South African ad agency into the finals of a global competition. M&C SAATCHI ABEL’s The Street Store, a Force-for-Good Initiative was named a finalist in theBest World Changing Idea EMEA Region and Creativity categories in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2020 global awards as well as recognised in 4 other categories.
Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas awards honoured the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts from different industries around the world that are making a positive change on a broad range of issues from climate crisis, social injustice, or economic inequality.
The Street Store bridges the gap between the haves and have-nots, providing the homeless with the dignity of choosing their own clothes instead of being on the receiving end of often-unwanted hand-me-downs.
Mike Abel, Founding Partner and CEO of M&C SAATCHI ABEL says that South Africa has many people who want to help but often don’t know where or how. “Because of this, we conceptualised The Street Store concept in 2014. The world’s first rent-free, premises-free, pop-up clothing store for homeless people.”
Moneyweb launches new breakfast podcast
Moneyweb, from Monday [4 May], will bring the latest in business and financial news in a new morning podcast: Moneyweb NOW with Simon Brown.
The show will offer the latest in business, trading and company news to best prepare listeners for the day ahead. It will be live-streamed via the Moneyweb website and mobile app between 06h30 and 06h50. Don’t worry if you miss it, the podcast will be available immediately afterwards to listen to on your phone or computer, totally free.
Simon Brown is prominently known across various business platforms in his capacity as an investor, trader and founder of the financial educational platform Just One Lap.
Brown is passionate about helping people understand money in all its aspects, from saving to investing and trading. “This is an exciting new offering and a first for South Africa. Moneyweb NOW with Simon Brown will be the only comprehensive business radio show in the morning. We aim to have the podcast downloaded onto your phone before 07h00, to allow subscribers to listen to it on their way to work,” says Ryk van Niekerk, editor of Moneyweb.
Central Media Group survey Free State listeners
Radio, digital and print media are playing an important role in the COVID-19 response. New research shows between 80% and 90% of people consume news and entertainment for an average of almost 24 hours during a typical week.
Central Media Group, with subsidiary brands and products such as OFM, Bloemfontein Courant, and Get It Bloemfontein, along with their webpages and social media platforms, has embraced the changes in consumption, seeing between 10% and 14% rise in engagement levels, from February 2020 to April 2020. Kantar completed a research study, which indicated that terrestrial radio listenership is up 30%.
In the research study of 1 545 respondents, the company found that radio listening was up, and that engagement with reliable news sources was also on the rise, including OFM news pages on, and Bloemfontein Courant news page.
Twelve percent of respondents in the Central Media study indicated that during this lockdown period, that they were reading more local newspapers, 51% are engaged with more social media, and collectively, indicated that they were spending more time on trusted Central South African media webpages or social media channels.
Asked where they were getting reliable information from about COVID-19 during the lockdown, 39% of respondents indicated that they relied on radio, 47% of respondents indicated they relied on local news websites, and 14% said that they relied on local newspapers, while 37% relied on local media social pages.
How technology is assisting retailers to encourage social distancing
Since mid-March the South African government has been advocating social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and, as a result, flatten the curve of infection. As the public are only allowed to leave their homes to obtain medical assistance, or purchase medicines or groceries, the onus has been placed on retailers to step up and enforce the 1-metre social distancing rules within their stores to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.
An area that retailers are focusing on is their queueing system, where close contact is most problematic, and they’re turning to technology to assist with social distancing rules. One retailer using technology to socially distance their customers is Clicks.
They initially implemented a Virtual Queue solution a couple of years ago to allow their customers to check in, maintain their place in line, and be notified when it’s their turn for service. Customers can also opt in for an SMS notification that lets them know when it is their turn in the queue. Ultimately, removing the need for customers to physically stand in a queue.
Over the last couple of years, the Virtual Queue solution has been implemented in more than 280 Clicks Pharmacies in South Africa, which includes their top stores such as the V&A Waterfront, Gardens Centre and Canal Walk, as well as in stores in Swaziland.
“By employing virtual queuing, retailers are in a position to seamlessly introduce the new social distancing measures, which some experts believe will need to be in place for the next couple of years. In this way, solutions like virtual queueing may become the norm for retailers and shoppers,” said Scott Matthews, head of Moving Tactics Retail Analytics.
Tribeca wins the LEGO® South Africa account
Tribeca Public Relations (Tribeca) has partnered with LEGO South Africa after a competitive pitch process that will see Tribeca managing and executing its public relations strategy in South Africa.
Tribeca is very familiar with the LEGO brand having worked with The Great Yellow Brick Company to open the first LEGO Certified Stores in Sandton, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.
“LEGO products enable children to unleash their imaginations and build their confidence through the power of play. It’s such an honour to work with a brand that has such a meaningful vision to positively impact in children’s lives, who are the designers, engineers and architects of the future,” said Natasha Marot, account director at Tribeca.
KLA Market Research opens a London office
KLA Market Research has opened oa London office headed up by consumer insights specialist, Lyndsay Mac Dougall, who has rejoined the KLA team. Mac Dougall’s career spans over 25 years, during which time she has worked with a diverse range of clients and industries in the UK, South Africa and Africa.
“We are thrilled to have Lyndsay rejoin the team at KLA and have every confidence in her ability to set up our London office. This is particularly exciting for us as we look forward to expanding our offering to local clients, as well as growing our client base in that territory,” said Stephanie Matterson, MD of KLA Market Research.
Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund launched
Launched a week ago, the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund, in partnership with Community Chest, aims to support an industry in crisis as they provide hope and kindness to needy communities. All around the country, restaurant kitchens have opened to serve a different clientele; hungry South Africans in desperate need of help. The fund’s mission is to support restaurants who have re-opened their kitchens to create meals either for the needy in their communities, or to supply feeding schemes.
“This crisis is uniting us like never before, showing our resilience and our humanity,” said Aileen Lamb, managing director of New Media, which owns Eat Out. “The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the lockdown, yet we are seeing the most extraordinary compassion coming from people in the business who are using their time and resources to feed the most vulnerable. The President’s announcement last night made it clear that this journey will be a long and slow one. As the country slowly eases out of lockdown, the restaurant industry will continue to feel this crisis for many months to come. The Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund aims to provide financial support to them to become operational, so they can keep providing food for the growing number of hungry families across South Africa.”
New Media will seed the fund with R500 000.00. “We know this amount is a small start, but we’re confident that with the support of our loyal sponsors, advertisers, regular restaurant goers and the corporate community at large, we can quickly raise the level of funds to really make a difference,” Lamb said.
This is proving true with confirmed donations received late on 24 April from both Retail Capital and the Graham Beck and Steenberg Vineyards. Each has donated R100 000.00.
Donations to the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund can be made at help.eatout.co.za and all donors will receive Section 18A tax certificates. Eat Out will not derive any commercial benefit from this initiative – all money donated will go directly to the qualifying restaurants.
Openserve will launch its copper enabled broadband access network in South Africa
Openserve is set to wholesale its copper broadband access network through its new suite of Openserve Pure Connect products across multiple speeds.
According to Openserve CEO, Althon Beukes, the wholesaling of copper broadband access product compliments Openserve’s overall fixed broadband strategy. “We continuously are looking at innovative ways to provide affordable broadband access to our customers”.
Openserve believes that through this initiative, it will transform the current channel, process, pricing and product sets across its portfolio there by making it easier for its clients to utilise, stimulate and connect the end customer on its larger broadband access network.
Facebook expands Coronavirus Information Centre to 24 more countries in Africa
Facebook is expanding its Coronavirus Information Center to 24 more countries in Africa as part of its ongoing commitment to empowering people around the world with timely and accurate news from trusted health authorities.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center is featured at the top of News Feed and provides a central place for people to keep informed about the Coronavirus. It includes real-time updates from national official sources, regional and global organizations such as the Africa Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation as well as helpful resources – articles, videos and posts – and tips about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
SABC launches new channel, SABC Education
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has launched a new channel, SABC Education. In line with the Corporation’s mandate, it will broadcast public service content from the Department of Education, educational programmes currently available on SABC 1, 2, 3, and archived material produced by the SABC on a limited basis.
The country’s public service broadcaster believes that the addition of the SABC Education channel to its existing portfolio will benefit learners throughout the country who have access to the Digital Terrestrial Television (Digital TV) network and other platforms, and provide them with more flexibility with regard to accessing educational content.
However, the viability and success of the ‘SABC Education campaign’ is dependent on sponsorships to enable these vital educational material to be made available to all learners. This is only possible if funding is made available to broadcast this material on SABC 1 and 2, the platforms with the best national reach. The SABC can provide 12 hours per day over these two channels.
The SABC Education channel, which will go live on 4 May 2020, will be initially available on YouTube and Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), and other platforms to be confirmed later. The launch of the channel is consistent with the Broadcasting Act, which stipulates that the public service content provided by the Corporation must include a significant amount of educational programming.
- SABC Education www.sabceducation.co.za
- SABC Education Virtual Academy (SEVA) www.seva.co.za
- SABC Education Social Media Networks (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube)
SuperSport and SA Rugby to release behind-the-scenes documentary on RWC win
If the Springboks’ 2019 World Cup triumph was a heroic tale, the story behind the famous win is even more remarkable.
It’s an adventure that will be given life in the coming months with SuperSport and SA Rugby’s six-part documentary, Chasing the Sun, deep in production ahead of release, planned for August.
A SuperSport camera crew travelled with the Boks for the duration of 2019 getting unprecedented behind-the-scenes access throughout the lead-up and during the Rugby World Cup.
“From the clips I’ve seen, this will reveal an entirely new layer of what makes the Springboks great,” said Gideon Khobane, SuperSport chief executive. “It is a powerful story about changing fortunes and changing mindsets, about pressure and hope, about recognising the power of inspiration, and learning what representation truly means.”
Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said: “The team welcomed the SuperSport crew into the inner sanctum for a warts-and-all view of what goes on behind the scenes. The team was very clear in its main focus – which was to win rugby matches – but we ended with a story and a journey that proved to be far bigger than the game.”
SABC calls on citizens to play their part in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC] has partnered with the Solidarity Fund, in an effort to give visibility to its objectives and activities. This comes as the country is dealing with the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Key to the work of the Solidarity Fund are measures aimed at lessening the severity of the COVID-19 impact on the nation.
Central to the partnership is the launch of a nationwide campaign to encourage citizens to contribute to the Solidarity Fund’s endeavours. In line with its public mandate, the SABC has deemed it necessary to embark on a four-week campaign, to mobilise South Africans to play their part in supporting the work of the Solidarity Fund and to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The campaign, #ThatsSolidarity, will be carried on all SABC radio stations, television channels and digital platforms. The SABC is using the campaign to encourage citizens to put their hearts and minds into the cause, and lend a helping hand to this crucial project. In addition to the campaign and as part of its own contribution, the SABC will allocate airtime to the value of R1.6m to broadcast the Solidarity Fund’s Public Service Announcements on television and radio during the four-week campaign
For the Diary
Mzansi Nillionaires: How can brands connect with them?
Nillionaires make up around 70% of South Africa’s population. These are the consumers whose households survive on less than R5 000 a month. They form the bottom line for many brands. So what’s been happening in their world? How has COVID-19 changed their lives? When lockdown began most of the world went online. The Nillionaires went to stand in line.
Their shopping behaviour is changing because for now, they have to shop closer to home. Some of these stores don’t stock their brand or are out of stock, and often their wallets are compromised forcing the already difficult decision between brand love and price.
How do brands connect with this emerging market in the short term and build loyalty for the long term?
The team from Kantar will discuss how COVID-19 is changing retail for Nillionaires and will unpack insights to showcase what shopper behaviour was like before, how it’s changed now, and how much of this shift will stick post COVID-19. The webinar is set to inspire new ideas and actions for all South African brands who want to build a relationship with this key market.
Free online journalism course on the Coronavirus from 04-31 May 2020
A free online course by the Knight Centre for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNESCO, with support from the Knight Foundation and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), will be hosted from May 04-31 May2020.
The course, Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future, will be instructed by Maryn McKenna.
Please click here for more info.
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