Author Archives: caz

The future of food in SA

Did you know that SA’s food security is in serious jeopardy?

We were privileged to work together with the SA Food Lab, WWF South Africa, Reos, Stellenbosch University and the Ford Foundation in their recent Future Food Scenarios Process.

These organisations worked together with people from across the food supply chain in SA to map out potential scenarios of the the future of food in our nation. The scenarios were fascinating.

Our role was to help communicate them. Together with the ever-talented Brand Foundry, we worked on a explanatory video - The Future of Food in SA (2015-2030), compiled content for the campaign website (http://www.thefutureoffood.co.za), wrote the media release and an opinion piece and put together a social media communications package for the various organisations involved.

Check out the video – it really gets you thinking!

Food Energy Water

We absolutely loved the work we did with WWF’s Food Energy Water nexus team. What is the nexus?
Check out the video we scripted and project managed to find out :)

The Food Energy Water Nexus

Importing interns :)

We are delighted to welcome our new intern, Arune Jaraite, who came to South Africa all the way from Lithuania.

A few months ago Arune contacted us, inspired by the work that we do, and requested the opportunity to spend some time learning from us. Naturally, we said yes!

In Lithuania, Arune studied Economics and Politics, but is now ready to get down to work. This is her first taste of the real-life PR & Communications world, but she believes that 6 months at Coz it Counts, working with inspiring NGOs across Africa, will grow her fascination and passion for the industry and launch her into her professional journey.

In her spare time, Arune loves traveling and agrees with H. C. Andersen who once wrote “to move, to breath, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live”.

arune

Joie De Vie is hiring!

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Seeking qualified beauty therapist for luxury salon in Somerset West

Top class hair and beauty salon, Joie De Vie, is looking for an experienced, friendly and reliable beauty therapist to join their team on a full-time basis. The ideal candidate is professional and well presented with excellent people skills, and will be responsible for performing beauty treatments (including facials, massages, manicures and pedicures) and general admin related to the position.

Requirements:

-       International qualifications ITEC/ CIDESCO/ SAAHSP

-       Excellent command of both English and Afrikaans with solid verbal communication

-       Able to work over weekends to accommodate the needs of the business.

 

Please send a cover letter, your CV and two contactable references to chereen@cozitcounts.co.za before 31 January 2014.

Welcoming Chereen

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Happy new year everybody and with it, we are delighted to introduce our newest Coz It Counts team member, Chereen Strydom.

Chereen has years of experience in the SA magazine industry and is also a bit of a social media schleb in her own right (check out her blog, For the beauty of it).

3 things you should know about Chereen:

1. She is the mommy of the very gorgeous Noah.
2. She loves writing, researching and interacting on social media.
3. She cares about social justice and the beauty world. We’re hoping that through her addition to our team, we can do more with both.

Chereen has written for magazines including Woman & Home, O, the Oprah Magazine and Living & Loving and also represents a number of beauty brands.

“I love the practicalities of the PR world – writing, social media, media liaison and so on, but more specifically, in the context of Coz It Counts, I love the connection we have with so many effective NGOs. I love that we get to work alongside the people making a difference on the ground in South Africa and tell their stories.”

Here’s to a great 2014!

Thank you

We wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has applied for the position of Junior Account Manager.

Please note that if you haven’t heard from us by the end of the week, your application was not successful.

We wish you the best of luck.

 

The Coz it Counts team

 

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We’re Hiring!

Junior Account Manager (Helderberg)

Are you hard-working, dedicated and creative? Does social justice rock your world? Are you all about making South Africa a better place and encouraging others to do the same? We’re looking for a junior account manager to assist in telling the stories of South Africa’s change-makers.

Job Description:

The position of junior account manager will require the successful applicant to be able to liaise with and grow relationships with existing and potential clients as well as be able to build and maintain relationships with relevant media on behalf of clients.

The candidate will be expected to responsibly and independently organize and administrate on behalf of Coz It Counts, with a focus on outcomes.

The position requires a high level of experience with social media, as the successful applicant will be required to develop and implement tactical plans on various platforms including Facebook, Twitter and WordPress sites for our clients.

The candidate will research and construct a numerous press releases and articles per month. This will require an independent and responsible worker with a keen eye for editing and article construction.

Due to the nature of the work, the successful candidate must be an independent and self-driven individual who can focus and achieve tasks without constant supervision.

Requirements:

A relevant degree in journalism, PR or communications ideally with a minimum of 1 year experience working in journalism or PR

  • Excellent English writing, editing and communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • The ability to work individually and as part of a team
  • A positive attitude, enthusiastic and motivated
  • Good media contacts and an excellent understanding of South Africa’s media landscape
  • Excellent media liaison skills
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Excellent client liaison skills
  • Social media savvy with the ability to generate content for social media platforms
  • The ability to multitask and prioritise activities
  • WordPress and Photoshop experience
  • Own transport
  • Strong general administrative skills

Advantageous:

  • Strong media relationships
  • NPO experience
  • A passion for social media and decent Klout scoring in your personal capacity

If this sounds like you, send a three page CV, cover letter and references to info@cozitcounts.co.za. Applications close 10 November.

 

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The key to customer service

andra

Meet Andra Mostert, client director at Fresh Advertising and Marketing. Andra has a passion for people and fifteen years of experience when it comes to making sure that clients are happy.

With the rise of social media, consumers and clients have become more powerful. Statistics say that 95 % of people trust word of mouth whereas only 14% trust advertisements. This is important, because it has prioritised the customer’s experience, where a bad experience can go viral online in a matter of hours.

We work with Andra on a regular basis as our go between for our client, Fresh. With a deep understanding for the importance of customer experience, Andra also makes working with Fresh  a pleasure. By embodying client service, she makes the company’s customer experience a memorable one.

Customer service is key to generating support through word-of-mouth interaction and turning clients into ready-made brand ambassadors amongst their spheres of influence. At the same time, one bad customer experience can tarnish your company or organisations reputability in the eyes of future potential clients.

Through working with someone who takes the customer experience as seriously as Andra does, we have learnt plenty. Thanks Andra for being a great example to us in how to do customer service correctly.

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Wanna know about Wildlife ACT Fund?

Want to know more about the partnership between Relate Bracelets, Woolworths and Wildlife ACT Fund? This short video explains it all

View: Wildlife Act movie

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Carbon tax works if it is drafted well

Read the original article here

Levies have reduced emissions and, with a few tweaks, their economic effects will be manageable.

In his article “Carbon tax shoots itself in the foot” (Business, September 13 to 20), Professor Philip Lloyd asserts that a carbon tax will not be effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

We disagree with Lloyd on several points.

It is too simplistic and sloppy to say that carbon taxes have had no effect.

Our investigations paint a more nuanced picture than Lloyd’s stark assessment.

Different countries have used the term in a number of ways — varying from a charge on emissions to being focused partially or completely on energy.

In terms of their design, none of the schemes covers all energy uses in a homogenous manner.

Tax exemption
A number of countries exempt the generation of electricity or fuels that go into the generation of electricity from tax.

As a result, it is seldom a clear case of comparing apples with apples and Lloyd’s obfuscation of international examples by bundling them all together as if they are the same is disingenuous.

For example, a tax on energy may not have the same outcome as a tax on emissions — one may reduce energy consumption but not emissions.

It really depends on what the target outcome of the tax is. And, yes, the results are not always evident.

When we related the carbon tax to emissions in some of the countries we have studied the results have been mixed.

In absolute terms, emissions have reduced in Sweden (marginally), Denmark, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Reduction in emissions
In the case of Ireland, a 4% reduction in emissions has been registered within just a year of implementation of the tax.

Emissions have increased marginally in Finland and substantially in the Netherlands and Norway.

However, there is recognition in these countries that emissions would have been far higher in the absence of the tax.

Therefore, it can be concluded that carbon taxes have proven to be largely effective in reducing emissions when compared with the business-as-usual scenario.

Lloyd mentions the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme as a failure. There is some truth in what he says.

However, there is also evidence that the trading scheme was responsible for reductions of 2% to 5% below business as usual in 2005 to 2007.

Difficulty
Even after 2008, it’s likely the trading scheme continued to reduce emissions independently of the global economic downturn.

That said, analytically the exact amount of reductions attributable to the trading scheme is difficult to quantify.

In the same breath, we agree that the current trading scheme carbon price signal is too weak to avoid investments in high-emitting infrastructure.

The economic downturn combined with the record use of international offset credits has led to an accumulation of more than two billion surplus emission allowances on the market.

There are discussions to cancel these allowances to bring the trading scheme back on track.

Lloyd asserts that Australia’s carbon pricing regime resulted in billions in damages and thousands of lost jobs.

Australia’s emissions
On the contrary, there is evidence that the adverse impact of Australia’s emissions trading scheme on the economy has actually been marginal.

In the first 12 months of its operation, gross domestic product grew by around 2.5% (which is in line with long-term trends), industrial production increased by 5.1%, retail trade increased by 3.1%, household consumption increased by 1.7% and more than 160 000 new jobs were added to the economy.

These are hardly the consequences predicted by doomsday prophets.

Lloyd goes on to say that the tax will have a serious impact on the poor. But one cannot deny the principle of a carbon tax on that basis.

The impact on the poor can always be mitigated through appropriate measures that include recycling of revenue from the tax, measures targeted to protect low-income groups and even broader fiscal reforms.

Lloyd’s study of international experience should have revealed, as ours did, that the judicious use of revenue from carbon tax or putting in place supporting packages and measures can address the twin objectives of environmental improvement and economic growth while mitigating the impact on the poor.

Reminder to Lloyd
We would have liked to see Lloyd use this information to advise the government on how to improve the design and implementation of the tax to make it pro-poor.

We would like to remind Lloyd that various safeguards are under discussion to ensure that the poor do not suffer as a result of this tax.

Yes, a lot more work needs to be done in this area, but there is no denying that the treasury’s paper on the economic impact of the tax, from which Lloyd chooses selectively, makes it clear that, if revenue recycling is included in the economic model, the impacts of the carbon tax are manageable.

We are also aware that the treasury is doing work in this area. We would advise Lloyd to use his years of experience to help on this front, since he is so concerned about the impact on the poor, rather than to imply that the government’s intent is malicious.

Like many others, we have concerns about unintended consequences. We have not used these concerns as a tool to shoot down the tax.

We have urged the treasury to look at the features of the tax more closely from this aspect and have made some concrete suggestions.

There are two ways the tax could play out.

Impact on the poor
At its initial threshold, with rebates and exemptions, the tax will have a minimal impact on the poor.

However, if the tax results in no shift in behaviour over time, then the pass-through costs to the consumer (and, crucially, the poor) would increase as the tax does.

This is the worst-case scenario. But if the desired effects, including increased energy efficiency and growth in new energy technologies, materialise then the increased tax over time should have little effect as emissions are decreased and, in this case, pass-through costs need not affect consumers.

This is the precise goal of the tax: over the long term, the economy would see a net benefit.

The tax should also be seen as pre-emptive. Some studies show that the world’s 14 largest economies will impose some form of tax on carbon-intense imports.

Australia’s linking of its emissions trading scheme with that of Europe is some indication of where the world is going.

The future
It is possible to envisage a future of an inter-locked global carbon pricing system that could affect our own exports.

This possibility is already on our doorstep. The EU is in the process of revising the blanket emissions tax on the aviation industry.

There is a good possibility that a “made in South Africa” product, namely South African Airways, will have no option but to comply unless it can reduce emissions or demonstrate equivalent measures within South Africa.

Though we can cite many such possible outcomes, the bottom line is that there should be less emotion and gut reaction to the carbon tax.

It is easy to criticise the tax, but it is harder work to suggest concrete ways to improve it.

After all, it is hard to believe that Lloyd or other critics believe that it would be a good option for our economy to rely totally on high carbon-intense fossil fuels.

Saliem Fakir is head of the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa’s living planet unit and Manisha Gulati is its energy economist

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