Category Archives: Blog

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

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

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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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charity:water creating brandlove- 5 ways your nonprofit can follow suit

There is a certain stigma around nonprofit organisations. In the minds of many, charities are associated with poorly developed brand using amateur attempts at social media to ask for more money. Yet these nonprofit organisations are doing excellent and vital work across the globe and rely on public funding to do so. The problem comes in with communication. Too many organisations take good communication for granted and therefore fail to communicate their vision, needs and successes. In order to support your vision, potential (and current) donors need to understand what it is you do, why they should care and how they can help.

Charity: Water is one organisation that has taken communication seriously. Instead of just getting on with the work (which they are very effective at doing), they put ordinary people at the centre of everything. They place a simple call to action on citizens of the world and receive overwhelming support in response. So much so that since it was established in 2006, charity: water has raised over $40 million, ensuring that 3 400 000 people can access clean water in developing countries.

As a case study, Charity: Water has done plenty right. Two key aspects are their transparency and their storytelling techniques. Using quality videos and digital media, they engage with ordinary people where they are. They have a clear message and they communicate it in a way that makes people want to click on the next two-minute snippet to learn more about the work they do. Their videos show the remote places they work at and quantify the exact impact that providing clean water makes on communities and individuals in developing countries. They are at an advantage in that their running costs are sponsored by corporates. This assures donors that every cent raised is sent directly to the region it was raised for.  Through good communication, Charity: Water has made the work they do real to people thousands of miles away, and has created a positive association with their brand. In other words, they have made their brand loveable.

By doing so, they have put the onus of fundraising on everyone. Those who view their promos and engage with them online are left with a clear understanding of their work, and no excuse for not getting involved. Charity: Water provides people with a clear and simple call to action while also inspiring them to make a difference.

By setting a standard of excellence, both with their transparency and their communications, Charity: Water is developing a new model of engaging people that other organisations could learn from. Their transparency clearly shows what the power of proof can do for an organisation, their simple messaging and dedicated storytelling makes Charity: Water as personal and relevant as possible. Here are five ways your charity can follow suit:

Be Transparent
Clearly communicate where the money goes. Being able to say that it takes x amount of money to fund y motivates people to raise at least x (if not 2x or 3x). Put another way, honest and quantifiable targets give people something solid to aspire to when it comes to raising money for your organisation.

Be engaging
If they are to reach new audiences, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) desperately need to stop relying on the same old communication techniques. Sustainable funding requires a growing donor base and today’s potential donor looks very different from that of a decade ago. E-mail newsletters, wordy websites and annual reports no longer cut it. While existing donors may appreciate these, potential donors need to be enticed and such enticement needs to be short and snappy. Social media and online video sharing, when done right, ticks all the boxes with the added advantage of giving a human face to your organisation with the potential of viral sharing.

Have a clear ask
Depending on the complexity of your organisation, you may have various asks, but make sure that for every piece of communication, there is at least one that clearly comes to the fore, so that people always know what it is they can do to help you. One way of getting this right is by targeting specific communications to specific audiences (along with the audience-appropriate ask), rather than trying to make each message cover all angles, audiences and asks.

Invite everyone’s involvement
Once a person contributes to a cause (even if that contribution is a small one and even if it is not a financial contribution) they are invested. Give people ways to get involved. I know of a charity that has a wall which they literally set aside for when donor corporates want to bring their staff along to contribute. The same wall gets painted every time. Ridiculous perhaps, but they are applying the principle that if there is nothing that needs doing, create something because once you have contributed, you are personally invested.

Feedback
Tell your success stories and keep it personal. People do not want facts and figures, they want faces and families. They want the real life stories. They also want personalised thank yous – technology has left us with no excuse in this regard. Use your new communications to complement your old ones and harness both to champion your champions (everyone loves a story about little Susie who raised R100 through her lemonade stand to save the rhino).

The bottom line is: clear, engaging, compelling communications requires an investment of time and resources, but done right, it will launch your charity to a new level where your donors are your greatest advocates.

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Seize your power to save the planet

South Africa is facing a serious energy crisis. We have too many people and not enough electricity to go around. It’s a frustrating situation for the general public. With a shortage of power stations (and those under construction going hopelessly past deadline and over budget)and the looming threat of fracking, something must be done.

The tax payers of South Africa are the ones who lose in the current energy crisis, not only because electricity cuts out at the most inopportune moments, but because they foot the bill for poor service at the end of the day. In addition, the vast majority of our fuel is “dirty” – polluting our world and contributing to climate change.

WWF has recently launched the Seize your Power campaign globally, seeking to use the voices of ordinary citizens to lobby governments on the issue of renewable energy. South Africa has an abundance of wind and sun with which to generate energy without turning to dirty fossil fuels. Renewable energy is an economically viable option for tax payers and governments, especially in a country in need of a solution to the energy crisis.

Before resorting to fracking in the Karoo – an endeavor reputable environmental organisations have cautioned against – citizens should encourage government to investigate wind and solar energy. Wind power has become cheaper than coal in Australia, and in India solar power has begun to compete with fossil fuels. As cities turn greener, let’s make our voices heard.

You can join the movement towards a cleaner planet by signing the Seize Your Power pledge here

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