Now expanding into the UK market! Make contact to find out what we can do to get you heard!

Open post

The Importance of Networking in Business

In today’s interconnected world, the importance of networking in business is more important than ever for business success. Networking essentially refers to developing and leveraging relationships with other professionals to help achieve mutual goals. While some view networking cynically as schmoozing and exchanging business cards, it actually serves a vital purpose – networking is the fabric that holds the business world together.

Without networking, it would be extremely difficult for businesses to find new clients, hire qualified employees, generate referrals, and form strategic partnerships. Networking enables professionals to connect with others, build trust and rapport, share ideas and insights, and uncover new opportunities. In other words, networking fuels business growth.

There are several key reasons why networking serves as an essential glue in business:

Finding New Customers and Clients

Networking allows business owners and sales professionals to meet prospects and decision-makers that can eventually become customers. Attending industry events, joining associations, and leveraging personal connections are all networking strategies that can generate new business.

Recruiting Top Talent

Networking enables HR professionals and hiring managers to source qualified candidates. People often find jobs and new career opportunities through their networks. Engaging in networking while employed also keeps professionals abreast of new roles and openings.

Building Strategic Partnerships

Networking facilitates partnerships between businesses by connecting complementary companies. Potential channel partners, retailers, affiliates, and other collaborators can all be found through networking initiatives.

Gaining Insights and Advice

Connecting with knowledgeable professionals through networking provides valuable insights and advice. Mentorship relationships, mastermind groups, and advisory boards are networking-based arrangements that enable the exchange of strategic guidance.

Increasing Visibility and Influence

Building a strong network elevates visibility and sphere of influence, boosting credibility. Thought leadership and personal branding efforts rely heavily on networking to engage audiences and get recognized. See how an external PR agency can assist with increasing visibility and influence.

The importance of networking in business cannot be overstated. While networking was historically limited to in-person channels like conferences and social gatherings, connectivity has exploded thanks to digital platforms. Social media, online communities, and professional networks like LinkedIn have made networking easier and more efficient.

In summary, networking serves as the lifeblood of business. Forging meaningful connections, fostering relationships, and tapping into networks provide access to the people, resources, and opportunities necessary for organisations to survive and thrive. That is why networking will always be the essential fabric holding the business world together.

Open post

MAPS®, the latest data, to be released on 31 July 2023

The Marketing Research Foundation’s (MRF) has announced that the latest iteration of MAPS (Marketing All Product Survey) data will be released on Monday, 31 July 2023. The media and advertising industry is invited to participate in a general release webinar on Thursday 3 August 2023.

The July release will once again deliver insights into a national survey of 20 000 interviews which includes insights into respondents’ brand interaction across more than 3 376 brands.

The MRF’s CEO, Johann Koster, emphasises the significance of this release as it presents a valuable chance to conduct a thorough analysis of two full calendar years. “This enables MAPS users to gain a plethora of valuable insights as we monitor evolving consumer behaviour, transitioning from the impact of Covid restrictions to the current economic downturn.

MAPS is the largest and most comprehensive consumer survey of its kind in South Africa and offers a holistic and detailed view of consumer behaviour across media, banking, insurance, clothing, groceries, alcohol and many more,” confirms Koster, “What makes MAPS so relevant is that all data collected is from the same space and time, representing specific consumer and household views.”

Space and time are very important considerations when consolidating consumer data. Consumer behaviour is largely a consequence of external factors and the environment within which consumption decisions are made. Consider how quickly consumer behaviour changed during and after the Covid pandemic. The subsequent economic downturn has ushered in a period of volatility and uncertainty for consumers, resulting in further shifts in behaviour. Consumers are adapting, re-prioritising, and making changes in their day to day lives and MAPS provides the unparalleled ability to track these changes over time.

“Marketers and agencies have found MAPS to be a powerful and strategic tool in its depth of sample, data diversity, frequency, scrutiny and all the processes that govern its implementation”, concludes Koster. “In this regard MAPS is unequalled in its capacity to be a sole provider or used in combination with other data.

The MRF together with our partner Plus94 Research look forward to sharing this information with the industry on Thursday, 3 August 2023.”

MAPS July Release Industry Webinar

When: Thursday, 3 August 2023

Time: 10:00

Where: Webinar (

For additional information on MAPS –

Social Media: Facebook –

LinkedIn –

Open post

The International Marimba & Steelpan Festival is back

The International Marimba & Steelpan Festival is back, celebrating African rhythms and global unity

Education Africa is delighted to announce the highly anticipated annual International Marimba & Steelpan Festival will take place over the weekend of 29 and 30 July 2023 at St Dominic’s School for Girls in Boksburg. This vibrant event celebrating African rhythms and global unity, brings together like-minded performers, educators, and enthusiasts from around Africa and South Africa.

International Marimba & Steelpan Festival showcases the rich cultural heritage of Africa

The Education Africa International Marimba & Steelpan Festival offers a unique platform to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Africa and South Africa and foster global unity through marimba and steelpan music. It has become a hallmark event in the South African marimba community, attracting participants from diverse backgrounds and age groups. The festival provides a dynamic platform for young musicians to share their skills, learn from experienced mentors, and explore the captivating rhythms of marimba and steelpan music.

280 performances by young people at The International Marimba & Steelpan Festival

Attendees will have the opportunity to witness over 280 performances by young people from all over South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The festival will feature a range of activities including back-to-back competitions, performances by professional musicians as well as over 90 workshops in various disciplines including gumboot dancing, marimba and steelpan playing, djembe drumming and even some fun workshops for our very little people aged 3 to 8.

The universal language of music

“Through the universal language of music, the festival aims to promote cultural exchange, appreciation and understanding,” says Joan Lithgow, Director of the Festival. “Participants will engage in collaborative sessions, fostering connections that transcend borders and nurturing a sense of unity among diverse cultures and communities. Social cohesion is at the cornerstone of what we do at Education Africa and this Festival is social cohesion in action.”

Education Africa, the organisation behind this festival, has a long-standing commitment to advancing education and empowering youth through the arts. The Marimba & Steelpan Festival is one of the organisation’s flagship initiatives, aimed at fostering creativity, social cohesion, nation-building, self-expression, and cross-cultural understanding among young musicians.

Creating sustainable educational opportunities for disadvantaged communities

As part of its broader mission, Education Africa seeks to create sustainable educational opportunities for disadvantaged communities. The festival serves as a fundraising platform to support the marimba project which supports over 2000 children on a weekly basis learning to play marimbas in 37 Education Africa Marimba Hubs.

Joan expresses her excitement in uniting musicians and music enthusiasts from across Africa for the Education Africa International Marimba & Steelpan Festival. She anticipates that this event will once again serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment for young musicians. Moreover, she eagerly awaits the presence of spectators and music lovers who can provide encouragement and upliftment to the performers.

International Marimba & Steelpan Festival

Where: St Dominic’s School for Girls in Boksburg

When: Weekend of 29 and 30 July 2023

The Education Africa International Marimba & Steelpan Festival promises to be an extraordinary celebration of music, talent, and cultural diversity. Join us for an unforgettable experience that combines the infectious rhythms of Africa and South Africa with the harmonious melodies of the Caribbean.

For more information about the festival, registration details, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit

Open post

Public perception is everything

In the fast-paced world of media and advertising, public perception is everything. How your brand is perceived can make or break its success. That’s where the art of Public Relations (PR) comes into play. PR has the remarkable ability to shape public opinion and change the way people perceive a brand or industry. In this blog, we will explore how PR can be a game-changer in the media and advertising industries, with real-life examples showcasing its transformative power.

Building Trust and Credibility

In an era of scepticism and information overload, building trust and credibility is essential. PR plays a pivotal role in establishing and maintaining a positive public perception and reputation for media and advertising companies. By effectively communicating key messages, sharing success stories, and highlighting industry expertise, PR professionals can instil confidence in consumers and stakeholders.

In 2018, Nike launched a controversial advertising campaign featuring former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. While the campaign faced backlash initially, Nike’s PR team strategically handled the situation, highlighting their commitment to social justice issues and empowering athletes. The campaign not only changed public perceptions but also led to an increase in sales and brand loyalty.

Crisis Management

The media and advertising industries are no strangers to crises. Whether it’s a product recall, a PR scandal, or a negative news story, how an organisation manages a crisis can make all the difference. PR professionals are skilled in crisis communication and can swiftly and effectively address issues to minimise damage and preserve reputation.

Influencing Public Perception and Opinion

PR has the ability to shape public opinion by strategically influencing media coverage and controlling the narrative. By leveraging media relationships, crafting compelling stories, and utilising social media platforms, PR professionals can shape public perception to align with their client’s goals.

Dove, a leading personal care brand, launched the “Real Beauty” campaign to challenge societal beauty standards. Through thought-provoking advertisements and collaborations with influential voices, Dove succeeded in shifting public perceptions and promoting a more inclusive definition of beauty.

Thought Leadership and Expertise

Establishing thought leadership and positioning key individuals as industry experts can significantly impact public perceptions. PR professionals can secure media opportunities, speaking engagements, and byline articles to showcase expertise, driving credibility and respect within the industry and among the target audience.

Rebranding and Repositioning

When a brand needs to change its public perception, image or reposition itself in the market, PR can be a powerful tool. PR professionals can develop strategic campaigns that highlight new brand values, showcase innovation, and communicate the brand’s evolution to alter public perceptions positively.

Eleven examples of how brands changed their negative public image.

In the media and advertising industries, where public perception is paramount, PR can be a transformative force. By building trust, managing crises, influencing public opinion, establishing thought leadership, and facilitating rebranding efforts, PR professionals have the power to shape how the public perceives brands and the industry as a whole. Through strategic PR campaigns and effective storytelling, media and advertising companies can change public perceptions, enhance their reputation, and drive long-term success. A prime example is establishing the Marketing Research Foundation (MRF) Marketing All Product Survey (MAPS) single-source data as the single source of truth in the South African media and advertising industry.

Remember, the art of PR is a continuous process that requires adaptability, creativity, and strategic thinking. Embrace the power of PR, and watch as public perceptions evolve, unlocking new opportunities for growth and success in the dynamic world of media and advertising.

Open post

10 Benefits of Collaborating with a Niched PR Agency for Media Agencies and Owners

In the dynamic world of media, building a strong client base and fostering positive perceptions in their respective target markets are crucial for the success of media agencies, media owners, and creative agencies. Partnering with a specialised and in particular a niched PR agency can be a game-changer in achieving these goals. This blog explores ten key benefits of working with a niched PR agency to drive client acquisition and cultivate an outstanding reputation.

1) Targeted Industry Expertise

Brings in-depth knowledge and understanding of specific industries, such as marketing, advertising, and media. This expertise allows them to develop targeted communication strategies that resonate with the intended audience, resulting in increased client acquisition for media agencies, media owners, and creative agencies.

2) Amplifying Brand Image

By working with a dedicated agency, media entities can craft a strong and positive brand image. The agency’s strategic media placements, thought leadership opportunities, and compelling storytelling help position the clients as industry leaders, building trust, credibility, and loyalty among potential clients.

3) A niched PR agency has an Extensive Media Network

All agencies should have well-established relationships with journalists, editors and industry insiders. By leveraging these agency connections, media agencies, media owners, and creative agencies can gain maximum exposure through media coverage, further enhancing their visibility, reputation in the target market and getting their stories heard.

4) Tailored Communication Strategies by niched PR agency

This type of PR agency understands the unique challenges and opportunities within specific industries. This enables them to create customised communication strategies that effectively convey the clients’ message and value proposition to the target market, fostering a strong connection and attracting new clients.

5) Crisis Management and Reputation Enhancement

In times of crisis, a niched PR agency plays a vital role in managing media perception and protecting the reputation of media agencies, media owners, and creative agencies. Their expertise in crisis communication ensures that any negative publicity is swiftly addressed and mitigated, preserving the clients’ brand image.

6) Thought Leadership Positioning

Position media entities as thought leaders within their industry. By securing opportunities for speaking engagements, expert panel participation, and industry-specific publications, the agency showcases the expertise of their clients, leading to increased market recognition and client acquisition.

7) Strategic Content Creation

Content creation is a cornerstone of effective communication. The development of high-quality, industry-relevant content such as media industry news, press releases, blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies is essential to resonate with the target market. This content not only attracts potential clients but also establishes the agency as a valuable resource.

8) Social Media Management

In today’s digital age, social media presence is crucial for media agencies, media owners, and creative agencies. A niched PR agency can manage social media platforms, curate engaging content, and interact with the target audience, strengthening the agency’s online reputation and expanding their client base.

9) A niched PR agency offers Seamless Integration with Marketing Efforts

Collaboration ensures seamless integration between PR and marketing initiatives. By aligning messaging, branding, and communication strategies, media agencies, media owners, and creative agencies can create cohesive and powerful campaigns that leave a lasting impact on their target markets.

10) Measurable Results and ROI

A niched PR agency understands the importance of measuring results and demonstrating return on investment (ROI). By employing robust analytics and reporting tools, they provide media entities with quantifiable data that showcases the success of PR campaigns, solidifying their reputation and attracting new clients.

Partnering with a niched PR agency offers numerous benefits for media agencies, media owners, and creative agencies. From targeted expertise and brand amplification to extensive media networks and seamless integration, the advantages are undeniable. By leveraging the unique strengths of a niched PR agency, media entities can expand their client base and create exceptional market perceptions, setting the stage for long-term success.

Is it not time to make contact with us?

Open post

Radio in SA is still in good shape the latest RAMS reveals

Recently the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC) released and presented the latest RAMS AmplifyTM for the first quarter of 2023 where it emerged that Radio in SA, as a medium, is still dominant and resilient.

“Radio holds a position of dominance within the media environment that is buoyant in an array of media formats,” says the BRC’s CEO, Gary Whitaker. “However, the emergence of this array of media formats is changing the dynamics of the media environment.”

In terms of overall collective media consumption, the act of “viewing” takes the lead with 86%, encompassing various forms such as free-to-air and satellite/subscription channels, video streaming, and TV streaming services. Following closely behind is the “listening” collective, which includes radio, music streaming, and podcasts, accounting for 83% of media consumption. The “internet” collective, consisting of social messaging and social media, takes the third spot with 81% with “reading” occupying the fourth position with 51%, including online newspaper or news sites, print newspapers, and magazines.

Historically, the 35 to 49 year old demographic, comprising of 11.7 million people, are ardent radio listeners but are now increasing their video streaming. Younger listeners, in the 24 to 34 year age group, are increasing engagement with music streaming and podcasts within the listening cluster. Radio listening amongst male audiences is strong at an almost 80% P7D (Past 7 Days) reach with a slight decline in female listeners.

In the middle- and upper-income brackets/ economically active population, radio is stronger, while there is a slightly lower reach for lower income individuals. What is interesting to note is that those segmentations that have a broader media repertoire tend to have a higher radio reach. This highlights and demonstrates radio’s popularity amongst a wide variety of media types.

Music still rates highly in the shows that people like to listen to. Local news, weather, advice and traffic at 65.9%, 64.8%, 59.4% and 55.9 respectively indicates that localised content is still driving radio listenership.

Some interesting radio in SA RAMS Amplify facts:

  • More than 26.4 million South Africans, listen to the radio several times a week.
  • Almost a third of waking hours is spent listening to the radio.
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays have the highest listening reach.
  • Listening only peaks once a day, on weekday mornings from 6:00 to 9:00, drive time.
  • At home remains the primary radio setting while listening in the car continues to grow.

Top Commercial Radio in SA Stations for Q1 2023 (P7D):

  • Ukhozi FM – 7 597 000 listeners
  • Metro FM – 4 535 000 listeners
  • Umhlobo Wenene FM – 4 090 000 listeners
  • Lesedi FM – 3 597 000 listeners
  • Motsweding FM – 3 077 listeners

Top Community Radio Stations for Q1 2023 (P7D):

  • Gauteng: Jozi FM – 395 000 listeners
  • Eastern Cape: Alfred Nzo Community – 130 000 listeners
  • Free State: Motheo FM – 116 000 listeners
  • Kwazulu-Natal: Izwi LoMzansi 98.0 FM – 316 000 listeners
  • Limpopo: Vhembe 102.4/89.1 – 135 000 listeners
  • Mpumalanga: Nkomazi FM – 91 000 listeners
  • Northern Cape: Kurara FM – 93 000 listeners
  • Northwest: Mahikeng Community – 131 000 listeners
  • Western Cape: Voice of the Cape – 211 000 listeners

“Radio, and the RAMS data confirms, holds its strength as an information source, but the listening cluster as a whole is changing because of technology,” concludes Whitaker. “Across the entire income and demographic spectrum, digital listening is on the rise but listening via terrestrial sources remains prevalent. Radio remains dominant and resilient.”

For more information on the BRC visit

Please follow the BRC on:

The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa DNA

The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC), established in 2015, chief role is to commission and oversee the delivery of radio and television audience measurement research for broadcasters and the advertising and marketing industry.

Open post

4 reasons why outsourcing to a small and niched PR agency can be beneficial to your business

In today’s competitive business landscape, effective public relations (PR) is crucial for establishing a strong brand presence and building meaningful relationships with target audiences. While many businesses opt for an individual full-time employee or even large in-house PR teams, outsourcing to a small and niched PR agency can offer several advantages, including cost-effectiveness and increased efficiency. In this blog, we explore why outsourcing PR may be a smart choice for your organization.

Specialised Expertise

Small and niched PR agencies often have a specific industry focus or expertise, allowing them to bring a unique perspective to your PR efforts. By leveraging their specialised knowledge and understanding of your industry, they can craft tailored strategies and implement targeted campaigns more efficiently. Unlike a full-time employee who may need time to familiarise themselves with your industry, an outsourced PR agency can hit the ground running, maximizing the impact of your PR initiatives.

Cost Savings by outsourcing to a small and niched PR agency

Hiring and maintaining an in-house PR team involves significant expenses. Beyond salary and benefits, there are additional costs like training, software, office space, and equipment (even working the hybrid way). On the other hand, outsourcing to a PR agency allows you to tap into their expertise without bearing the burden of these overhead costs. You only pay for the services you need when you need them, making it a cost-effective option, especially for small businesses or startups operating on limited budgets.

Scalability and Flexibility by outsourcing to a small and niched PR agency

One of the key advantages of outsourcing PR is the ability to scale your efforts up or down as needed. A small PR agency can easily adapt to your changing requirements and provide the necessary resources without any delays or hassles. They can accommodate your budget constraints, project timelines, and specific goals, allowing for greater flexibility in your PR strategy. Whether you require ongoing PR support or need assistance with a short-term campaign, an outsourced agency can provide just the right level of expertise and support.

Wider Network and Connections

Established PR agencies often have an extensive network of media contacts and industry influencers that they have built relationships with over time. Leveraging these connections can be invaluable in securing media coverage, guest blogging opportunities, and partnership collaborations. While an in-house employee may have their own network, it is often limited compared to the vast reach of an outsourced agency. By tapping into their existing network, you can enhance your brand’s visibility and credibility, resulting in greater ROI for your PR efforts.

When it comes to PR, small and niched agencies can provide a cost-effective and efficient alternative to employing a full-time employee. Their specialised expertise, cost savings, scalability, and extensive network make them a valuable asset in building your brand reputation and driving business growth. Consider outsourcing your PR needs to a reputable agency to maximize your resources and achieve strategic PR objectives.

Make contact to see if we can assist in getting your business’ voice heard.

Open post

AI can help small PR agencies grow

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing the way businesses operate, and the public relations (PR) industry is no exception. AI can help small PR agencies in a number of ways, including:

Automating repetitive tasks.

AI can automate many of the repetitive tasks that PR professionals typically perform, such as media monitoring, social media management, and content creation. This frees up PR professionals to focus on more strategic and creative work.

Analysing data.

Help PR agencies analyze large amounts of data to identify trends and opportunities. This information can be used to develop more effective PR campaigns and measure their results.

Personalise outreach.

AI can help PR agencies personalize their outreach to target audiences. This can be done by using AI to segment audiences, create tailored content, and measure the effectiveness of outreach efforts.

Predicting outcomes.

Help PR agencies predict the likelihood of success for different PR strategies. This information can be used to make more informed decisions about how to allocate resources and manage campaigns.

In addition to these benefits, AI can also help small PR agencies to:

Reduce costs.

By automating tasks and analysing data, PR agencies can reduce their costs. This can free up resources that can be used to invest in other areas, such as hiring new staff or developing new services.

Increase efficiency.

AI can help small PR agencies to become more efficient by automating tasks and streamlining processes. This can free up time for PR professionals to focus on other tasks, such as developing new strategies and building relationships with key stakeholders.

Improve results.

AI can help small PR agencies to improve their results by providing them with better insights and more personalized outreach. This can lead to increased media coverage, improved brand awareness, and stronger relationships with customers.

Overall, AI has the potential to be a powerful tool for small PR agencies. By automating tasks, analysing data, and personalizing outreach, AI can help small PR agencies to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve results.

Here are some specific examples of how AI is being used by small PR agencies:

Automated media monitoring.

AI can be used to automate media monitoring, which can help PR professionals to track mentions of their clients in the news and social media. This information can be used to identify opportunities for coverage and measure the effectiveness of PR campaigns.

Social media management.

AI can be used to manage social media accounts, which can help PR professionals to engage with followers, share content, and track analytics. This can help PR professionals to build relationships with customers and promote their clients’ brands.

Content creation.

AI can be used to create content, such as blog posts, press releases, and social media posts. This can help PR professionals to produce high-quality content that is tailored to their target audiences.

Crisis communications.

AI can be used to help PR agencies respond to crises, such as product recalls or negative news stories. AI can be used to monitor social media, identify potential issues, and develop crisis communications plans.

These are just a few examples of how AI is being used by small PR agencies. As AI continues to develop, it is likely that we will see even more ways that AI can be used to help PR agencies grow and succeed. Going to interesting the future of AI in broadcasting too!

Open post

Media, brand and consumer research in SA takes another leap forward

After February’s milestone release of MAPS (Marketing All Product Survey) data, the Marketing Research Foundation’s (MRF) has announced that the latest MAPS data will be released at the end of July 2023. This data will encompass consumer information gathered from January 2021 to December 2022, enabling a unique opportunity for a comprehensive comparison between two complete calendar years, yet another milestone in the history of MAPS.

“These remarkable milestones mark a significant leap forward for the MRF and solidify its position as the singular source of truth in the South African media and consumer data landscape,” says MRF’s CEO, Johann Koster, “This latest data release incorporates consumer insights gathered from more than 40 000 interviews, spanning the 2021 and 2022 calendar years. It allows MAPS users a wealth of insights as we track the changing consumer behaviour, emerging from the Covid restrictions and now finding ourselves in the firm grip of an economic downturn.”

We’re also extremely proud to say that this month, together with partners Plus94 Research, we’ve been continuously collecting data and been in the field for three years. This means that just over 60 000 households have been visited and not a single one twice. This delivers incredible depth and breadth in the data whether looking at year-on-year, seasonal or quarterly shifts in consumer behaviour.”

The February MAPS data, for example, has allowed users to compare two years of continuous data from July 2020 to June 2022 and is providing extraordinary insights into the COVID-19 period and the period leading up to the current economic situation in South Africa.

The effects on consumers and changes in product consumption and spending patterns are clear to see especially when viewed through the lens of quarterly data tracking. It is fascinating to watch shifts in consumer behaviour and consumption within a quarterly timeframe. These graphs, showing the effect of the current economic environment on clothing purchases, is just one example of the many insights that can be mined in MAPS.

“It is important to remember that MAPS is independent, untainted by commercial interests and has rapidly become the de facto strategic inter-media planning tool for countless marketers and advertisers,” concludes Koster.

The unrivalled depth and reliability of this data make it an indispensable resource for industry professionals who are seeking unparalleled insights and a competitive edge.”

For additional information on MAPS –

Social Media: Facebook –

LinkedIn –

Issued on behalf of:                           Marketing Research Foundation (MRF)

Johann Koster – CEO

Scroll to top