Job VS Career

Job VS Career

A recent team building session stimulated this topic: “Is there a difference between a job and a career?”

To open the session, we were asked, “Are you happy in your current job?”. One by one we all had to give our honest answer. The responses given by my colleagues gave me a shock, as most them felt as if they were stuck in a place they did not want to be in. The team strongly believes there is more to them than PR, case studies, monthly reports, etc.

“Yes, I am happy with my job” I responded. “It has never pained me to wake up in the morning and go to the office. In fact, I often stay at the office until late, working, or even creating additional work. I often wake up in the middle of the night and put my creative juices together. I get so excited about sharing my thoughts with the team the next morning, because to me, this is not just a job, but a career.” You are probably asking yourself what I love about my job so much. I love the fact that my job allows me to express my opinion; it allows me to help organisations communicate; it allows me to be proactive and, above else, it gives me endless pleasure.

I would define a job as a place you go to with your body, but not your mind. A job only puts a smile on your face on pay day, not the day before and perhaps not the day after, as that pay cheque may already be close to spent. A job is a miserable place to find yourself in. It leaves you so drained, so stressed that you end up not being able to identify yourself. Sadly, most of us have jobs just to be able to put bread on the table. When it comes to jobs, experience is often lost. We learn absolutely nothing when all we do is to keep busy and look forward to knock-off time. I have met several people who excel in their jobs because they know that the efforts they put in today, will be the rewards they enjoy tomorrow. As much as there are people who find themselves doing their jobs daily, most of them are preparing for their careers.

I define a career as a calling. It’s that force that wakes you up in the middle of the night; that drive, that passion that you can’t ignore, even if you try. I’m not saying a career is easy. What I am saying is that every struggle endured in any stage of your career is worth it and you could do it all over again if you had to. I have had to make numerous sacrifices for my career, and all of them were worth it. I am still making more sacrifices at this very moment. If you are living your career, you are blessed. Make the most of it, don’t let any opportunity pass you by.

My thoughts? Yes, there is a BIG difference between jobs and careers.

In conclusion: To those who wake up every morning and go to their workplaces, excel! Excel in everything you do that concerns your job. Don’t speak offensively of your job. You never know who is watching or listening. Umuntu ungumuntu ngabantu. REMEMBER: recommendations count. Do you best and you could be recommended for a change from job to career.

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Fake News Dominate Social Media

Jimmy Rohampton, a Forbes expert writer, predicted early in 2017 in an article published on that there will be a huge fight against fake news and the truth, which will consequently be one of the trends that will dominate social media in 2017. In this blog I will be highlighting the impact of fake news on South African brands.

Fake news contributes greatly on how users of social media perceive information about their favourite brands and it creates negative publicity.

Fake news creates negative publicity for brands on social media

How many times has Mandoza died on twitter? The day he really passed on, it took a lot to convince me of his death, as he had been killed so many times before on social media. A recent scenario that had social media up in arms was the MiWay screenshot that circulated on social media regarding a MiWay employee sending a racist email to a colleague. This was rapidly justified, as MiWay insurance categorised it as fake news by giving sufficient evidence. An incident similar to the one of Mandoza had occurred in May 2017 to Simphiwe “Shabba” Tshabalala, a professional soccer player. An article was released stating that he had died in a car accident. However, the soccer star took to Instagram to respond to this article and say it was false information. Other incidents of fake news are of false vacancies published on social media platforms and job portal sites.

Social media platforms are an easy target to spread fake news for mostly unrecognised online news channels. In the age that we live in everything that happens in the digital sphere has no regulatory policies that govern what people/brands should post about.

Brands need to consistently monitor what is being published about them online to ensure that their brand image is not damaged by false rumours.

Who writes fake news, and why?

Hackers write fake news because they want to increase traffic to their websites so that they can gain important information about the visitor, such as email addresses and valuable information linked to the IP address of the visitor.
Scammers want to privately access the visitors’ device and start hacking their profiles and sell their information to advertisers. Regularly check your mailbox for spam mail, and you will realise that many of the unwanted emails you receive come from things you didn’t sign up for.
To spread hoax information.
Proactive strategies that brands should implement when faced with this crisis   

Develop internal policies on how employees should communicate on their personal social media in alignment with the strategic vision of the brand.
Listen and monitor social media trends, and subscribe to Google alerts.
Respond to fake news by developing a crisis management plan, then share it on your social media.
Regularly visit job portals to check whether there are any fake vacancies created for your company.
In conclusion: As a social media user you need to be attentive regarding the accuracy of the information you see on these platforms. It is better to be accurate than to be first to share. Lastly, visit the company’s website to verify news.

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A thin line between a successful brand merger and brand confusion.

Reality is that change is scary, and the majority of people fear change, because it forces them to get out of their comfort zone and confront new challenges. Change is good, they say, but is it really? As humans we are never satisfied. We are always chasing the next big thing and I’m sure that, as you are reading this, your mind is flooded with things you would like to change in your life. So I will state again: change is good – but is it really?

Now that I have your attention, I am sure you are curious to know what a brand merger is. A brand merger is when two companies partner to become one.
When companies merge, there are several choices that leadership has to make about the combined brand portfolio. Brands can be transitioned to the acquiring company’s brand names, or they could retain their original brand names. Another option is dual-branding, where the two brand names are combined.

Merging brands is not as easy as it sounds, it is a long and strenuous  process. Mergers have to be in accordance with the Competition Commission Act.

When employees receive news of a brand merger, their first question would probably be whether their jobs are secure.  This question is usually met with negativity, stemming from uncertainty and confusion. This is where we come in. Who are ‘we’? We are a P.R company and our job is to remove the uncertainties and confusion around a merger and provide a clear and concise message internally and externally. If this is done correctly, a brand merger could be the best decision for a company’s growth. It increases market penetration, diversification and increased skills and knowledge, because companies make use of the best minds from both companies to their advantage.

This is where it gets tricky, because if the communication channels are not dealt with accordingly, this may cause brand confusion to the consumers, which is the number one brand killer. Many companies make the mistake of not having the right communications/ P.R companies backing them, and this drags their brand through the mud. As I mentioned before, fear not. That is what we are here for.

We will rectify all confusion and ensure that the public and the staff are fully aware that the merger will not only benefit the company, but its employees and the economy at large. I guess you could say we are miracle workers. Yes, no, maybe? Well, it was worth a try.

I am therefore leaving you with this thought: do you think a brand merger is the best solution for a company’s expansion strategy, or does the idea leave you confused, as if you are in the middle of a complex puzzle? That’s for you to decide.


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Using social media influencers to grow your brand

Do you ever wonder why you follow certain people on social media? People who don’t follow you back, but yet you remain a loyal follower. That’s what we call a social media influencer. I once followed a lady on twitter, simply because she wrote the realest tweets. Regrettably, as days went by, she started tweeting illogical stuff, so I realised that the previous strong tweets were probably recycled or stolen, so I unfollowed her. However, even though I had unfollowed her, she still had a large number of followers, making her an influencer in her own space.

Firstly, let me define a social media influencer. These are users with large numbers of followers and audiences. These influencers are seen as content creators and trendsetters. Influencers on the social media community play a huge role, because they create funny content, such as skits and memes based on trending topics. Social media influencers are mostly public figures, such as TV and radio personalities.

Brands use influencers on social media to create and maximise engagement with target audiences. The use of social media influencer marketing is beneficial to both personal and commercial brands. Commercial brands request influencers to mention them on their profile. Other brands approach these influencers to become brand ambassadors for their brands, because people associate themselves with content from their favourite personal brands. An example can be Siyabulela “Tafire” Deli a social media skit maker who has recently been approached by an insurance company to assist them in increasing viewership on their YouTube channel.

The biggest challenge that influencers face is that organisations expect them to have the same interactions from the public when they post the brand content as compared to when they post their personal content. In most instances this is not possible, because the style of content development used by the influencer is not the same as that of the brand. It is therefore becomes a challenge for brands to achieve marketing objectives, because of a mismatch between the commercial brand style and the influencer’s own brand.

Lastly, more and more small businesses should maybe consider using these social media influencers to grow their brand. Influencers always conjure up creative ways to position brands, and there is nothing that SA loves more than an innovative and funny marketing strategy.

By:Magera Katangana

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Making it in Business through Pleasure

There is a variety of PR and Communication agencies in SA, each of which has its own values and morals that staff need to account to. PR is a small segment in which all these agencies are in competition to find clients, but to what extent??

Being part of an agency for 3 years, I’ve come to realise that it is an industry dominated by women, which can be a challenge on its own. Many different personalities can definitely lead to many personality clashes. In such a female dominated industry, the client base is mostly men, thus leaving women with the ambiguity between politeness and flirting.  I have had experienced many instances where I have lost clients because I was expected to cross the line, but I firmly believe that, if you cannot be my client due to the quality of the work I produce, I prefer not to have you as a client. Clients are usually hard to please, but where pleasure is involved, double the effort is required in order to satisfy the client.

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Misconceptions about Public Relations

Public relations is not advertising or marketing. “Hi, I’m Dudu and I am a public relations practitioner.” “Oh, so you do advertising??” they say.

It’s time that people educate themselves about the PR industry, because their ignorance is frustrating. One of the common misconceptions is that PR, advertising and marketing are one and the same thing. Public relations drives the world, be it in sports, politics or the entertainment world, in fact, in all industries, but yet it is still viewed as advertising or marketing. Allow me to educate you:  marketing is purely based on profit, where you market a product with the hope of getting a sale.  On the other hand, advertising is a paid promotion on a mass platform. However, public relations builds the images of businesses and individuals in the public eye.

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Does good spin-doctoring still exist?

I wonder: do we still have good public- and media spin doctors out there? -A good one and not just an official press release developer. If you are one, or you know one, please send them my way. This question has crossed my mind a lot recently, as I see lots of stories, some of which would leave genuine spin doctors salivating at the prospect of turning a bad event into a seven- course Sunday family lunch – a nutritious meal to its consumers. I sometimes feel that the craft of spin doctoring is going down the drain.

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