Lusiba - Freelance Writer - Johannesburg, GP, South Africa

Miranda Lusiba

Johannesburg, GP, South Africa


Freelance Writer

  • Full time
  • Part time
  • One time
  • Contract
  • Temp


I have 15 years experience in writing and editing for Public Relations (PR) and Corporate Communications purposes. I started off as junior writer in 2000 for a communications consultancy specialising in the IT industry and I wrote for clients that included Progress Software, MGX, Scantec, Datacentrix, Unisys, to name but a few. Throughout my career, I have been doing writing and editing work for all the companies that I have worked for.

Work History

Founder: Communications Consultant & Freelance Writer

Strange' Consulting

From October 2012

Founder: Communications Consultant & Writer (Strange' Consulting)
Johannesburg Metro, Gauteng (South Africa) - Permanent Executive Level position in the Public Relations (Marketing) sector

I am the founding member of Strange Consulting, a wholly-black owned company that provides a bouquet of lifestyle services in Corporate Communications, Media Relations and Personal Brand PR. With over 14-years’ experience in PR, Media & Communications fields, I have held various management positions in corporates that include most notable a recent position as Head of Communications at Business Connexion. Before then, I was a PR Manager for MTN SA’s Sponsorship properties, which included Football, Cycling, Cricket as well as Music and Lifestyle.

My areas of expertise in the Corporate Communications space include:
* Generating Media Publicity/External Communications;
* Internal Communications/Employee Engagement;
* Media & other Stakeholders Relations/engagements (incl. Event Management);
* Leadership/ Personal Brand PR and Profiling;
* Issue, Crisis & Reputation Management;
* Communication Strategy & Planning; as well as
* Investor Relations for companies listed on the JSE-Stock Exchange.

In my early years of working, I started off as writer for a communications consultancy specialising in the IT industry and I wrote for clients that included Progress Software, MGX, Scantec, Datacentrix, Unisys, to name but a few.

Memberships: I’m a member of the National Press Club (NPC) and the Black Management Forum (BMF).

Head of Communications

Business Connexion

January 2011 - September 2012

* Brand Management - Plan & execute media events focusing on Key Technology Solutions as well as lead review and evaluation of all PR to ensure continuous learning on a quarterly basis.
*Marketing Division Development - Communicate the Marketing Division strategy and update and revise relevant policies to ensure alignment with overall marketing strategy and goals.
*Internal Communications - Manage all communication internally around PR in line with BCX guidelines.
* Marketing & Communication strategy - Successfully manage and implement media and analyst events as and when required as well as constantly identifying and managing all sponsorship opportunities in alignment with BCX’s policies. PR (All Stakeholders) and Reputation Management. Manage all internal channels.
*Product and Services Analysis - Be the competitor authority on competitive brands from a PR perspective.
* PR & Reputation Management - Manage, develop, implement and maintain the group PR strategy and Policy, standards, procedures and processes at all times. Continuously manage the reputation of the group through close liaison with all relevant stakeholders. Develop and maintain close relationships with senior press and media individuals on an on-going basis.
* Solution Marketing Campaign Management - Provide insightful input for Direct Marketing strategies and programs on a continuous basis.
* Personnel Management - Manage individual & team outputs so that performance & development needs can be identified to develop competence and provided adequate on-the-job training, coaching, support and counselling to team members.
* Financial Management - Ensure that budgets are planned according to need requirements and financial budget guidelines and that they are monitored on a continuous basis and action plans are developed to reduce over-expenditure.
* Achievements - Establishment of quarterly newspaper, BCX Times. Introduction of a communications widget. Media Coverage generated in 2011 = R21million.

PR Manager: Sponsorships


November 2008 - December 2010

Operational Planning • Align operational PR objectives for Sponsorship with the MTN brand and with the strategy of the Brand and Communications function. Consider local conditions, as well as competitor activity.
• Put contingency plans in place as well as identify & exploit new opportunities to grow business further. Manage resources (people, finances and products), taking local conditions into consideration. Identify innovative ways to use minimum resources to achieve maximum outputs. Ensure compliance from both internal and external customers, with agreed policies and procedures.
Implementation of PR Activities • Work with internal business stakeholders and the broader marketing communications team as well as the Sponsorships and Events marketing teams in the development and execution of PR campaigns.
• Develop messages and related media to communicate with Sponsorships PR. Ensure integration and consistency in Sponsorship PR activities to ensure brand integrity.
• Engage in content management as well as manage media liaison for all PR activities. Manage vendors and service provider relationships
Budget Management • Forecast, plan, develop and review budget for the unit. Manage and optimise the budget, ensuring all expenditure is in line with the agreed budgets.
• Base annual budgets on the identification of trends and patterns within the current operations and extrapolate these over the next planning cycle, taking any known changes in new products or services into consideration
Customer Satisfaction • Align service delivery to changing needs of the customer as well as understand customer needs and develop and fine-tune systems accordingly. Putting contingency plans in place to prevent delays and enhance the customer experience. Adopt a proactive approach to prevent problems from arising in the future.
Achievements – Football:• The media launch of MTN8 in 2009, a turnout of 120 media at the event translated to the highest media coverage between Aug – Oct.

Provincial Communications Manager (Gauteng)


March 2006 - October 2008

* Media Spokesperson - Responsible for the relationship with regional media and spokesperson for Absa's Provincial Leadership Forum (PLF). Manage regional comms issues and continuously build reputation, handle media queries, advise the Absa business.
* Absa Regional Comms Strategy - Compile & implement comms strategy for the region based on the Group Comms Strategy.
* SBU Comms Plans - Compile individual comms plans according to the business unit strategy – through liaison with all regional leadership & National Comms Consultants & AE’s. Present to different SBU’s for buy-in.
* Stakeholder relationships – Internal - Establish relationships with management of different SBU’s. Manage internal relationships with senior regional business leaders to secure their engagement with the comms strategy and counsel them on media reputation issues.
* Internal Comms - Forge relationships with various internal comms channels: ABACUS and Absa Channel and utilise them effectively;
* Media & PR - Establish internal relationship with Absa Media Services. Establish media relationships through external media forums and individual engagements. Identify networking opportunities through Absa Events and manage comms for sponsorships, major events and CSI.
* Government Relations - Establish relationships with Media Liaison Officers in the Public Sector and create networking opportunities for Bankers.
* Corporate Social Investment - Establish relationships with Absa CSI reps for internal & external comms opportunities. Segmentation of CSI comms according to different demographic areas in province.
* Reputation Risk Management - Manage all internal comms (including early warning systems.
* Progress Reports - Compile comprehensive monthly & quarterly reports for the PLF and Provincial Board.
* Achievements - Initiated an intranet site for the PLF to communicate with employees, a Charter as well as a column on consumer education focusing on financial management for Ekurhuleni rate payers.

Corporate Communications and Media Relations Co-ordinator

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)

March 2003 - March 2006

* SAICA strategic comms plan -Update the strategic plan based on the SAICA’s overall strategic objectives in consultation with the marketing director and implement it.
- Implement plans for initiatives in different departments including: Transformation & CSI, Standards, Education & Training, Member Services, HR, Support Services & Executive.
- Advising Secretariat HOD’s on appropriate communication strategies for various SAICA initiatives. Monitor the efficacy of communications plan.
* Annual communications - Compile, direct, co-ordinate & monitor the implementation of the annual comms plan.
* Individual BU plans - Compile plans for specific units’ events, e.g. annual dinner and implement them.
* Compile comms strategies for key Institute initiatives, e.g. positive publicity strategy.
* Press release - Pro-actively liaise with senior executives and other employees to identify potential press release topics and messages for each department.
- Write and distribute press releases through SAICA media agents.Scan daily newspapers to identify issues that SAICA should comment and refer to executives for further instruction. Compile and maintain a monthly coverage report in rand values. Produce a graphic monthly basis.
* Press liaison - Establish and / or maintain on-going comms / liaison with the financial an Implement a strategy to ensure the reputation of the SAICA designations [(CA (SA), AGA (SA) and AAT (SA).
* Achievements - Extensive media coverage for SAICA’s Opening of the Building with Minister Trevor Manuel as the guest of honour.
- Liaising with the President’s Comms office for SAICA’s 25th Anniversary dinner with President Thabo Mbeki as the guest speaker. Extensive national media coverage for the roll out of the Thuthuka CSI project to different provinces with the Minister of Labour: Membathisi Mdladlana.

Junior writer promoted to Editorial Consultant and Sub-Editor

FHC Communications Consultants

May 2000 - March 2003

* Client Research Compiling of client research material. Development of knowledgebase to ensure informed writing
*Writing Press releases - Idea extraction for articles & obtain new innovative ideas for releases. Receiving brief from account manager/ client. Pieces to be written according to client culture and character. Research on clients & interviewing them. Stories covering exact details according to client media needs. Relationship building with clients. Brainstorming of new ideas with clients. New media ideas suggested to client for value add. Getting approval from client. Correct procedures followed once story is complete.
* Newsletter writing Compiling & editing of newsletters for clients business plans. Client to be fully advised on editorial
* Annual reports & business plans- Writing text for client annual reports and co-ordinating commission with graphic design. Professional text for client annual reports and business plans. Sending completed draft to AM’s.
* Brochures - Writing of text for brochures as put together by cutting edge. Precise writing for brochures
* Advertisements-Writing of text for advertisements as commissioned by clients and co-ordinating design with cutting edge. Script written for advertisements as requested by cutting edge
* Admin -Fulfilling admin requirements defined by writers. Stories accurately written according to client brief.
* Accurate tracking of stories & no stories to be left unused in the system.
*All writing commissioned by clients to be done within prescribed time period to meet deadlines. Accurate dissemination reports generated for FHC on a weekly basis and supply to GM
Skills & knowledge development -Taking part in internal workshops. Developed skills across wide diversity of areas. Self-study of current & new areas. Production of original material for custom publications. Requesting assignment to write on new areas and knowledge sharing Writing quota - 8 articles and editing 14 per week.

Marketing & PR Assistant

Studentwise Placements - SL&Y Magazines

April 1999 - April 2000

Job Description – Marketing & Administration Assistant: Administrative duties
• Registration & interviewing of new members to the student agency.
• Faxing, filing and booking couriers. Capturing CVs and case studies.
• Booking of interviews and students for jobs. Surfing the Internet for marketing information and telemarketing.
PR and Marketing duties
• Writing and designing copy for in-house & student newsletters. Monitoring the student newsletter. Gathering, inputting, editing copy of in-house newsletter. Media monitoring and maintenance of clipping files. Compiling marketing packs and updating campus contact files and industry database lists. Assisting in the design of company portfolio. Writing internal press releases to keep other branches up to date with Jhb branch’s activities.
• Organising promotions. Liaising with Head Office PRO and assisting in PR activities in the JHB branch i.e. organising corporate & campus events, writing weekly press releases, media liaison, keeping the H/O informed of the branch’s promotional and marketing status. Telesales – direct marketing to PR, marketing and communications departments of different corporations.
• Media liaison, event management, function co-ordination, addressing clients and shareholders at meetings, maintaining constant contact with the market by editing the newsletter, assisting in drawing up budget for the coming events as well as writing the newsletter.

Qualifications & Certifications

B-Tech: Public Relations Management

Previous TWR – University of Johannesburg

ND: Public Relations Management

Previous Technikon Natal – Durban Institute of Technology

Queenstown Girls High School

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