At this stage, I was promoted to the position of Marketing Manager – both a great opportunity and a fabulous pay increase!
My areas of functional authority became:
- Create and implement PR and marketing plans
- Support outlets in implementing their Paperight sales and marketing
In practice, this meant working on the following:
- a 2013/2014 Marketing plan
- implementing marketing campaigns and monitoring marketing expenses
- a newsletter conversation plan
- a variety of Facebook campaign conversation plans
- scheduling press releases (drafting, finalising, sending, follow ups etc)
- liaising with Nick on necessary Paperight marketing materials (e.g.- for in store advertising, for paid advertisements, Facebook posts, product catalogues etc)
- assisting outlets with in store marketing and sales connections
- continued outlet support with Yazeed
- maintaining good relationships with outlet managers
- keeping notes on outlets to assist with future communications
This enormous step up was incredibly daunting, but the Team’s support made it so much easier. The fact that Arthur offered the position to me in the first place and believed I would be equal to the task, forced me to believe that too. The ensuing months have been a whirlwind of crazy fast thinking and very detailed planning, but altogether, I have enjoyed the challenge immensely.
I stayed on at Paperight after the end of my two-month internship, which surprised me as I wasn’t expecting to prove myself indispensable. Initially, we weren’t too sure what my title would be. We bandied around “Resident Storyteller”, “PR Head” and other things, until one day, on the phone to the Cape Argus, I improvised that I was the “Head of Communications”. That stuck, and so my job profile was built around that. My functional authority for this time, from May 2012 until roughly August 2013 was to:
- Plan and execute external communications strategies
- Create design and copy that sets us apart
- Build our archive of media assets
My functional authority was rather easy to fulfill for the first few months. My weekly routine included designing a poster, completing a few blog posts and trying to put together a media list. I found I wasn’t terribly good or tenacious at putting together a media list, so it came in good time when Arthur delivered a talk at TEDxCapeTown and got the attention of a PR agency, Atmosphere, who wanted to work with us.
We went to a meeting in their plush offices at King James in Woodstock, and although it was a fruitful meeting, we simply didn’t have the budget to work with them. They recommended that we get in touch with Nicole Sochen, the founder of al dente PR, who would be more in line with our budget.
At about the same time we were invited to attend the second round of the SAB Innovation Awards. As Arthur’s wife Michelle was due to deliver their child at the same time as the SAB workshop and adjudication in Kyalami, I traveled by myself to attend. There was some stiff competition. Luckily, Arthur managed to come up for the last day and aided me with the presentation to the judges. We, unfortunately, did not make it to the final six, but we were informed in November that we had won a seed grant of R100 000. We finally had the money to put together, we thought, a sustainable PR strategy.