The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: Global leader, SHAREit, sets its sights firmly on Africa, appoints Chanel Hardman as country director
SHAREit Group, the global internet technology company that has built numerous popular tools and digital entertainment content applications, have confirmed Chanel Hardman’s appointment as the new country director for Africa. The role is a jointly appointed role by SHAREit and PerformDM and involves working to manage sales operations, develop strategic solutions and work alongside the PerformDM’ team to drive growth on the continent.
SHAREit, the world’s most extensive file-sharing, gaming and content streaming application, is paying significant attention to the continent, recently ranked as the No.2 fastest-growing media publisher in Africa in the AppsFlyer’s latest Performance Index. In South Africa, the app boasts around 20m monthly active users (one in three smartphone users).
With a proven track record of meeting sales targets, influencing key stakeholders, and maintaining excellent relationships with agencies and partners, Hardman honed her skills as a former business development manager of the Year winner while at 24.com, Africa’s largest digital publisher, spending a few years growing digital revenue as the digital team lead in Johannesburg at Media24, focusing on their most extensive portfolio before moving to The Space Station, 24.com‘s sales arm. From there she moved to Tencent Africa as Head of Sales focusing on creating and selling advertising opportunities on the JOOX music streaming platform.
“I am amazed by the popularity of this brand in Africa,” said Hardman. “As the access to smart devices and internet access increases, and the desire for popular content and mobile games continues to trend upwards, we are optimally positioned to cater for the entertainment needs of the data conscious consumer.”
Change at the editorial helm for NAG
NAG publishers has announced Regardt van der Berg will be stepping in as editorial lead for New Age Gamer (NAG) Magazine. Van der Berg is an established content creator and gaming authority in his own right and brings a wealth of creativity and expertise to South Africa’s premier gaming and esports, sci-tech, entertainment and pop culture publication.
Len Nery, publisher and managing director of Hashtag Full Circle, the parent company of NAG Magazine said, “Change at the editorial helm of a media company is never an easy transition to make, especially during these trying times we are all facing. But with Regardt in the NAG Editor’s chair, calm has been restored at the office. He brings with him years of experience in creating video and copy content focused on new technology, keenly consumed by NAG readers. So, I do believe he is a perfect fit and, as a result, look to the future with ardour.”
Van der Berg added, “NAG has always been my second home, and I feel honoured to now be in the driving seat for the next chapter of South Africa’s longest-running gaming media house. These are big shoes to fill, but I’ve got the help and support of the incredible team behind the scenes that do all the real hard work. As I re-join NAG in an official capacity, I can’t help but feel like the proverbial band is coming back together.”
Eclipse Communications primed for strategic wins with new creative director
Eclipse Communications has appointed Fareez Joulay as its creative director. Joulay’s mandate will be to lead the agency’s creative business growth, across its corporate centre of excellence, arts and entertainment and consumer and lifestyle business units.
Joulay has been with the agency since 2018, primarily focused on social media strategy creation, which resulted in securing the Netflix SA account and directing the digital discipline for well over two years. Under his leadership, the fledgling digital stream grew to include the likes of BHBW, MBA, GVK-Siya Zama Construction and many others. Today, this stream accounts for over 10% of the agency’s revenue. Joulay has also been instrumental in the new business ideation process, resulting in the recent successful conversion of Garena, Edward Snell and DiDi.
He started his career in sales and marketing at MTN, later securing an internship at MediaCom where he remained for four years, as a media strategist. He subsequently joined MEC Notabene, where he led strategy for the spirits portfolio, pushing hard to secure Smirnoff® to the global number one spot in volume vodka brand category, at that time. Joulay then joined JWT SA as an integration strategist, and developed the unique skill of bridging media and communications strategies to craft the most performative and creative campaign models.
East Coast Gold welcomes Guy McDonald to Weekend Breakfast
East Coast Gold, the classic hits digital station, has added a new voice to its line-up. Guy McDonald, who is no stranger to the radio industry and a multiple Radio Awards winner, will be firing up the airwaves on weekends from 6 to 10 AM.
Born in KwaZulu-Natal but residing in Cape Town, McDonald is a well-known voice on the Cape airwaves, sure to bring listeners his adventurous nature coupled with the classic hits from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. Getting your weekday mornings started with Guy McDonald is a sure golden treat.
McDonald says, “I grew up listening to East Coast Radio & dreamt of working for them one day. Other life dreams saw me leave KZN in 2000 for the Muesli Curtain, Boerewors Curtain & bright glint of Chardonnay wine in Cape Town. This year I celebrate 21 years of continual Radio service & what better way to celebrate that than with a pot of Gold. East Coast Gold. Expect a show of Classic Hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, woven together with my Morning Glory song feature (because everyone deserves their glory), useful bites of info, music history and my wry sense of humour.”
FORT opens Cape Town office
FORT, a film, commercials and digital content production company, has announced that it will be opening new offices in Cape Town, the city where the company was founded in 2006 by co-founders Shukri Toefy and Amr Singh, and until now, a customer base it has remotely serviced since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Opening up offices in Cape Town has always been a part of our medium-term plan, particularly with our rise in global relevance and partnerships. Cape Town is a world-class filmmaking destination, and it’s incumbent on us to have a real presence in one of the film capitals of the world,” said Toefy, co-founder of FORT.
While FORT’s head office and main post-production facility will remain in Johannesburg, the company is excited to once again have a permanent presence on the ground in Cape Town, further establishing FORT as one of the leading production company on the African continent.
“The decision to open new offices in Cape Town is exciting; until recently, we worked remotely with our Cape Town clients. Having a permanent home base means we can work more closely with our clients, deliver our services more intimately, and give them the full FORT experience” said Jade Mollet, digital content producer at FORT’s Cape Town office.
A Cape Town office will not only allow FORT to deliver digital content production services directly to Cape Town-based clients, but will provide these clients with access to FORT’s roster of directors. As the world readies itself for a borderless post-pandemic business climate, FORT remains confident in its role to bolster the economic recovery through film and content creation.
Isikhova Media launches Down to Earth magazine
Independent publisher Isikhova Media has added another title to its growing magazine portfolio, Down to Earth.
“Down to Earth is an exciting online, bi-annual gardening guide launching spring 2021,” said Jason Aarons, publishing director, Isikhova Media. “It will target both the novice gardener and the not-so green-fingers and feature expert advice, essential seasonal gardening tasks, ‘how-to’ gardening basics and ideas for South African gardeners in an easy and accessible format.”
Aarons is no stranger to the gardening world having served as publisher of ‘GardenTalk’ magazine for more than 10 years and as managing editor of SA Gardening magazine for five.
Editor Deborah Hele is another well-recognised garden industry name, having occupied the dual role of editor of GardenTalk for 14 years and as marketing manager for GardenShop for 13 years.
Cape Town-based ad agency makes waves with launch of courier service business webpage
Despite a challenging year for many creative agencies as a result of the Covid19 pandemic, black-owned ad agency, Durham, is celebrating the successful completion and roll-out of a business webpage for PAXI – a fast-growing local store-to-store parcel service powered by PEP, a division of Pepkor Holdings Ltd.
Leaving no opportunity or trend unexplored, Durham provides a full scope of visual and tactical brand ideation that helps elevate brands from start to finish. Based in the creative hub of Woodstock in Cape Town, the youthful team use their creative skillset to execute compelling concepts that are tailored to meet the needs of various brands across multiple platforms.
PAXI, one of the fastest-growing courier services in South Africa, aims to connect family and friends, businesses and customers, through a trustworthy and affordable delivery service. PAXI recently celebrated its 5 million parcel milestone and third anniversary.
“The PAXI business page concept ‘Making Life Easier’ was aimed at promoting the new business page- set to launch soon, as the more convenient, time-saving alternative that makes life easier for the consumer. The narrative focused on the ‘obstacles’ that SMEs face and highlighted how the courier service is the primary solution,” Durham Managing Director—Adeeb Franciscus explained.
This is a massive win for the boutique agency, which is disrupting the industry through its offering of fully-fledged innovative marketing and digital transformation services.
Wunderman Thompson SA Wins BCX lead agency account
Wunderman Thompson South Africa has been awarded the full-service lead agency account for BCX, Telkom’s B2B business. This includes advertising, digital, CRM, PR culture change management, and sales enablement. The award was made after an extensive competitive pitch process, including some of the best agencies in South Africa.
Agency CEO Miles Murphy commented: “We are over the moon on this win and honoured to be working with such a forward-thinking technology business. BCX has asked us to help them embark on their journey of customer-focused strategy and digital transformation. This challenge of digital transformation in a quickly changes business landscape is one that we are helping many of our other clients navigate and win at.”
bird, Africa No Filter’s story agency, goes live
Africa No Filter (ANF), the not-for-profit organisation focused on narrative change, has launched bird, Africa’s first, optimized-for-mobile, story agency designed to shift narratives about and within the continent.
Africa No Filter executive director, Moky Makura, said the story agency was set up to create compelling multimedia content for African media outlets that’s more reflective of a vibrant, energetic and highly creative continent.
“We identified a clear need for more human interest and feature style stories to counter the barrage of hard news – often negative – stories that are shaping how the world sees Africa and how Africa sees itself. bird’s mission is to create a home for these stories and make them accessible to media outlets. This way we have the potential to reach millions more with content that connects the continent and has the power to change perceptions. It’s an incredibly exciting initiative and a potential game changer for our mission,” said Makura.
bird’s operating model is similar to that of most global news agencies with the difference that it doesn’t charge its media clients for use of its stories. Africa No Filter funds the creation of the content through a network of contributors, which the team at bird edits and fact-checks, before delivering to its digital platform for its clients.
Ster-Kinekor appeals to government to open up cinemas
In March 2020 cinemas across the world closed their doors in line with COVID-19 lockdown regulations. Ster-Kinekor theatres ushered out their last guests on the 27 March, and this was the status quo until the 28August 2020. Once again with the move to level 4 lockdown on the 28 June it has been forced to close its doors.
Over 1.3 million customers in South Africa have visited the cinema since reopening at the end of August, and this new closure will have a devasting blow especially at a time when cinemas are starting to experience an encouraging increase in attendances.
Ster-Kinekor is currently in business rescue and the impact of the currently lockdown will have a devastating impact on the business. As an industry we employ thousands of people and create employment for thousands of others in related industries.
Ster-Kinekor is compliant with all COVID-19 protocols, and the cinema remains one of the safest forms of entertainment due to access control, the ability to distance patrons accordingly, strict management of cleaning, and no-touch points for purchase (tickets and confectionery can be purchased online). The Health and Safety of our staff and customers is our highest priority and we have been operating been under strict Covid-19 protocols and even exceeding governmental requirements. Cinemas remain a safe indoor venue with no infections traced back to cinema globally.
CNN to be an Official Broadcaster for Expo 2020 Dubai
As the eyes of the world turn towards the UAE from October-March for Expo 2020 Dubai, CNN will be an official broadcaster for the event, bringing unrivalled coverage to global audiences and staging a prominent presence at Expo itself.
As an official broadcaster, CNN is planning live broadcasting from Expo 2020 Dubai, including flagship shows Connect the World with Becky Anderson, Quest Means Business and CNN Talk. The network is also developing feature programming – covering areas such as innovation¸ green issues and other pillars from the Expo agenda – across all global platforms including CNN Arabic. This content follows CNN’s preview Road to Expo series and distinctive digital initiatives and will be distributed globally via TV, digital and social platforms to reach hundreds of millions of people around the world both via CNN and its extensive network of affiliate broadcasters and publishers.
In addition, CNN is planning live and interactive activations across its various networks as well as on the ground at the Expo to engage and inspire those attending Expo 2020 Dubai.
TikTok concludes first rising voices project by announcing cash grant of close to R1 million
TikTok has announced the inaugural cohort of Rising Voices grant recipients, with 20 creators receiving a cash grant of about R860 000 in total. Some of the grant recipients include thozimusic, khanyisa_jaceni, doctor.siya and sphokuhle.n.
The grant follows the first-ever six-week Rising Voices incubator programme in June where, along with 80 other creators, the grant recipients were given mentorship, masterclasses and special training on content creation for TikTok. In addition to the cash grant, recipients will continue to receive content advice and support while they conceptualise and curate 10 pieces of content for their platforms. TikTok will provide further support by amplifying their content to users on the platform, which in turn will help those creators grow their accounts.
Boniswa Sidwaba, TikTok content operations manager, Africa, said that growing a diverse and all-inclusive community on TikTok remains a top priority for the platform. “Through Rising Voices, our goal has always been to uplift and empower creators of colour on the platform, providing the necessary support to help them express themselves. With the right tools at their fingertips, we were truly spellbound by the incredible talent that came to light over the last six weeks.”
Makhosazana Khanyile, CEO of the National Film & Video Foundation, said the NFVF was proud to have been chosen to partner with TikTok on this groundbreaking initiative. “The opportunity to mold young content creators into future entrepreneurs that will learn to take advantage of all forms of media and monetise their ideas is one we were happy to support. Congratulations to all the young people that were chosen to take part and we look forward to future collaborations,” she aid.
Black Stripe Foundation and YouTube Music award four community organisations with grants and mentorship support
The Black Stripe Foundation, in partnership with YouTube Music, has announced the names of four community organisations set to receive grant funding through the Triple M (Mzansi: Music to Heal – Music to Unite) initiative.
The organisations, which will receive R100 000 in grants and skills development support, were chosen for their outstanding proposals detailing plans to support and grow the development of musical and creative content in South Africa.
“The quality of proposals we received in the application process was outstanding and refreshing,” said Ben Cashdan, executive director, Black Stripe Foundation. “That said, the selection process was rigorous and we are confident that we are supporting projects that will have a positive impact in local communities and for emerging talent.”
KFC Fans trend on Twitter as they celebrate their love for fried chicken on World Fried Chicken Day!
Yesterday was World Fried Chicken Day, and to celebrate it, KFC asked their fans to ‘tell us how much you love fried chicken without telling us’!
Tapping into the local “tell me without telling me” trend on social media where people are asked to share something about themselves without actually saying it, this campaign saw some great engagement from their fans, resulting in some hilarious posts and truly demonstrated South Africans’ love for freshly prepared fried chicken.
“It is no secret that South Africans love fried chicken – in fact, let me let you in on a little secret – drumsticks and thighs are firm favourites – but it seems that on fried chicken day our fans celebrated all types of fried chicken! Our campaign reached over 42 000 organic impressions on Twitter alone and almost 10 000 views on Tik Tok! That’s a whole lot of KFC fried chicken loving, although I am not surprised given that we have been spreading finger ******* goodness in South Africa for the past 50 years,” says Suhayl Limbada, Marketing Director at KFC South Africa.
“Social media has certainly become a great tool to engage consumers and of course, Tik Tok, as a newer platform is a key channel to really drive brand love and for consumers to have a little fun,” adds Limbada.
BBC World Service’s podcast The Comb is back
BBC World Service’s original podcast The Comb returns with more episodes on 9July 2021. Once again, Kim Chakanetsa and her team will be combing the continent for the stories that matter. The podcast’s mission is to unearth surprising, fascinating and relevant stories, with the aim of reaching and engaging younger audiences across Africa.
Following a break, the first new episode of The Comb will look at the devastating impact of having your intimate images published online without your consent through the eyes of two women in Uganda and Kenya.
Listeners are invited to suggest stories for discussion and investigation.
Bringing the best of BBC journalism, the podcast is available free from the BBC at www.bbcworldservice.com/thecomb and on most podcast and audio-streaming apps.
Inspiring Festival of Inspiration continues through July
There’s a new event series online, the Festival of Inspiration, and it is a game-changer for how content’s produced, consumed and enjoyed.
This revolutionary, ‘never-been-done-before’ format sees over 48 artists across music, fashion, art and travel, collaborate to produce something unique and inspiring, is streamed on Wednesday nights.
This high-impact, high-volume Festival of Inspiration reinvents the nature of events by giving artists a platform to showcase their creativity while creating an engaging connection with their audiences in a meaningful and innovative way.
Discover a unique experience weekly with established industry icons and up-and-coming talent, such as Kwesta, Shekhinah, Ami Faku, Courtnaé Paul, Da Capo, Muzi, Kid Fonque, Slaying Goliath, That Dam Vandal, Boogy Maboi, Katchie Nzama, Manu Worldstar, Neo Mahlangu, MFR Souls, DreamTeam, Speedsta, TDK Macassette, Beast, Locnville, Lerato Kgamanyane, Mxolisi Mkhize and so many more. Each episode will be hosted by Slikour, Nina Hastie, Smash Africa and Scoop Makhathini.
Streamed Wednesdays at 7pm until 9pm on //www.vuseinspiredlive.com/, for a limited time only. Only for people over the age of 18.
SANEF and SADAG present Mental Health Matters Workshop
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) in partnership with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) are striving to prioritise journalism wellness in all newsrooms across the country this year.
We are excited to announce that the Webinars are kicking off and one will be held on July 10th with all SANEF members and all affected journalists. The virtual training is to be held on Saturday, 10 July, from 9am to 12pm.
Please see the attached invitation for more details. We invite and encourage all journalists to attend. Please click here to register: //bit.ly/3y76oKe
It will cover key topics including grief, trauma, burnout, compassion fatigue, managing anxiety, coping with workplace stress, depression, etc.
July is Mental Health Awareness Month and there is no better time than now to roll out this project to all newsrooms. SANEF AND SADAG encourages all editors and journalists across the country to make use of these services and to participate in the webinars.
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