Daily Maverick

Q&A with Kerry Simpson from Mantis Communicat­ions


What do you love about your job?

Working with a diverse range of clients and learning about new industries. It’s a real eye-opener, and I’m always inspired by the work my clients do. I also have a particular passion for working with NGOs and clients in the healthcare space as the work they do has real value and meaning. It’s a great privilege to help to amplify clients’ voices and share their stories and insights via PR.

What’s the hardest part?

Editorial exposure is becoming harder to secure as it’s a competitiv­e space and there are many agencies and businesses competing for exposure. One has to find unique

angles to “sell in” a story that resonates with a publicatio­n’s audience.

What are the biggest misconcept­ions about public relations?

I think there is still a common misconcept­ion that PR will result in sales, but I always say that PR “tells” while advertisin­g “sells”.

PR is about awareness, education and thought leadership around industry issues. It’s not about direct selling or brand promotion.

Yes, more awareness of a business or brand via PR can end up having an impact on sales, but this is not its core function and it should be integrated into the broader

marketing mix to reap results.

Describe your media consumptio­n?

I read online news and business sites daily to keep updated with local and global happenings, and I also get news and informatio­n from social media, particular­ly Facebook and Instagram.

Describe a few of the biggest/best/ most fun projects to date?

I recently wrapped up a fun campaign involving a book launch for a well-known SA author in which we received lovely media interest and achieved having the book listed as one of SA’s top 10.

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